Transport Minister: DBKL may take over Go KL free bus service

Anthony Loke. -filepic

THE Transport Ministry is in discussion with the Federal Territories Ministry for Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to take over the Go KL free bus service, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke (pic).

"Go KL, which is presently operated by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), costs about RM12mil per year to run the service.

"As part of the government's rationalisation efforts, we are hoping to channel those funds to subsidise bus services in other states.

"As DBKL is a local authority with financial resources, we hope they can take over the Go KL service and allow us to use those resources to fund public transportation services in other states," said Loke, adding that the contract with the Go KL operator ends on Dec 31.

He was speaking at a press conference with Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad at Menara DBKL, Kuala Lumpur, after going on a short bus ride around the city on Thursday (Oct 18).

"Loke's suggestion is seriously being considered by the FT Ministry," said Khalid.

"My team and the DBKL team are studying how else to improve the existing public transportation services and how to increase their usage."

Go KL connects public transport users and tourists to various places around Kuala Lumpur, such as main office blocks, shopping centres and tourist attractions.

Its first two lines – Purple and Green Lines – were introduced in Sept 2012. The Red and Blue Lines were launched May 2014.

The government initiative is meant to improve connectivity around the Kuala Lumpur Central Business District (CBD) and ultimately, reduce the number of cars in the area.

"Go KL has a daily ridership of 65,000 passengers, with about 40 buses servicing the four routes," said Loke.

"Based on a survey last year, 60% of Go KL users are locals while the remaining 40% comprise foreign workers and tourists."

He added that Go KL is popular as it is free and provides convenience for people to move around the city.

"It provides a 'last mile connectivity' and serves as value added service to tourists," said Loke.

"We hope that the service will be continued for free or at a nominal fee."

To a question on whether the authorities would consider allowing a private operator to run Go KL, Loke said that is unlikely to happen as Go KL is a social service for city folks and has to be a government-initiated programme.

Meanwhile, he said that the Transport Ministry has submitted its proposal for a monthly public transportation pass under Budget 2019 and is awaiting the Finance Ministry's decision on the matter.

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