Ministry to review Brunei's public transportation plan to meet current needs

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network): The feasibility of a suitable public transportation system will be re-examined with a new breath as the plan was introduced in 2014, said Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Shamhary Mustapha.

“It needs to be reviewed in view of current needs. The recommendations need to be outlined before it can be fully implemented. It will also be fine-tuned this financial year,” he said during the 19th Legislative Council (LegCo) session on Sunday (March 26)

“Improvements have been made, such as at bus stops, bus poles and bus terminals. The average revenue for bus services is BND24 per day. Here lies the challenge in terms of having a sustainable operation; there are only about 29 bus operators in the Sultanate.”

The minister was responding to LegCo member Isa Aliuddin who asked about the lack of efficiency in the bus system, plans for public transportation system and the need to speed up and open it to foreign direct investment (FDI).

Meanwhile, in response to LegCo member Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Rahman Ibrahim on the public transportation system budget for financial year 2023-2024 at BND750,000, compared to BND30 million in the past, to improve and develop the system, the minister said the original policy has been reviewed along with its implementation and governance.

The minister said, “In the earlier plan, the government financed the purchase of the public transport system and such model turned out not to be sustainable. Hence, the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) is looking for a different business model.”

He admitted that the BND750,000 budget is inadequate. However, with the extension of the 11th National Development Plan (RKN 11) for another year, it gives the MTIC an opportunity to discuss the public transport system at length.

Meanwhile, on the need for an efficient public transportation system raised by LegCo member Dato Seri Setia Awang Suyoi Osman to lower dependency on private vehicles and reduce man hours lost due to motorists getting stuck in traffic, the minister said the MTIC needs to revise the plan with strategies to make it more relevant to the current needs.

Meanwhile, Salleh Bostaman Zainal Abidin said an effective public transportation system that is cheap, reliable, efficient and comfortable will lure more people and reduce car usage, which will indirectly lower government subsidy on petrol.

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Brunei , public , transport


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