Categories
Comments on Government Feedback First Review Information News & Events RapidKL Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Facilities Transit Infrastructure Transit-Oriented Development Universal Design

Malacca government steps forward on public transport with RM7.7mil compensation and takeover plan. Will they learn from RapidKL? (Update #1)

Update #1: Updated with more letters & articles

TRANSIT took note of the following interesting news – the Malacca state government is stepping forward with plans to compensate 10 existing public transport operators in the state with RM7.7 million, with a plan to for state-owned operator Panorama to take over the operations from the private operators on February 1st of this year.

New Panorama Melaka midi-bus. Image courtesy of Jom Naik Bas!

The takeover proposal appears to forestall the warnings from the Malacca Omnibus Operators Association that they would be forced to stop services on February 1st.

Malacca to give RM7.7mil compensation to ailing omnibus operators (The Star)

26 January 2012

MALACCA: Malacca’s ailing omnibus operators will get RM7.7mil in compensation from the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam also announced Thursday that the state-owned agency, PMTC, would fully take over the stage bus operations from Feb 1 while the current dilapidated buses used by ten operators would be replaced in stages.

The memorandum of understanding between the state government and Malacca Omnibus operators was signed at Dewan Seri Negeri.

TRANSIT Says:

So, the state government is paying RM7.7 million to buy old buses from these bus operators, which they will then turn around and use on the existing public transport routes while the buses are replaced over time.

That basically sounds to us like the process by which Intrakota and later RapidKL were created – pay good public money to buy up near worthless private assets, buy new bus chassis at an inflated cost with a ‘too-short’ timeline, leading to:

  • contracts for Malaysian bus assemblers;
  • a need to purchase new buses in a few years;
  • public complaints about the loss of competition.

Hopefully, the Malacca government and SPAD will have learned from the mistakes made by RapidKL & Prasarana in the past. One wise step to take would be to take the purchase of new buses out of the hands of Panorama Melaka Cultural & Tourism (and the state government) and put the purchase in the hands of national infrastructure company, Prasarana.

Why? Because first of all, Prasarana knows what buses to buy, thanks to their 5 extra years experience in purchasing buses. Second, Prasarana is the national infrastructure company, with the right financial backing to get the buses at a great price. Third, it is best to keep the purchase of buses neutral and focused on the improvements, not potential opportunities.

TRANSIT also believes that the Malacca Government needs to develop a concise and effective public transport plan that builds on the major corridors that need to be served – namely the existing Malacca town buses, Malacca – Ayer Keroh route (including the proposed Malacca Tram), and the intercity services connecting Malacca town to Alor Gajah and Tampin (where it can link to KTM train services including possible future ETS.

From the article, there is more info to come. In the meantime, take a look at the articles after the jump, which detail the situation in Malacca and the way that the plan came together.

Categories
Comments on Government Feedback Information Kenderaan Transnasional Bhd News & Events SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation

No bus for you Kelantan! Well, 11 fewer buses than before!

TRANSIT took note of more news of more CityLiner bus services shutting down.

This time, 11 bus routes in Kelantan have stopped operating, as discussions between CityLiner and the state government which began in November 2011 were not able to reach a solution – despite the state government’s offer of RM400,000 over 4 months.

Cityliner to cut 11 routes in Kelantan (NST)

14 January 2012

KOTA BARU: Thousands of commuters will be affected when Cityliner stops its stage bus service in 11 of the 17 routes it operates in the state beginning today.

A spokesman for the company said it was taking the action after a series of discussions with the state government failed to find a solution to help the company.

Categories
Bicycle Bus Rapid Transit Comments on Government Comments on Planning Community Shuttle Bus Commuter Train (EMU) Express Bus (Intra-Urban) Feedback Information KTM Electric Train Service KTM Komuter (Klang Valley) Local Councils Mass Transit (LRT/MRT/METRO) Monorail News & Events Pedestrian RapidKL RapidPenang Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Taxi Tram TRANSIT - Commentary Transit Demand Transit Facilities Transit Infrastructure Transit Operators

‘Solutions’ to public transport problems focusing on the bus industry, not public transport users

By now everyone should be aware that a major crisis is taking place in the bus industry.

The shut down of CityLiner bus services throughout was the major ‘tipping pint’ in a series of crises [TRANSIT: refer to our “No Bus for You” series of posts] that showed the precarious state of public transport and the bus industry – and made it clear that SPAD has lost the plot by focusing on the MRT project rather than revamping & transforming public transport.

