NOT all passengers warmly receive Rapid KL’s new bus service although some say it is a welcome change.
What passengers find welcoming is the fact that buses are a lot more frequent and it is only RM2 for a ride in the city, no matter how many times you get onto a city shuttle.
Naturally, the biggest problem passengers have is with changing buses at transit stops to get to their destination. Some also say it is expensive.
Chief executive officer Rein Westra said Rapid KL used to have 26 routes in Area Four but from July 1 there were 32 local shuttles and four trunk lines.
“The difference between the old network and new network system is that the old network goes from each residential area direct into the city centre.
“The new network introduces three different systems – the local shuttle which traverses routes every 15 minutes, the main trunk line connecting residents from suburbs to the city hub with minimal stops every 10 minutes and the city shuttle offering a frequency of every five minutes,” Westra said.
What this means is that commuters are now required to do a lot more than sit on a bus, they also have to be alert, get off at the right stop and catch a connecting bus to the city – if that’s where they are headed.
The new bus system is divided into the local shuttle (obvious from its green board), main shuttle (blue board) and city shuttle (red board).
There are 178 buses for Area Four – 55 for the trunk line, 16 express buses and 107 local shuttles.
Although the service may seem cumbersome with having to change buses now and then, but the bigger picture is in offering frequency and connectivity in Rapid KL’s service by connecting the suburbs to the city.
Rapid KL corporate communications division senior manager Katherine Chew said more routes would be introduced to offer better connectivity in all areas and in Putrajaya.
Chief operating officer (bus operations) Mohd Ali Mohd Nor said Rapid KL would have over 1,000 new buses on its bus network system by the end of the year.
He said Rapid KL had 90,000 ridership daily on its bus network covering 4,000 sq m.
“We are not insisting that our system is the best but we want the public to try it and give their feedback,” he said.
Area Five (along Federal Highway and south of it towards Klang) and Area Six (north of the Federal Highway) will be launched sometime this month.
The main reason for building the bus network, Mohd Ali said, was to fill the gap in the entire bus system.
“This way, we have developed a network where we have integrated with all the rail stations – KTM and LRT, giving passengers connectivity to their destinations,” he said.