Towards better public transport


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 01 Oct 2005

COMMUTERS in the Klang Valley can look forward to more comfortable rides with 250 new buses set to be operational by the end of the year.  

Rapid KL will continue its acquisition exercise next year as well as replace its ageing fleet with 600 new vehicles while identifying new rail routes in high-density areas. 

The implementation of a single integrated ticketing system for all forms of public transport will also facilitate travel and provide cost-savings to consumers. 

To give vehicle owners more access to natural gas, the number of retail gas stations currently totalling 51 will be doubled by 2007 while incentives will be given to encourage the use of monogas trucks and buses. 

Owners of private diesel vehicles exceeding 1,600cc will also enjoy a 40% road tax discount effective Oct 5. 

Among other points raised were: 

  • Touch n Go to be expanded to buses; 

  • Refurbishment of 120 existing buses; 

  • 10 new bus routes;  

  • Bus services to cater to requirements of shared services and outsourcing companies operating 24 hours a day in Cyberjaya;  

  • Import duty and sales tax exemption for monogas trucks and buses as well as conversion kits; and, 

  • RM50,000 grant per monogas bus acquired until the end of 2008  

     

    UPGRADING: Rapid KL is replacing its ageing fleet of commuter buses with 600 new vehicles next year.

     

    What they say

    Pan-Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali: 

    “As far as we are concerned, Budget 2006 appears to be focused on the Klang Valley. 

    “While some of our members might use monogas buses, most of them will not because of the high cost and the insufficient sources of fuel. We can’t afford the dead miles to look for a station to fill up.” 

     

    Pan Malaysia Lorry Owners Association president Er Sui See: 

    “We are so disappointed because we got nothing.  

    “It will take a long time before lorry owners are willing to invest in monogas vehicles mainly because of the large capital involved and the limited stations. It’s now still a dream.” 

    Klang Valley Taxi Operators president Datuk Aslah Abdullah:  

    “We are disappointed because we were hoping for a sales tax exemption for taxis since the recent fare restructuring became meaningless after fuel prices went up twice. 

    “There are 12,500 taxis in the Klang Valley running on natural gas that fill up at the current 51 retail gas stations. 

    “We’ll just wait and see whether the situation improves after the stations are doubled.” 

     

    Automobile Association of Malaysia chairman Tunku Mudzaffar Tunku Mustapha:  

    “We welcome the decision to reduce road tax for private diesel vehicles as this is in line with what’s happening in most developed countries, like Britain, where more than 50% of private vehicles use diesel engines. 

    “AAM hopes Malaysians will take advantage of the cheaper road tax and drive diesel cars which are more environmentally friendly.” 

     

    University student Magdalene Louisa Fletcher, 23: 

    “It’s good that they are replacing old buses with new ones because the former can be very dangerous and polluting. 

    “As for the new rail routes, I’m very much in favour of them because these will help curb traffic jams.” 

     

    For more reports click on Budget 2006

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