MORE Klang Valley drivers left their cars at home and used public transport to go to work to avoid rush hour traffic gridlocks last year.
According to the Government Transformation Programme report, the morning peak ridership, between 6am and 10am, reached 437,525 by the end of last year. This exceeded the 400,000 target set under the National Key Result Area.
Acting transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the numbers speak for themselves as the Government remained focused on transforming the urban public transport system into an attractive alternative.
He said the percentage of commuters opting to use public transport in 2013 stood at 21% but further work had to be done to reach the 25% or 750,000 morning peak ridership goal by 2015.
“The fact of the matter is that Kuala Lumpur and the Greater Klang Valley is in need of an efficient public transport system to reduce the number of cars commuting daily in and out of the city centre.
“Roads are at near capacity and may reach crisis levels if nothing is done to accommodate the growing population, which is poised to expand by four million by 2020,” he said.
The growing appeal of public transport is attributed to improvements including better-integrated terminals, increased rail capacity and frequency of public transport services.
Among measures in the pipeline is the pilot project to create the country’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) route linking Kuala Lumpur to Klang. The BRT will be able to ferry up to 400,000 passengers daily on completion in 2016.
Upgrades to KTM’s commuter core systems including signalling and the restoration of damaged rail tracks have improved frequency between arrivals from 30 to 45 minutes per train to 15 minutes.
“The on-time performance has been raised to 94.6% and passenger load factor increased to 72%”.
More emphasis was also placed on improving facilities to make using the public transport system more convenient and comfortable last year.
The report said that inconvenience was a major complaint prior to the NKRA when different public transport systems — stage and city buses, LRT and monorail — were not properly integrated.
Improvements last year include the construction of more Park ‘n’ Ride (parking complexes for rail commuters) at major stations like Sungai Besi, Seremban, Bandar Tasik Selatan and Gombak.
More Park ‘n’ Rides will be built at the Kelana Jaya, Salak Tinggi, Klang, Rawang and Nilai stations under GTP 2.0.