- Updated with information about SPAD from the debate in Parliament!
Despite some opposition to the proposed area congestion pricing, the 5 bills presented in Parliament to amend the regulatory framework that governs public transport in Malaysia were passed by Parliament in the 3rd session, which adjourned on 22 April.
You can see the debate itself in this file: SPAD & LPTC Bill Debates 21.4.2010. Please note that the debate is in BM.
The 5 bills, described here, will now go to the Dewan Negara (Senate) where they will likely be passed. Royal Assent (signing of the Bill into Law by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong) would probably take place later in May.
So, now what?
First, expect to see resistance & office politics come into play as employees from various government agencies (such as the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board and the Department of Railways in Peninsular Malaysia) are given the option to join the Public Land Transport Commission (SPAD) or other government agencies.
[TRANSIT: We expect that this will happen and that some officers & employees may feel demoralized or unsettled by the change – while others may see the change as an exciting opportunity. We hope more officers & employees will look on the positive side.]
Second, expect to see some confusion as SPAD will have to take time to consolidate its position as the supreme agency for the planning, regulating & enforcement of public transport & freight transport in Peninsular Malaysia. We do not know how long it will take for SPAD to meet with and brief the many private and government-linked public transport operators about current and future plans.
[TRANSIT: We expect SPAD to get moving right out of the gate and start making their presence felt and marketing themselves as the authority for public transport and freight transport – which means they should have posters, newspaper & radio ads & tv commercials for broadcast, a good website, and presence on social networking like twitter & facebook.]
For example, will SPAD maintain the current CVLB complaints campaign and hotline and will they require all stickers on all commercial vehicles to be change to say “ADUAN SPAD”?
Third, expect to see some companies & individual operators flouting laws, thinking that the “lame-duck” CVLB cannot do anything to them and the new SPAD cannot catch them. Since SPAD will not have a strong presence & enforcement powers, we can always expect people to take advantage of the situation for their own selfish interests.
[TRANSIT: We expect that the government will step up enforcement in June & July through the Road Transport Department & Local Governments while SPAD is consolidating itself. We do not need any more flouting of rules when it comes to public transport.]
Fourth, expect to see some roll-out of new improvements or changes in June or July as SPAD tries to market itself – this may be additional RapidBET or other Bus Expressway Transit service, an improved system of bus lanes, or perhaps simpler things like better bus stops & route maps & information.
[TRANSIT: We expect that there will be an expansion or improvement to bus lanes by the end of 2010, as indicated in the Urban Public Transport NKRA. We also expect to see a huge improvement in public transport facilities. It is also vital that SPAD improve the way that information about public transport is communicated – including better signage and route maps at stations, bus hubs and bus stops.]
Fifth, expect to see some local presence for SPAD, because many of the members of the transition team are from the Urban Public Transport NKRA team. We may finally see the Klang Valley Urban Transport Authority (KUTA) or Klang Valley Transport Council set up to improve the management of public transport in the Klang Valley.
[TRANSIT: SPAD will need to create regional offices so that it can work at the regional and local level to improve public transport. This means that SPAD will have to work with the public, Local & State governments, public transport operators, developers and even toll highway concessionaires to find ways to improve public transport.
SPAD would join these other stakeholders in Transport Councils, serving major cities and different economic regions of Malaysia.
TRANSIT has proposed that RapidKL and RapidPenang align themselves to become the operating arms of Transport Councils in the Klang Valley and Penang respectively. Instead of focusing on providing public transport services, RapidKL and RapidPenang would focus on the planning, regulation, oversight & management of public transport at the local level, on behalf of the Transport Councils.
One thing that we would really like to see is cooperation to resolve the issues in Klang, especially relating to Klang Sentral.]
What steps do you want to see SPAD take to improve public transport in Malaysia? Please comment below, send an email to us at email@example.com, or visit our facebook or twitter pages.