Monday March 28, 2011
Public transport user satisfaction is only 48%
By CHOONG MEK ZHIN
OVERALL public transport user satisfaction of Urban Public Transport (UPT) services in the Klang Valley is relatively low at 48%. This is despite the many plans successfully implemented to improve this National Key Result Area (NKRA) as reported in the Government Transformation Pro-gramme (GTP) Annual Report 2010.
Among the problems that have been identified under the NKRA are peak hour congestion that sees overcrowding in LRT and KTM trains, unreliable service with cancellations or frequent delays due to transport services not adhering to schedules.
A total of 38% of respondents said existing bus services in the Klang Valley was good though many were concerned about accessibility, punctuality, waiting and travel time, bus condition, transfer convenience and drivers’ attitude.
“The public perception is understandable as most of the initiatives for buses will only materialise from 2011 onwards,” according to the report.
These measures include the 200 new buses under last year’s target that will be delivered in stages together with an additional 270 buses this year up to September, and the upgrading of the remaining 166 out of 800 bus stops as well as refurbishing an additional 440 stops.
On the other hand, there were five Bus Expressway Transit (BET) corridors introduced last year aimed at reducing bus journeys by using underused highways all with the end destination at Pasar Seni from Kota Damansara, Bandar Baru Sungai Long, Subang Mewah, Taman Seri Muda and Rawang.
This exceeded the initial target of four corridors.
“The first four BETs are operated by RapidKL while the fifth is by Setara Jaya.
“The former has shown improvement of 192% ridership since the first day of operations in January 2010,” stated the report, adding that the fifth BET service introduced in October 2010 still needs promoting to the Rawang community.
LRT services are perceived by 63% of users as reliable as a result of the new four-car trains that allow a better travelling experience as trains are no longer jam-packed.
“Last year, 2,430,563 more commuters were taking the LRT.
“There was a 6.8% increase in daily ridership,” stated the report, adding that coming improvements include the delivery of the remaining four out of 26 four-car trains in stages together with another nine until mid 2011.
However, only 28% of KTM Komuter users are satisfied with the current services and gradual improvement will only come with the first four sets of six-car Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) to be operational by December.
Other achievements include the completion of the RM570mil Bandar Tasik Selatan Integrated Transport Terminal with some 500 buses travelling the south-bound route daily.
One outcome that was not achieved in 2010 is for all operators to adopt a cashless system and offer discounted fares for cashless tickets and only RapidKL will implement it by mid-2011 while discussions are still being held with other operators.
Only 1,200 of the 4,000 targeted new parking spaces at rail stations will be completed by September as the rest are still at different stages of planning and tendering.
Denying road tax renewal for drivers with outstanding summonses has been differed while review of plans to restrict heavy vehicle entry into central business areas during peak hours will take place this year.
In terms of enforcement, only 19.03% or RM643mil of the total summonses issued between 2000 and 2010 has been collected.
THE UPT NKRA fell short in six areas last year due to delays and long periods required for internal approval processes, bureaucracy issues among government agencies resulting in lack of coordination, delay in full mobilisation of Land Public Transportation Commission (LPTC), inability to reign in difficult bus operators, lack of capable local contractors and road-widening issues on the MRR2 affecting the delivery of the Integrated Transport Terminal Gombak.
The report stated that with a large portion of the population migrating to urban areas where rapid development is taking place, there is a pressing need to set up an integrated, comprehensive, affordable and comfortable “people-mover” to facilitate travel within cities, particularly Kuala Lumpur.