TRANSIT took note of this article which indicates that Cyberview Sdn. Bhd. developer of Cyberjaya, has taken over the Dedicated Transportation Service from RapidKL.
Cyberview has also increased the monthly fares for the DTS service by RM37 (from Rm213 to RM250). In the article, a spokesperson explains the justification, namely higher operating costs. We say that this is the difference between privately handled public transport and publicly handled public transport.
One interesting detail is that the DTS service is now using excursion buses again. This is exactly how the DTS service started out back in 2006. Back then, seeing the excursion buses entering Kelana Jaya LRT station (with a black & white RapidKL logo printed on A4 paper) is what caught our interest.
Now, TRANSIT has always had questions about the DTS, from its quiet inception to the use of RapidKL long-haul buses, to the issues of low demand.
This latest article just shows that again, there is no clear understanding of what kind of public transport service is wanted in Malaysia – but at least we are blundering in the right direction. Now, will the DTS survive the transfer?
Cyberview: Higher bus fare necessary to ensure better service (Star Metro)
Wednesday June 22, 2011
By THO XIN YI
CYBERVIEW Sdn Bhd, which took over the Cyberjaya Dedicated Transportation System (DTS) from RapidKL on June 1, has increased the monthly bus fare from June 1.
The fare has been increased by RM37 from RM213 to RM250.
An audit associate, who wished to be identified as Jela, complained that the buses were not punctual on the first few days of June.
[TRANSIT: First, we increase the fares 17% (justified by a promise of improved service). Then we reduce the quality of services. Cyberview is not off to a good stard – but we hope these are just teething problems]
She usually took the 6.10am bus from Terminal Putra in Gombak to Cyberjaya, but the service were delayed.
“I waited until a bus finally came at 8.10am and reached the office at 9.30am. There were about 40 passengers,” she said.
The 25-year-old said Cyberview should bring down the fare if the service provided continued to deteriorate.
She also added that tour buses were used by the new operator.
In an e-mail reply, Cyberview said the monthly fare had to be increased because of additional operating expenditure and services rolled out in phases. There is also a RM50 refundable deposit.
“The revised fare is essential in ensuring the quality of the service, as we expand and grow.
“We urge our customers to take advantage of the corporate charter services with competitive rates that are available to all companies in Cyberjaya,” it said.
Cyberview said the revamped operations were necessary to provide flexible transporation options for all users in Cyberjaya.
“The Cyberjaya DTS will still cover seven routes (Kepong, Klang North, Klang South, KL Sentral, Terminal Putra at Gombak, Terminal Bersepadu Selatan at Bandar Tasik Selatan and Seremban) with new pick-up and drop-off points,” it said.
“There will be double-decker buses, single-deck buses, coasters and vans that will be deployed according to the number of passengers. They will start to operate in phases and the total makeover is expected to be completed within two months.
[TRANSIT: Already a potential for a mistake – a greater variety of buses appears more efficient on paper but it means that more companies will have to be engaged, which means higher costs. Higher costs means would lead to higher prices, which could drive some customers to…well, to drive.]
The company added that like the previous system, all passengers were required to make online seat reservation for the operator to coordinate fleet deployment in a timely and efficient manner.
It also apologised for the inconveniences caused during this transition period.
“We welcome all feedback and comments to help us improve further,” it said.
For details on the DTS schedule and the new pick-up and drop-off points, visit www.cyberview.com.my/v2/transportation_dts.php.
We have long noted the problems with the Dedicated Transport Service to Cyberjaya from its inception. The 2009 Auditor General’s Report (see our post here) also specifically mentioned Cyberview Sdn. Bhd. and the” inefficient and unecomomic transportation services.”
Our more detailed post, Is the DTS CyberJaya bus service a fair allocation of public transport resources? reflects in more detail our concerns about the service.
This photo shows many RapidKL long haul buses waiting outside the HSBC Offices in Cyberjaya, from an article in The Star in 2009.
We have to wonder why these RapidKL buses are spending all their time in Cyberjaya when there is a clear lacking of available buses for the Klang Valley.
Our concerns about the DTS service were express in our post last year, and we repeat them here:
We have three major concerns with the Dedicated Transport Service to Cyberjaya.
First, we are concerned about a lack of transparency with respect to the Dedicated Transport Service. While we recognize that it is a private service, it is being operated by RapidKL, a company that is indirectly owned by the Ministry of Finance.
We have a serious concern that employees of a government linked company are providing a service for private companies which is not accessible to the general public.
Second, we are concerned that the DTS does not represent an effective use of public transport assets, namely the 53 buses which are used for the service. According to some sources, these buses were purchased exclusively for the DTS, and the special design does bear this out.
However, we are concerned that RapidKL is facing a bus and driver shortage and is unable to provide reasonably frequent service on its public routes. Service frequencies have declined from the promised 5/10/20 in 2006 to 20/30/40 in 2010, and the number of routes have been cut or ‘consolidated’ regularly since 2007 – interestingly, the year when the DTS actually started.
TRANSIT has seen with our own eyes on more than one occasion large numbers (more than 30) of DTS buses sitting at the Cyberjaya Transport Terminal in the daytime – far away from other Klang Valley routes.
Our third concern is that RapidKL is extending itself too far by operating the DTS. As we have said above, RapidKL should be focusing on operating routes in the Klang Valley. It would be far better if a bus operator that focused on the South Klang Valley / Langat Valley took over the operations of the Cyberjaya DTS, allowing RapidKL to focus on making its operations in the Klang Valley more succesful.
At that time, we also proposed that Putrajaya public transport operator Nadi Putra take over the Cyberjaya DTS. While we are glad that RapidKL is no longer involved in the DTS, we have to wonder whether Cyberview Sdn. Bhd. will have the necessary skills to manage a transport operation in the proper manner. Certainly some consultation with bus operators (and the public) will be necessary.
Finally the other big question: what will RapidKL/Prasarana do with the 53 buses that are now available?