As Malaysia pushes an ambitious urban connectivity target, one township stands out as a model for integrated land public transport (LPT) that also promotes sustainable urban mobility: Bandar Sunway.
Rail-Bus & Last Mile Connectivity
The township counts access to two train services — the Port Klang KTM Line via the Setia Jaya station and the Kelana Jaya LRT Line via the USJ 7 station. It also counts the first battery-powered electric bus service and Malaysia’s first dockless smart bike share system launched by oBike last month.
Electric Bus Transit
The Sunway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which connects residents to both train stations, uses fully electric buses made by China’s BYD Company Ltd, of which the first batch of 15 was delivered in 2015. BYD previously said the service, covering a 5.4-kilometre route, will benefit 500,000 residents across Bandar Sunway and neighbouring UEP Subang Jaya (USJ).
Meantime, oBike’s system offers added convenience — users do not need to return oBike’s bicycles to specific docking stations after use. The company uses a smart-lock system that is tracked via GPS and unlocks with a user’s smartphone.
Bike & Ride
Otherwise, Bandar Sunway residents may park their personal bicycles at the USJ 7 station, which like most other stations along the Kelana Jaya line provides bicycle racks for storage in-between commutes.
Those who use foldable bicycles are also allowed to bring them onto Prasarana’s trains and buses subject to specific size and other requirements, according to Prasarana’s guidelines.
Among others, the foldable bicycles must be no bigger than 180cm by 120cm when folded; not cause inconvenience to other passengers; and limited to one unit per passenger.
Towards Car-Lite Sustainable Urban Mobility
The township sets a commendable benchmark as Prasarana pushes on with its 2030 target of getting 80% of urban dwellers to live within 400 metres of a reliable LPT service.
Accomplishing this target will be challenging for Prasarana. While building new transit-oriented developments (TODs) will be crucial in this drive, this is unlikely to suffice.
This means it would have to look at expanding LPT connectivity and providing alternative mode of green mobility to existing urban population centres as it plans upcoming MRT and LRT lines. Bandar Sunway provides a shining example of how such connectivity might be accomplished.
Last month, Prasarana had already signalled one way forward in this respect by its realignment of RapidKL Bus Route 402. The realignment connects riders with two train stations in addition to the Kuala Lumpur Health Clinic.
Such measures, alongside bigger public projects such as MRT and LRT lines, mean replicating Bandar Sunway’s exemplary urban connectivity is very much doable across the rest of the country.
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