PETALING JAYA: The country can expect to see smaller buses that run more frequently to reach more underserved areas in future, going by the results of the ongoing midi bus trial by Prasarana in Klang Valley.
Last month, Prasarana trialled two routes in Ampang, T300 (Bukit Indah to Ampang Point via Ampang LRT) and T304 (Bukit Indah to Ampang Point via Ampang Jaya), and came back with highly encouraging results.
“For route T304, we used to see ridership hovering around 1,000 to 1,200 passengers each day, but we are now seeing nearly 1,800 passengers daily, ” said Transport Minister Anthony Loke after inspecting the operations in Ampang yesterday.
It was found that the use of shorter buses measuring no more than 8m, instead of buses that range from 10m to 12m, had enabled the journeys to be completed faster around housing estates that typically have narrow roads.
“With the faster turnaround times, we are able to increase frequency to about 15 minutes during morning peak hours, ” said Loke.
Loke said the encouraging results had given the government and operators confidence that smaller buses could provide better service along feeder routes in order to move people to the larger transport nodes along main roads that are normally serviced by larger buses, including double-deckers.
This increasing usage, he said, calls for more than fare adjustments alone.
“We are confident of increasing ridership, but we have to look at the entire ecosystem. Fare-wise, we did our part by introducing the My100 and My50 unlimited use passes. But it is not just about fares.
“We need to improve services and make it easier to use public transport by offering services that are quick and frequent -- that is the challenge, ” said Loke.