This blog post is written by a non-TRANSIT member, but we’ve asked for Aliff’s permission to re-post this on our website, considering the recent RapidKL termination announcement of bus routes by December. This was taken from the Malaysia Land Public Transport Fans group on Facebook. We don’t necessarily agree with all of his points, but we agree on the points where RapidKL has examples to follow rather than terminating bus routes completely.)
The main point of this post is the fact that SPAD and RapidKL has consistently failed to adopt a network approach to planning bus networks – that is to say, how do we create a bus network that covers a broad area while catering to all passengers who use the transport system at different times of the day, and for different purposes/destinations. However, due to the disjointed nature of the Klang Valley bus system, coordination between bus routes to provide a frequent service is non-existent, resulting in poor passenger satisfaction.
In less than a month, I saw a lot of routes by rapidKL were terminated, especially to the places where connection is impossible. When Allan asked rapidKL about why a lot of routes were terminated, the answer is simple… lack of pax due to OVERLAPPING routes. Totally don’t agree with this. Why?
Before we head to something else, lets review why SPAD introduced Bus Network Revamp in 2015. First of all, the primary objective of bus revamp is to provide better connection. Secondly, to provide better frequency on certain parts of the spots e.g. Metro Prima Kepong, Jalan Sentul, Mid Valley. For this, we highlight on the second objective on how the better frequency works. The answer to the better bus frequency is how they manage BUS TIMINGS on OVERLAPPING routes.
Let’s take Selangor Omnibus as an example, which has relatively 5 overlapping routes on Kotaraya-Metro Prima stretch. A lot of riderships were pointed at some intermediate points e.g. Metro Prima Kepong, Sungai Mas and not at the final destinations e.g. Damansara Damai, Desa Amanpuri, so they didn’t have a proper schedule, instead having schedules arranged by the timing checker for departures every 15 minutes for every bus, even if the destinations were different from others to maintain better frequencies at the highest intermediate point of riderships. Unlike RapidKL, which also have a lot of overlapping points e.g. Jalan Sentul, Mid Valley, the timings were only set to permanent departures at start and end point for each routes, thus unable for maintaining shorter headways on overlapping points and led to bus bunching.
That is why (in Singapore), the Land Transport Authority had introduced Bus Service Reliability Framework in 2014 to avoid bus bunching and improve frequencies on certain points. Terminating or shorten some overlapping routes will cause inconvenience to some point of the routes e.g. 852, not just a lot of people lost connections to the destinations, thus also led to more longer frequencies on the independent routes due to lack of buses.
That is why SPAD introduced BNR in 2015, but rapidKL bus service never had to learn more deeper into BNR objectives (sorry to say that).