THE Selangor government will be launching or expanding four Demand-Responsive Transit (DRT) zones in November 2023, with four more in early 2024 to improve last- and first-mile connectivity for public transport services.
"The DRT service will be launched in Puchong, Ampang, Bandar Utama and Subang Jaya this month," said Selangor state investment, trade and mobility committee chairman Ng Sze Han, adding that the zone coverage will be expanded in Puchong and Subang Jaya as the service was already running as pilot projects.
"For early next year, we are looking at launching the DRT service in Shah Alam, Klang, Serdang and Hulu Kelang."
He said there are many areas that still need improvements on first- and last-mile connectivity, hence the DRT service hopes to address that problem and connect users to public transport hubs.
"I have instructed all local authorities to analyse existing routes covered by Smart Selangor Buses as we want to maximise every sen spent.
"There is a possibility of removing bus routes (and having a DRT service instead), if the demand for that route is only at certain times a day," he said.
Ng also said it was important to improve walkways to promote walkability and connectivity within communities.
DRT is a new form of public transit service powered by software. The system responds to multiple bookings within a predefined zone or route and optimises the dispatching of vehicles through the use of intelligent algorithms that factor in waiting time, travel time and traffic conditions.
DRT was part of the RM25mil Selangor Mobiliti initiative to improve the state's transport ecosystem, as announced by the Selangor Mentri Besar for the state's 2023 budget.
There are two vendors presently offering the service in Selangor, namely Asia Mobiliti that operates Trek Rides, and BadanBas Coach for Mobi. Ng said the state government is in talks with Kumpool as a possible third vendor.
On Selangor's 2024 budget, Ng said the allocation for the investment portfolio is likely to be the same as this year's.
"Most of it will be used for programmes already lined up for next year, such as the Selangor International Business Summit, Selangor Aviation Show and pitching programmes by Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec)," said.
"I would welcome an increased budget, so we can create more programmes under Sidec in order to grow more entrepreneurs, create a 'bigger cake' for the economy and create more high quality job opportunities in Selangor," he said.
Ng was speaking after the closing ceremony for Selangor E-Commerce Xccelerator (ECX23) Final Demo Day on Wednesday (Nov 1) at Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur.
Five merchants were declared winners from an initial group of 30 small medium enterprise (SME) participants. They all underwent a three-month intensive training and classes on digital entrepreneurship, business development, pitching clinic and mentoring sessions from industry experts.
The five winners are Nori Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Pastels Group Sdn Bhd, Shapee Trading & Distribution (M) Sdn Bhd, Sonobee Ultrasound Sdn Bhd and Big Bath Sdn Bhd.
Also present at the ceremony were Sidec chief executive officer Yong Kai Ping and Affin Bank Bhd Enterprise Banking SME-Wide Ancillary and Transaction Sales head Raymond Lee Wei Hwa.