The nation-wide collapse of bus services are continuing, despite the recent announcement that the Malaysian Government has approved an RM400mn fund for public transport operators. Applications for this fund began earlier this week and SPAD intends to release the first Rm100mn as soon as possible.

TRANSIT notes that the government is stepping in with the financial aid to bus operators. We also note that Prasarana-RapidKL have talked about improving cooperation (actually, we should say “starting” cooperation) with private bus operators to reduce wasteful competition on different routes. At the same time, taxi drivers and other bus companies are benefiting from the lack of competition in the Klang area since CityLiner shut down bus services, affecting thousands of public transport users.

However, we need the government, SPAD and Prasarana-RapidKL to acknowledge that their “solutions” are not holistic and not sustainable. The problem is that they are focusing on short-term solutions for the crisis, not long-term solutions that will make public transport work, sustainably and effectively, and most importantly, meet the needs of public transport users.

And this, ladies & gentlemen, is the biggest problem. Everyone talks about fixing public transport but all the solutions that are put forward focus on the bus industry, rather than the public transport service. What’s worse is that the ‘solutions’ still fail to consider the needs of the public transport users.

Read about TRANSIT’s take on the issues and a proposed action plan after the jump!

Categories
Bus Rapid Transit Comments on Government Comments on Planning Community Shuttle Bus Commuter Train (EMU) Feedback Information Local Councils Mass Transit (LRT/MRT/METRO) Mass Transit Proposals Monorail News & Events Pedestrian Planning SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Taxi TRANSIT For All Transit Operators Transit Support Systems Updates

TRANSIT says goodbye to 2011 and wishes everyone a happy 2012

The year 2011 has been quite tumultuous for public transport and indeed, for many people in many places throughout the world.

Specifically to public transport, we in Malaysia have seen a number of major changes.

Categories
Chartered/Tour Bus Comments on Government Comments on Planning Community Shuttle Bus Feedback Information JPJ / RTD LPKP / CVLB Planning SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Taxi

SPAD has new permit system on the way … re-register by 31 December 2011 or the party is over.

TRANSIT took note of the following article, which is a final update on the permit re-registration process that SPAD has undertaken in Peninsular Malaysia since the beginning of April 2011.

The window for the permit re-registration was from April until 30 September 2011, but many people did not re-register in time.

SPAD is now saying that all permits that have not been re-registered with SPAD as of 31 December 2011 will be revoked (hopefully as of 1 January 2012).

Register or lose licence, warns SPAD (The Star)
15 December 2011

By WANI MUTHIAH
wani@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: The licences of public and commercial vehicles which have not been re-registered with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) by Dec 31 will be revoked.

SPAD chief operating officer Azahar Ahmad said the owners and operators of the vehicles will then have to re-apply all over again.

Categories
Comments on Planning Community Shuttle Bus Feedback Information Local Councils LPKP / CVLB Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stakeholders' Participation Taxi Transit Facilities

Move forwards, not backwards to solve our public transport crisis (Update #1)

Update: Azmi Sharom wants you to buzz your rep on the bus issue!

TRANSIT has taken note of the following letters in the newspapers regarding the public transport crisis – suggesting that the crisis could be resolved with the introduction of van services and owner-operated minibuses.

While TRANSIT appreciates the suggestions, and appreciate that vans and minibuses still have a role in our public transport mix, we do not believe that vans and minibuses by themselves are an effective solution for our public transport problems. Unregulated vans & minibuses cannot replace stage buses, have created problems in the past (and will likely create more problems in the future), and do not resolve the fundamental problems in the industry – a lack of organization & leadership.

The articles (in full) and comments from TRANSIT can be found after the jump…

Categories
Comments on Government Feedback Monorail News & Events Planning Transit Facilities

Melaka monorail downtime is not a joke

TRANSIT took note of a few interesting articles from down in Malacca, where the Chief Minister appears to be making light of the embarrassing situation with the troublesome monorail.

TRANSIT is disappointed that the CM is not taking the problems of the monorail seriously. His suggestions that tourists are interested in coming to Malacca to see the broken down monorail are insulting and show a lack of respect for taxpayer money, which has been invested into this project.

At the same time, (or should we say, to make things worse) the CM is talking about expanding the monorail to provide service along Jalan Tun Ali in the backside area of Jalan Hang Tuah, the attempted new town centre / institutional zone for the city.

CM sees lighter side of Malacca monorail controversy (The Star)
Tuesday December 13, 2011
By R.S.N. MURALI

MALACCA: Despite the endless glitches that has struck the Malacca Tourist Monorail, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said there is a bright side to the issue.

