KUALA LUMPUR: After negotiations which stretched over a year, a plan to boost public transport involving stage buses will get under way tomorrow.
The revamp involves the Klang Valley’s entire city bus network covering 9,202km.
A new system covering 241 routes, including 35 new ones, has been drawn across eight bus corridors in the area.
Among others, wait times during peak hours will be cut to between five and 30 minutes for heavily-used routes.
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will assign each of the 11 city bus operators to specific routes to overcome competition along the profitable routes.
To benefit more than 600,000 commuters, about 1,500 buses will also be “freed” to better serve the Klang Valley.
About 3,000 new bus information signboards will also be put up by the end of 2016 to encourage more people to use public transport.
The changes will not hit the public in the pocket – bus fares will remain unchanged.
“What the people are going to experience is a reliable service with shorter wait times,” SPAD chief executive Azharuddin Mat Sah said in an interview.
A World Bank report earlier this year stated that a typical bus trip can take up to three times longer than by car.
SPAD Bus Rapid Transit division manager Ahmad Faizal Baharuddin said all buses would be given numbers to “tie” them to their routes and corridors.
Trunk buses on the Klang Lama Corridor will be numbered 600 to 699, with local buses from T600 to T699.
Operators will no longer ply similar routes as their competitors.
The only exception is the Klang-KL route, which has two companies plying it.
Ahmad said 80% of routes would not be changed, with the bus corridors to be made operator-specific.
For example, the Jalan Ipoh Corridor – which serves Kepong and Rawang, among others – would be serviced by RapidKL, Selangor Omnibus and Setara Jaya.
The Lebuhraya Persekutuan Corridor will involve the RapidKL, Cityliner, Seranas and Causeway Link firms.
Ahmad said by revamping the network, buses could serve their routes without neglecting those which were less profitable.
Many routes would connect to direct KL-bound ones, with commuters able to transfer from one bus to another to head on to Kuala Lumpur.
He said besides the bus information signboards, 3,700 bus stop info signs would be put in stages later.
For details on the revamp, visit www.spad.gov.my. SPAD welcomes feedback at 1-800-88-7723.
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