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How do we resolve parking and congestion problems in the city centre? By building better alternatives to driving (Update #1)

The worst cities in the world for parking, according to IBM. Image & data courtesy of IBM.

Our original post:

For 5 years and in fact, many more, the members of TRANSIT have been talking about improving public transportation to bring flexibility to our communities.

We recognize the importance of the car, but unlike others, we recognize that our communities do not have to be totally dependent on the car as our only means of getting around.

That is why we at TRANSIT have continuously called for better, more reliable public transport – buses, trains and LRT – to give the public reliable alternatives.

The problem is that the focus of the government and authorities has been on building more LRT or MRT. Yet they forget that a majority of public transport users get to KL via buses – and the fastest, easiest way to get more people to use public transport is to make buses more reliable, faster, and more efficient.

This would encourage the public to use public transport, rather than attempting to drive into the city – creating unnecessary pressure on our roads, an artificial shortage of parking spaces, and a pointless and wasteful use of precious space in our city centre for the storage of cars.

Parking blues in city centre (NST)
24 February 2012
By Bhavani Krishna Iyer

CONVENIENT and affordable parking is welcome in any city and, in this respect, Kuala Lumpur fails us miserably.

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International Competition for Development of Sg. Besi Airbase – Let’s do it right and make it public transport friendly!

TRANSIT took note of this article which announces that the Development of Sg. Besi airbase is moving forward with an invitation for proposals for the Malaysia City development.

Most of the project will be used for a mix of commercial and lifestyle amenities. Planners have been invited to participate in a pre-qualification & competition with information at

Proposals invited for Malaysia City (The Star, 21 October 2011)

PETALING JAYA: Proposals have been invited for the main plan design of Malaysia City, a development at the former Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) air base in Sungei Besi.

The proposal to take part in the pre-qualification of the main plan must be sent to the Malaysian Institute of Planners office in Plaza Kelana Jaya before 4pm on Nov 15.

The main developer for the 196ha site is 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Malaysia City is envisioned to become a new landmark within Greater Kuala Lumpur. It will include a commercial area, residences and lifestyle amenities.

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RapidKL adds 150 buses to boost frequency

TRANSIT took note of another piece of good news related to public transport – the announcement of 150 new buses for RapidKL.

Hazlan Mohamed Hussain at the launch Monday. - Bernama pic

RapidKL adds buses to boost frequency (Business Times, 20 September 2011)

Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd (RapidKL), a public transportation provider, expects the addition of 150 city buses to its service to increase service efficiency in the Klang Valley.

RapidKL is a subsidiary of government-owned, Syarikat Prasarana Negara
Berhad (Prasarana).

Group director of bus division Datuk Hazlan Mohamed Hussain said the
addition of the new buses would increase the frequency on routes, thus reducing waiting time for passengers.

“The new buses will be of much help, especially in areas where the waiting
time can be reduced,” he told reporters after a ceremony hand over the buses
by MAN Truck & Buses (M) Sdn Bhd (MTBM), here today.

Hazlan said with improved efficiency, the company hopes to attract more
customers to use its services and this would raise revenue accordingly.

The new MAN buses are disabled-friendly. Image courtesy of Bernama.

Meanwhile, the new buses, manufactured by MTBM, incorporate features for the disabled, including wheelchair ramps and a yellow coloured interior, for those who has vision problems. — Bernama


That’s good news, isn’t it? More new buses is always good news. We hope that Prasarana would be forthcoming with some details about the buses – technical details for the bus fans, route information for the planners, and design information for those of us who are interested in policy.

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Updates #97

Updates #97

1. Article:  Flaming bus at depot (The Malay Mail, 2 August 2011) – A bus parked at its depot in Segambut unexpectedly burst into flames yesterday afternoon, shortly after the driver had finished his shift.

INFERNO: Black smoke billowing from the blazing vehicle. Image courtesy of The Malay Mail.

2. Article: New air-conditioned bus stop opens its door in Zest Point @ Kinrara 9 (The Star, 30 July 2011)

Fostering communities: Trinity Group claims to have built the first air-conditioned bus stop in Malaysia at the Trinity-owned Zest Point @ Kinrara 9. Image courtesy of The Star.

