TRANSIT wonders what you think of the image of a Bus-Rapid Transit vehicle. Does it look like the kind of bus that we are familiar with?
One of the things that we try to do here is change perceptions about public transport – encouraging governments, the public, the operators and the planners to take a new look.
TRANSIT took note of some interesting articles recently including one in which the Minister of Transport mentioned plans to introduce Bus Rapid Transit to Malaysia starting in Penang and Johor Baru.
13 January 2010
by Minderjeet Kaur
KUALA LUMPUR: Penang and Johor Baru will be the first two cities in the peninsula to get underway the Transport Ministry’s tram-like transport system called the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line.
[TRANSIT: You can find more information on Bus-Rapid Transit here.]
Widely-used worldwide, the tram-like transport costs less to develop compared to Light Rail Transit.
[TRANSIT: But then so does a tram system]
Brainstorming sessions between the authorities and public transport experts on the system are going on.
[TRANSIT: And as before, we are not included]
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said the authorities are looking at some of the models that are being used abroad, including the Bogota model.
[TRANSIT: TransMilenio is the high-capacity bus-rapid transit system in Bogota, Colombia]
“We are aware that the LRT system is quite costly.
“We are looking at BRT lines which could cover more areas,” he said.
Moaz from TRANSIT also commented on this article, Experts in favour of bus rapid transport system (NST – 13 January) where he suggested that a BRT network should be built first before LRT is expanded.
Today, TRANSIT notes a feature on Bus Rapid Transit in the New Straits Times – comprised of 5 different articles.
Bus Rapid Transit Plan (NST Feature):
- Cutting a path through traffic has its appeal – Prof. Rehan Karim comments about Bus Rapid Transit;
- Best for congested places – Ong Boon Keong of the Bus Users’ Group (BUG) in Penang comments on the viability of Bus-Rapid Transit there;
- Simply gung-ho about the idea – RapidPenang CEO Azhar Ahmad strongly supports Bus Rapid Transit, mentioning an existing proposal for Bus Rapid Transit along the Jelutong Expressway from Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay) to Bayan Lapas.
Also interesting are two articles about a new bus service, Perkhidmatan Bas Perintis (Pioneer Bus Services) offered by a consortium of 3 bus companies, which is to be introduced next month:
- Going with what’s already planned – the planned Pioneer Bus Services consortium will go ahead and start operations rather than waiting for the Bus Rapid Transit proposal;
- ‘Streamlined bus services needed’ – passengers in Johor give feedback on the proposed Perkhidmatan Bas Perintis.
It seems that the government’s plan is a serious one and it is going to go ahead with the implementation of bus-rapid transit in Penang, Johor and Kuala Lumpur.