Malaysian Public Transportation at the Forefront of Transformation
KUALA LUMPUR, 6 MARCH 2018: The expansion of the Land Public Transport network both in Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley and across Malaysia is on track and continues to make positive impact for Malaysians.
Overall average daily ridership of public transport in Greater Kuala Lumput (Klang Valley) (combination of rail and bus) rose from 1,162,717 trips in 2016 to 1,206,111 in 2017, up by 3.7%.
Urban rail recorded a 7.5% increase in average daily rail ridership, from 645,601 in 2016 to 694,057 in 2017. This can be attributed to the full opening of the 51km MRT Line 1 on July 17, 2017.
Expanding Urban Rail in Klang Valley
Malaysians can look forward to more good news in urban rail connectivity over the next five years with completion of the MRT Line 2 (Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya), the second line of the KVMRT Project. The overall project progress is at 20.65% and is slated for opening in 2022. The 52.2km line consists of 35 stations, 11 of them integrated with other train stations, including the upcoming Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail at the Bandar Malaysia South MRT station. Meanwhile, the MRT 3 (Circle Line) is in tender stage.
By 2021, commuters can benefit from the 37km Bandar Utama-Klang LRT3 Line, which started construction in the second quarter of 2017. The LRT3 features 26 stations, 10 of them offering park and ride facilities for about 6,000 cars. Adding to this connectivity is the KTM Komuter Skypark line which will connect commuters from KL Sentral to Subang SkyPark Terminal (of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport) in just 28 minutes. The 8km line which connects Subang Jaya to the Subang SkyPark Terminal will open to public in the second quarter of 2018.
Once these projects are completed, the urban rail network will increase by 136km, bringing the total mileage to 562km, while adding 91 stations to the existing 176 stations.
Malaysia-Singapore Cross Border Connectivity
Travelling to Singapore will be a hassle-free experience with the upcoming cross-border rail connections.
The KL-Singapore High Speed Rail project which is slated to be completed by 2026 has called for a Project Delivery Partner (PDP) Tender and a Joint International Tender for HSR AssetCo in 2017.
In January 2018, the Government of Malaysia and Singapore signed the bilateral agreement for the RTS project at the Leaders Retreat. Following this, rail operators, Prasarana Malaysia Berhad and SMRT signed an LOA to form a joint venture OpCo to operate the (RTS) Link.
By December 2024, commuters can board a train on the 4km Rapid Transit System (RTS), from Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru to Woodlands North station on the Thomson–East Coast Line (TEL). The RTS Link can carry 10,000 commuters an hour in each direction and will ease congestion in the causeway for thousands of commuters, and tourist alike. As a result of other key infra-rakyat rail projects such as the 700km East Coast Rail Link which will be completed by 2024, rail mileage across the nation will come close to 3,000km, 65% more than what it is now.
Making Buses More Relevant
Besides rail, an integral part of the public transport system is the improved bus network both in GKL/KV and cities across Malaysia. In terms of bus, 300 MRT feeder buses have been added to more than 1,000 stage bus in GKL/KV under the bus service enhancement programme. Another 300 MRT feeder buses are expected to support MRT2 when it is in service to improve first and last mile connectivity for commuters.
Reception to the myBAS implemented under the Stage Bus Transformation Project (SBST) services continue to be encouraging, with overall ridership up in all places. myBAS Kangar, Seremban, and Ipoh all recorded increases ranging from 3.8% to 64%. Meanwhile, Kuala Terengganu is the first city in the country to incorporate the use of electric buses under the myBAS service which began operations on 1st March, 2018. Next on the cards, is the implementation of myBAS Johor Bahru which is slated for Quarter 2, 2018 which will also see the rollout of electric vehicles.
2017 also saw the amendments to the Land Public Transport Act (2010) and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board approved by the Dewan Rakyat, paving the way for SPAD to regulate e-hailing. In a move to create a new breed of competitive taxi entrepreneurs who embrace technology, the Commission via the Taxi Transformation Programme (TITP) awarded 1,200 eligible taxi drivers with individual taxi permits. A total of 581 eligible drivers also received a Government grant of RM5,000 to buy their own new cars.
Commuter Satisfaction with Land Public Transportation in Malaysia on Uptrend
The Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) study commissioned by SPAD found that overall CSI for public transport went up from 84% (2016) to 90% (2017). The percentage of respondents who rated it as “very satisfied” also increased from 14% (2016) to 31%, while the likelihood of users to continue using public transport also rose from 78% (2016) to 81%.
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will continue to pay equal attention to raising safety and service standards of bus and rail operators by nurturing and instilling a culture of safety. 2019 will see the creation of a biometric control system for express buses to minimise accidents arising from human errors and fatigue. The Commission will also implement a comprehensive safety management system to ensure that rail operators adhere to the highest safety standards.