[TRANSIT: As far as we recall, this may not be the first air-conditioned bus stop in Malaysia (there was one built in Malacca) but at least it is the first in the Klang Valley]

3. Article: RapidKL service from KL Sentral to BU not efficient, say passengers (The Star, 1 August 2011)

4. Long wait for bus home (Malay Mail, 1 August 2011)

5. Article: Four LRT stations are now disabled-friendly (The Star, 1 August 2011)

6. Article: Operator yet to relocate buses (NST, 31 July 2011) – A group of business operators in Bukit Indah, JB, are upset that Handal Indah Sdn Bhd, which runs the fleet of Causeway Link stage buses, has yet to relocate its buses from Jalan Indah 15/3 despite the issue being highlighted 8 months ago.

Two Causeway Link buses parked on a stretch of road in Bukit Indah recently. — Picture by Chuah Bee Kim / NST

7. Letter: Cabbies have only themselves to blame (The Star, 1 August 2011) – Frustrated cab user of Ampang writes that cabbies should accept that their actions are the reason a coupon system exists.

8. Commentary: It’s possible to solve traffic woes (NST, 1 August 2011) – Fazlene Aziz comments on traffic solutions for the Klang Valley, arguing that while parking solutions may help a bit, improved public transport is the real solution.

[TRANSIT: On a lighter note, perhaps our KL Mayor and FT Minister can learn a bit of teaching lesson to rectify reckless parking behaviors from the mayor of the city of Vilnius (Lithuania), in which he ran a tank over an illegally parked luxury car. Oh wait, we don’t even have a bicycle lane in downtown KL!

9. Article: Thousands of cheap tickets on ETS till year end (The Star, 2 August 2011) – ETS Sdn. Bhd. is allocating 64,800 “koc 1 Rakyat” seats at a lower price (RM16) for grabs until the end of the year for the Ipoh – Kuala Lumpur Sentral route. Apparently there will be 30 seats per train priced at the lower rate.

10. Commentary: Spare a thought for the disabled (NST, 2 August 2011) – Nuradzimmah Daim comments on accessibility issues.

11. Letter: Towards better taxi service (The Malay Mail 3 August 2011) – YS Chan of KL comments on the taxi issue.

12. Article: ‘Avoid touts for a hassle-free trip’ (NST, 29 July 2011) – The first of the Ramadan Balik Kampung warnings.

13. Article: Flats residents in Sungai Besi want a bus stop shelter (The Star, 6 August 2011)

14. Letter: Build MRT in a cost-effective way (The Star, 6 August 2011) – Rail Mad of Bandar Utama wonders why so much land needs to be acquired in Jalan Sultan for an underground MRT station.

15. Article: Raya bus, train ticket nearly sold out (NST, 6 August 2011)

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Melaka tram project to “go legit”?

Some of our readers may have heard of the phrase “to go legit'” (legitimate).

One might think that the phrase “to go legit” refers to when criminal concerns (you know, mafia, gangsters, politicians) attempt to exit their life of “crime” and find legitimate ways to earn money. In some cases, to “go legit” actually refers to the laundering of money – investing the proceeds of criminal activity into non-criminal activity, in the hope of increasing the value of their wealth.

In this particular case we use the phrase “go legit” because it nicely describes the new attempt to help the questionable Melaka Tram project to find some sort of resolution with SPAD, within the confines of Malaysian Law.

Those who have followed our website know we have expressed our admiration for the enthusiasm of Melaka Chief Minister Mohd. Ali Rustam, but questioned his advisers for giving him poor advice on public transport.

The succession of incomplete or ineffective public transport “solutions” (like the monorail and the Aerorail) mooted by the CM have not inspired confidence. But TRANSIT has seen the improvements (even though we have serious questions about the Melaka Tram).

And so we wonder if Ali Rustam & Melaka public transport are “gonna make it” and that it “might work out fine this time.”

[TRANSIT: In case you were wondering, the quotes above refer to lyrics from a song, All Right by Christoper Cross]

Rail transport to ease congestion (The Star)
Thursday July 21, 2011
MALACCA: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has proposed a rail link to address the state’s infamous traffic congestion.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said a high volume of vehicles entering the city contributed to the bottleneck in the tourist city.

