We at TRANSIT had to laugh when we saw the headline in the Star Metro today.
RapidKL bus drivers display ID tags and show courtesy
Monday November 2, 2009
By BAVANI M
BUS drivers are smiling more these days and are actually getting pats on their backs from commuters who appreciate their service, while commuters are equally happy with the positive attitude shown by drivers. [TRANSIT: Waaah! Syok nya (sorry, we couldn’t help it!)]
It seems like RapidKL’s (Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd) efforts in displaying the drivers’ ID tag on board the bus is paying off.
Since RapidKL launched its driver ID tag system recently, there has been a marked improvement in bus service, especially in the drivers’ attitude.
“They are smiling more and are unusually polite, which is all good,’’ said Kwan Siew from Taman Overseas United Garden (OUG). [TRANSIT: “Unusually polite.” Not just polite, but unusually polite!]
Kwan Siew takes the U73 Utama Bus from the Klang Bus stand to go home to OUG and noticed that drivers were now polite and tend to smile a lot.
“I don’t know if it is because their personal identities are displayed openly but I feel it is a good move,’’ he said.
Clara Looi, who takes the U86 bus from Bandar Utama to go to Kepong, said she experienced an improvement in the drivers’ attitude recently as well.
“They are okay. I would not say they are smiling a lot but they are respectful,’’ the 64-year-old said.
To further improve service and promote efficiency, RapidKL launched its bus driver identification tag system two weeks ago as the bus company wanted to be more transparent and accountable to its customers. [TRANSIT: And we have been calling for this for more than a year!]
RapidKL’s chief operating officer (Bus), Datuk Mohamed Hazlan Mohamed Hussain said the company has been carrying out various measures to improve its services and the introduction of the driver ID [is just one.]
“We want to be more customer-centric and connected to the customers and the ID tag would help promote transparency as well as benefit the industry as a whole,’’ he said.
Mohamed Hazlan said the identification tag was also a way to help the public give their comments, suggestions and feedback on drivers conduct.
“Compliments and complaints are welcome and would help us to speed up investigations into complaints made by the public,’’ he said.
According to Mohamed Hazlan, RapidKL receives an average of 180 to 200 complaints a month and half of these are grouses about rude bus drivers.
“We view complaints seriously and drivers are required to attend courses that promote the culture of excellence in service.
“They are trained to handle all types of scenarios and they must realise that whatever the problem, they must handle themselves well. We are in the service industry and the customer is always king,’’ he said.
A total of 1,040 buses will be equipped with the drivers’ ID tags. Tags will carry the driver’s full name and ID number and it will be placed at the front of the bus.
Last month, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana) group managing director Datuk Idrose Mohamed told StarMetro that various measures were being taken to upgrade and improve its bus service in the Klang Valley.
RapidKL had formed an internal task force led by Idrose himself and also included people who take the buses daily. They studied the workings and weaknesses of the bus system in the city.
Idrose said the task force was not just to improve the level of service but also finetune the workings of the bus depots and also study the bus and LRT routes in the city.
Plans are also underway to build 45 kiosks in the Klang Valley which will serve as a rest area for drivers. The kiosks will be available at all hubs and selected areas will have a rest room, toilet and prayer room. Currently 14 kiosks are already operational.
Well, good for RapidKL to introduce the driver identification tags into their buses. We do believe that the action will help improve competency, accountability and transparency at RapidKL.
For those of you who do not know, TRANSIT has been pushing for RapidKL to do this for more than 2 years, and we are happy to finally see it implemented.
For those of you who may recall our earlier posting about improving the quality of rapidKL services through open and honest and detailed complaints, we would like to remind you to keep RapidKL’s phone number and email saved into your handphone, so you can complain / give feedback immediately.
Also, please note that the driver ID# can also be found on your RapidKL bus ticket.