Malaysia Budget 2016: Public transport still a major problem

PHOTO: The Star/ANN

Improving bus services should have been given focus in Budget 2016, Fomca secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj said.

"We continue to focus on core infrastructure... The backbone is good, but it's the last mile that is not enough," he said.

He said people spent as much as 20 per cent of their income on transport as they had little choice but to drive.

"Nationwide, public transport is still a major issue," Selvaraj said.

Universiti Malaya's Prof Dr Mohamed Rehan Karim said transit systems needed feeder buses.

"Otherwise, (train) patronage won't be very high.

"It will only be for leisure and roads are still going to be congested," he said.

He said Prasarana's buses did not qualify as a feeder system because they travelled long distances and stopped in many places.

Say No to Dash adviser Mak Khuin Weng said highways cutting through towns should not be the way to solve traffic problems.

"There are better and cheaper alternatives not requiring billions of ringgit," he added.

Traffic consultant Goh Bok Yen said many of the projects were announced before with a number of them related to each other.

"All these are long-term projects that were committed under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

"It takes years to complete," he added.

He said the Government could not afford not to build new MRT and LRT lines, adding that if one were to stop, the rest would halt too.

He said the two Pan Borneo highways, which would stretch almost 1,800km across east Malaysia, would probably not be privatised.

Two of the four highways (Damansara-Shah Alam and Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang) announced in Budget 2016 were a part of Budget 2015.

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