Vital to get bus system right and maintain it, say Malaysia agencies

Vital to get bus system right and maintain it, say Malaysia agencies

PETALING JAYA - Several public interest groups, while welcoming the Government's Stage Bus Service Transformation project, said the implementation aspect should be given due emphasis.

Fomca CEO Datuk Paul Selvaraj said there had been many good proposals in the past, but were often not translated into effective and efficient programmes.

He said a bus system would need its route planned out right, be reliable and connect people easily.

The Star reported that the Stage Bus Service Transformation project was a plan to put as many as 4,000 new Government-funded stage buses throughout Malaysia.

Few could previously count on public transport as a means of getting around, with poor integration and odd frequencies as problems.

Association for the Improvement of Mass Transit spokesman Moaz Ahmad said he had no problem with the MyBas concept, but was worried over its execution.

He said a mid-2000 bus concept called the hub-and-spoke introduced in Kuala Lumpur and Penang then failed because it was not carried out properly. (The hub-and-spoke model is a system where passengers get to destinations via major centres or hubs.)

"This concept only works if buses are frequent and information is available," he said.

He added that the idea confused passengers who saw their rides change from "one long, slow unreliable bus trip" to "three confusing, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, not always reliable trips".

Moaz was also worried that network managers were only accountable to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), instead of the public.

Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali called SPAD's stage bus idea fair, as it gave local operators an option to run areas they were familiar with.

He added that SPAD agreed to pay for them running the buses, regardless of whether they took one passenger or more at any time.

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