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MRT Update: MRT Logo design contest from 3 July – 3 August 2011 (Update #1)

Update: Apparently there are now more than 200 logos entered into the MRT Logo Design contest!

With the launching of the Sg. Buloh – Kajang MRT project now 4 days away, TRANSIT took note of the following information:

A logo contest has been announced for the design of the MRT logo.

More information, including designs already submitted, can be seen here.

Contest Info (from

Design A MRT Logo

Now you can be part of the history. Read more about the MRT on or
follow us on and design a logo for the MRT that you think will express
what MRT will stand for. You are free to choose style and concepts. But don’t forget to write a rationale for
your logo in not more than 140 characters.


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Occasional closure of ‘shortcut’ bridge at Ampang LRT station generates complaints

TRANSIT took note of this interesting hotline story sharing passenger complaints about the availability of the ‘shortcut’ bridge at Ampang LRT station.

The retractable ‘shortcut’ bridge is used to connect the concourse area of the Ampang LRT station to the ‘island’ platform. As such it passes over a section of live track (referred to as Track 2). When the bridge is retracted, customers must climb the stairs to access the platform as there are no lifts or escalators at Ampang LRT station.

Since service on the Ampang line spur is relatively infrequent (6 minutes between trains during peak hours, 14 minutes daytime, and 18 minutes off peak), the ‘shortcut’ is usually available. However, in some cases trains are parked on track 2 and occasionally, active trains are using track 2.

‘Shortcut’ woes at Ampang LRT (Malay Mail)

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

CLOSED: The bridge being pulled back to allow train to be 'parked'. Image courtesy of The Malay Mail.

WITH the increasing clamour for public transport facilities to be made more user-friendly, especially for the disabled, elderly and pregnant women among others, we find, once again, such a facility apparently doing the opposite.

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Updates #88 – our most prosperous update ever!

Updates #88 – our most prosperous update ever

1. Article: Lounge around in a Rapid bus (The Star, 3 June 2011) – RapidPenang introduces RapidMobile, a “lounge” with a Blaupunkt Stereo system.

State-of-the-art sound system: Blaupunkt logistics and regional distribution director Hafiz Abidin showing Sandhu the functions and features of the company's New York 800 mobile entertainment system which has been installed in Rapid Mobile. Image courtesy of The Star.

[TRANSIT: You have to admire their creativity.]

2. Article: CURTAINS DOWN (NST 31 May 2011) – an update on the upcoming closure (at the end of June 2011) of KTM railway stations at Tg. Pagar and Bukit Timah in Singapore – with two excellent photos!

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Finally some rapid mobiliti – thanks in part to a public transport hero

TRANSIT took note of  two very interesting articles in the Malay Mail detailing initiatives by Prasarana to improve bus service for the OKU community and improve their access to society.

TRANSIT believes that these efforts by Prasarana deserve mention, especially because of the dedication of one particular Prasarana team member – a true Malaysian public transport hero. But before we get to that, let us give you some background on the first article.

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Should we just make public transport ‘free’ and be done with it?

TRANSIT took note of this interesting commentary by Jema Khan, in the Malaysian Insider, which argues that if we should accept a government-run public transport system (specifically, one run by Prasarana) then public transport services should be free to all users.

This is a variation on the “free public transport” movement which is found in cities worldwide.

The basic argument for “free” public transport goes like this: Public transport, like all forms of transport, is a public good. Having good transport systems benefit the economy, so the government should invest in public transport just as they invest in private transport – paying for it with tax dollars and making the services “free” to users.

The public pays taxes and in return they get “free” access to roads. But unlike roads, public transport users have to pay user fees. And one can argue that making public transport free (like the roads) would encourage greater use of public transport which would be far better for the economy (greater mobility etc.)

But don’t take our word for it – check out the commentary below:

Free public transport, please (The Malaysian Insider)
April 25, 2011

APRIL 25 — The traffic woes that we all have to go through in Kuala Lumpur are clearly a result of poor public transport. An article dated April 23, written by Dr Sabariah Jemali entitled “The Rail Truth”, provides some insight on our current plight where according to her only 17 per cent or 1.24 million trips a day are taken on public transport whereas around six million trips a day are done on private transport.