Updated with more complaints!
TRANSIT covered the sudden change to 45 RapidKL bus routes (beginning 16 November) as soon as we heard about the changes (on 12 November).
Frankly, we are disappointed by RapidKL for making a decision to change routes so quickly, without giving enough time for the public to even become aware of the change.
Though the media seems to have said little about the changes, the Malay Mail did include comments in a recent hotline story.
Upset by abrupt RapidKL changes (Malay Mail)
SHARMA is really annoyed that calls to the RapidKL Helpline on the termination of services B110 and B113 failed to elicit any useful response.
“I called the Helpline on Nov 13 and yet the customer service staff seemed to know nothing about the route changes. I spoke to a man and he passed me on to another lady. She was unsure and passed me on to another lady. Finally all ended up with the same response of ‘not sure’.
“Since these staff seemed to not know of the route changes, I even checked online for the routes on Friday afternoon. But, I found the details of the cancelled routes were not updated on their website.”
The comments in the Hotline elicited a response from RapidKL – we leave it to you to judge how reasonable the response was.
“Pertaining to the above mentioned matter, we wish to inform the routes involved in the realignment exercise, which begin on Nov 16, were only confirmed on Nov 12 and the matter was made known to the public through the media on the same day.
When SHARMA called our customer service personnel earlier, our staff were not able to provide her with the information because at that point of time, the routes involved had yet to be confirmed.
But Sharma called customer service on November 13, according to her letter.
And check out this letter in the Malay Mail a few days later:
Quick bus route changes were to benefit commuters (Malay Mail)
We wish to inform that RapidKL had put up posters in all buses along the affected routes since Nov 10. The announcement on the routes realignment was also posted in the RapidKL website on the afternoon of Nov 12.
The route re-alignment was made effective on Nov 16 as we needed to implement it as soon as possible to benefit the customers faster.
We think RapidKL is making excuses. On the one hand they say that that notices were put up in the buses on Nov 10 and a public announcement made on Nov 12. But they also say that their customer service staff, when called on 13 November were not aware because the routes had not been confirmed.
Anyways, why the big rush? RapidKL claims that it was to bring savings to the commuters as quickly as possible. From what we can see, it looks like they brought themselves some bad public relations instead.Just consider the contents of the letter below:
Letter: Cancelled RapidKL buses: Bus pass users cheated (Malaysiakini)
TRANSIT also wonders how well the route changes will sit with the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board, which, despite all its weaknesses, is still the regulating body for bus routes in Peninsular Malaysia.