“I know many quarters have criticised the monorail service due to the glitches but we are optimistic it will gain popularity once the flaws have been rectified.

“It has gained fame thanks to the media reports about the earlier problems,” he said, when officiating at the ground-breaking of the second phase of the service at Jalan Tun Mutahir here yesterday.

[TRANSIT: It has been said that there is no such thing as bad publicity … but that’s not quite true.]

Mohd Ali said the service had malfunctioned 27 times since its launch in October last year.

On the right track: Models posing next to a replica of the new Malacca Tourist Monorail coach that will begin services once the second phase has been completed in February 2013. Image courtesy of The Star.


“We almost made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for encountering countless breakdowns,” he quipped.

Categories
Comments on Government Comments on Planning Complaints - Bus Services Feedback Information Kenderaan Transnasional Bhd News & Events RapidKL Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Facilities

No bus for you reaches Selangor … again! (Update #4)

TRANSIT took note of more bad news in the public transport industry – another shutdown of bus services in Selangor.

Yes, you may not realize it but the “No Bus For You!” crisis that is affecting our public transport industry has already reached Selangor … and Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, and Pahang. So this would not be the first time!

Earlier this year, Sabak Bernam and Kuala Selangor lost their bus service but no one really noticed … except perhaps the people at TRANSIT and some in the media (and they moved on pretty quickly, as they are apt to do).

But now, the most recent crisis that has been popping up all over the country, caused by CityLiner’s threats to shut down bus services in various states, is suddenly getting the attention of the public.

Cityliner wants govt ‘lifeline’ (The Star)
Tuesday December 13, 2011
By WANI MUTHIAH and JOSEPH KAOS Jr
newsdesk@thestar.com

[TRANSIT: Please help us out by sending comments to the Star using their email address, editor@thestar.com.my or metro@thestar.com.my. You can also consider sending messages through their facebook & twitter feeds. The message has to get out that the public is frustrated!]

Categories
Comments on Government Comments on Planning Community Shuttle Bus Express Bus (Intra-Urban) Feedback Information Kenderaan Transnasional Bhd Local Councils News & Events Planning RapidPenang Safety, Health and Environment Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Facilities

CityLiner to receive operations subsidy from Penang Government

TRANSIT took note of this article which states that the Penang Government will provide an operational subsidy of RM140,000 per month to bus operator CityLiner to continue operating bus services in Sebarang Prai until May 2012.

This came after the bus companies operating under the CityLiner brand threatened to stop bus operations in Sebarang Prai as of November 21st, because the operations had become unsustainable due to low revenues and higher costs. This came as part of a shutdown in multiple states that has provided major inconvenience for public transport users throughout Peninsular Malaysia.

CityLiner is the stage bus brand of Konsortium Transnasional Berhad (KTB), which is Malaysia’s largest bus operator.

Cityliner gets subsidy to keep it going (The Star)
Saturday December 10, 2011

BUTTERWORTH: Cityliner buses will continue to provide services on the Penang mainland at least until May next year.

The Penang Government will provide a RM140,000 subsidy per month to Konsortium Transnasional Berhad (KTB) for six months to help the company maintain the Cityliner service.

State Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the state had accepted the subsidy proposal by KTB as a short-term remedy for the company to continue providing the bus service.

Categories
Comments on Government Comments on Planning Feedback Information Kenderaan Transnasional Bhd Local Councils News & Events Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Demand Transit Facilities

No bus for you Kedah – even if your government was willing to meet…

TRANSIT took note of this article in the Star which gives a further update on the shut down of CityLiner bus services in Kedah & Pahang.

Both state governments have commented that they implored the bus companies to keep operating, but were not able to get the guarantees that they needed.

This situation makes it more and more clear that the public transport system is starting to break down – as both state government and SPAD are unable to exercise any authority or provide timely solutions to resolve the issues.

Of course, this is not to blame the state governments or SPAD – but the fact is, they were warned early on. And speaking of warning, TRANSIT has been warning the public, the state governments, and SPAD for years that more attention needed to be paid to public transport policy and resolving the problems in the industry.

Kedah Govt willing to meet KTB over bus service (The Star)
December 3, 2011
By EMBUN MAJID
embun@thestar.com.my

ALOR SETAR: The Kedah Govern­ment is willing to discuss with Konsortium Transnasional Bhd (KTB) on the problem of its stage bus service in the state.

State Environment, Chinese Com­munity Affairs and Transport Com­mittee chairman Tan Joo Long @ Tan Chow Kang said it had asked KTB on Nov 20 to postpone its decision to stop its service for at least a month pending a discussion with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Ra­­zak.

However, he said the management refused.