- Update: TRANSIT has learned that the Penang Government will provide subsidy to CityLiner!
- Update: TRANSIT has learned that CityLiner bus services will operate until the end of November, and that CityLiner is in talks with the Penang Government to resolve the issues facing their operations in the state!
TRANSIT has learned that Konsortium Transnasional Berhad will stop CityLiner stage bus services in Sebarang Prai on 21 November 2011 – this coming Monday.
We urge public transport users in Sebarang Prai who rely on CityLiner bus routes to make alternative transport plans immediately – so that they are prepared if and when the shut down takes place.
And since SPAD has already been caught flat-footed by the shutdown of CityLiner bus services in Negri Sembilan, as well as the threatened shutdowns in Kedah, problems in Perak, Melaka and Kelantan, and other issues … well, we do not see any solutions coming anytime soon.
The public transport industry has been in pain for a long time. Sadly, while the government has changed from two ineffective “doctors” (CVLB & Department of Railways) to one unproven “doctor” (SPAD), they have done very little to alleviate the pain.
Sure, this new “doctor” has lots of wonderful plans for the public transport industry, but like many of the young among us, this “doctor” is more interested in the urban lifestyle (KL & the Klang Valley), and in the flashy & fancy solutions (LRT, MRT) rather than the reliable and effective medicine (realistic solutions).
To borrow another analogy, SPAD is pumping the public transport industry full of steroids to make it look big & strong, instead of cutting the fat & improving fitness, to make the industry lean, mean, and healthy.
Ok, enough with the analogies. The article is after the jump:
Cityliner calls it quits after 10 years of losses (The Star)
18 November 2011
GEORGE TOWN: After 10 years of losses, Konsortium Transnasional Bhd (KTB) is also throwing in the towel in the mainland.
KTB gave the state government a 10-day notice that its Cityliner buses would cease to operate from Nov 21.
[TRANSIT: One thing we are trying to figure out – why give state governments notice? What efforts have state governments made to participate in the public transport industry, solve solutions proactively, and demand support from SPAD?]
“Among the reason given was that most of the routes are not profitable because of competition from other operators,” said Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow yesterday.
“The company is also expecting to post a loss of RM4mil from its mainland operations alone,” he said.
Chow said KTB had proposed that it be appointed a sub-contractor to Rapid Penang and be paid a fixed per kilometre sum in exchange for all collected fares which would be forwarded to Rapid Penang.
“The KTB management also proposed that the state government take over the routes and contract it back to them, also on a fixed per kilometre sum.”
[TRANSIT: SPAD’s recently introduced Bus Transformation Plan calls for the implementation of Gross-cost contracts, where the government or quasi-government authority owns the routes & contracts them out to a private operator. But right now the state government has no control over the routes and no active interest in public transport – so how will they be able to take over the routes?
We do not need piecemeal solutions. SPAD needs to step forward with policy & direction!]
In ALOR SETAR, state Environment, Chinese Community Affairs and Transport Committee chairman Tan Joo Long @ Tan Chow Kang said he had received a letter from a bus company stating its intention to cease operations.
“I am in the midst of the state assembly sitting and have yet to study the contents of the letter. I will only issue a statement next week after finding out more,” he said.
[TRANSIT: Next week might be too late! This is a crisis, Mr. Tan. Time to get things moving forward!]
In IPOH, the Perak Government plans to extend its subsidies to more bus operators in various districts to avoid any disruption to bus services.
[TRANSIT: It’s a necessary short-term solution, but the only long-term solution that will work is new policy direction from SPAD!]
State executive councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said the state government would be holding dialogues with bus operators in Kerian, Larut Matang and Selama, and Kuala Kangsar to find out how it could help the operators.
“I understand that the public transportation industry is running at a loss daily.
“It is a long-standing problem faced by the operators and we are trying our best to help them,” Dr Mah told The Star yesterday.
The state government, he revealed, was currently subsidising about RM72,000 monthly to maintain bus operations in Manjung.
At the beginning of this week we were reading of SPAD’s Bus Transformation Plan, and we were interested in the proposals but concerned about implementation. Now, we are completely confused, upset, disappointed, shocked, worried, and feeling various other feelings.
They say that there are a number of necessary steps to resolving a problem. First, you have to accept that you have a problem. Then, you have to identify your weaknesses that allow this problem to affect you. Then you must take control back, step by step.
We haven’t been able to get out of step 1 yet!