Wee: Tackle congestion holistically

JOHOR BARU: The idea of disposing vehicles over 10 years old to ease the traffic congestion in the city is a complex matter that must be addressed in a holistic way, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

These city centres must first have a comprehensive line of public transportation connectivity, which is also the main focus of the ministry, he said.

“I don’t think everyone would be able to change their vehicle every 10 years; even my late father was driving a 20-year-old vehicle.

“Most of our parents in the village are still using the Perodua Kancil and Proton Iswara. This is something that we inherited from our family.

“There is more than one approach that we can take to tackle the issue of congestion on our roads; like looking at the best policy to introduce and what intervention that we can take.

“All of these must be dealt with in a holistic way,” he told reporters after the flag-off ceremony of the Tebrau shuttle at JB Sentral here yesterday.

Dr Wee was asked to comment on a suggestion by a group of researchers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) that vehicles above 10 years should be disposed to improve the traffic situation in the city.

He cited the situation in Singapore where the people must pay RM100,000 for a certificate of entitlement for a vehicle.

“They have to limit the number of vehicles due to the size of the land, but we do not have this policy in our country.

“In Malaysia, we have 34 million registered vehicles, but only two-thirds or 22 million vehicles are active and paying for the road tax,” he said, adding that the non-active vehicles were kept by their owners due to sentimental value.

Dr Wee said the ministry was working hard to provide the best public transportation service possible, so that the public would reduce their reliance on personal vehicles.

“We just introduced the first phase of the Putrajaya MRT line that has 12 stations from Kwasa Damansara to Kampung Batu, spanning 17.5km.

“The second phase of the Putrajaya MRT will be completed by January next year. The trains will pass through the entire route from Kwasa Damansara to Putrajaya with a total of 36 stations and a 57.7km stretch,” he said.

Dr Wee also said that about 70,000 Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd’s (KTMB) Tebrau shuttle tickets had been sold within the first week after it resumed its sales on June 13.

The train service restarted operations between Singapore and here yesterday. The train service was suspended on March 24, 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The service will have 31 trips daily, of which 18 trips are from JB Sentral to Woodlands, while the remaining 13 are from Woodlands to JB Sentral.

“We expect the service will be able to ferry around 7,000 passengers daily. But for the first week, each trip will be limited to only 240 people and will return to its full capacity of 320 passengers per trip next week.

“The train frequency is one trip every 30 minutes at RM5 per person for a one-way trip from Johor, and S$5 from the Singapore side,” he said, adding that the limit was to give KTMB a chance to match the service between MySejahtera and MyICA applications.

The first train service from Johor Baru is at 5am and the last train is at 10.45pm, while the first train from Woodlands is at 8.30am and the last train is at 11.45pm.

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