TRANSIT took note of this article recently which updated us on the Land Public Transport Commission’s plans to deal with touting activities at Puduraya Bus Terminal.
Apparently SPAD will be taking a bold approach to dealing with touts and their activities – but we have to wonder why they did not give notice by taking action at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, where the networks are not as strongly entrenched.
Days numbered for Puduraya touts (Malay Mail)
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
[TRANSIT: We’re confused – is one of those people with SPAD?]
KUALA LUMPUR: Mention Puduraya and ticket touts automatically come to mind. However, that may be a thing of the past as the authorities want to stamp them out.
With the refurbished Puduraya bus terminal scheduled to re-open on April 16, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and enforcement agencies will be out in full force to nab bus ticket scalpers.
[TRANSIT: Don’t just tell us about the kickoff campaign – tell us about the permanent SPAD desk at Puduraya where people can go to complain, as well as the undercover staff who will be moving around]
SPAD’s enforcement and training general manager, Mej-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Paduka Che Hasni Che Ahmad told The Malay Mail the commission would conduct operations at Puduraya regularly so the touts would no longer be able to operate.
[TRANSIT: Not regularly – operations should be on an irregular basis, so the touts have no chance to expect anything. And as we said above, there needs to be a permanent presence at all the major terminals.]
“We will be teaming up with the police, Road Transport Department (RTD) and KL City Hall (DBKL) to curb the tout menace in and around Puduraya. This time, we mean business.”
[TRANSIT: Does that mean that all of the other times, you did not mean business? Look, we like tough talk as much as anyone else, but we want to see a plan for action, and real action taking place – not just bravado.]
He said the officers would also keep on eye on the other hotspots for touts at the Jalan Pudu shophouses and in the vicinity of the nearby Maybank tower.
“Puduraya has a long history of touts and we will be coming down hard on them not just within the compounds of public transport facilities.
Our jurisdiction goes beyond that, be it by the roadside, alleyway or shoplot pavements.
“We are empowered to do this under Section 205 of the SPAD Act 2010.”
Che Hasni said SPAD had detained a number of touts since the full inception of the commission on Feb 1 this year.
“Last week, at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, our men, equipped with video-recording equipment for compiling evidence, detained a well-dressed tout who coerced passengers to buy shuttle bus service tickets to the city. That is prohibited as passengers are only allowed to purchase tickets at the counter.
“You’ll be surprised to see that touts nowadays are not shoddy, like before. Recently, at both LCCT and the Bandar Tasik Selatan Integrated Transport Terminal and Bukit Jalil temporary terminal, we nabbed several touts who were properly attired. Some even wore uniforms, representing some bus operator.”
[TRANSIT: NO, we are not surprised and neither should you be. Please Che Hasni, do not tell the public stories about how creative the touts are. Tell us stories of how creative & effective your enforcement officers are.]
Those who were detained were issued with show-cause letters.
“They have to reply within 14 days and if their answer is not satisfactory or if there is no reply, they will be brought to court, including the bus companies if they are involved.”
Those found guilty could be slapped a fine of up to RM50,000 and/or five years imprisonment.
We have been waiting for this article for a long time – it is interesting and important because we wanted to know more about SPAD’s plan for enforcement officers and their deployment.
At the end of this article we know little more than we did before except that SPAD enforcement officers will be wearing a nice reflective vest and they are able (and willing) to enforce the laws and exercise their authority outside of public transport terminals.
Now this in itself is very important – it will mean a visible presence of SPAD enforcement officers, which will reduce touting activities and increase the confidence of the public.
As we have said before, SPAD also needs to reach out to the public and encourage immediate complaints and feedback – so they can resolve small problems quickly before they become huge. For example dealing with one tout early on may help prevent the arrival of a touting network and other related organized activities. In addition, a SPAD counter would be a resource & place for information.
TRANSIT is currently disappointed that we know little more about SPAD’s plans for the deployment of their enforcement officers, how many they have etc. Yes, they will be bold, but will they be effective? It’s hard to gauge and comment without knowing the plan.
But if we look at Bandar Tasik Selatan, we can get an idea of whether SPAD’s actions are making a difference. And so far, we are getting the message that SPAD is coming to the terminal too late – they should have established a new, visible and permanent presence there before the bus and taxi operators got there.
We can only hope that SPAD will learn from their mistakes at Bandar Tasik Selatan and establish the right presence at Puduraya, in a timely and effective fashion.