Steps to increase public transport ridership

Sharan Raj


LETTER | Malaysia has a long way to go before getting a reliable, accessible, affordable and efficient public transport system for both urban transit and inter-state travel.

However, Transport Minister Anthony Loke could tackle the low-hanging fruits to improvise and increase public transport ridership in Malaysia

Off-peak discount for ETS

The ETS rail service by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) has become a popular mode of inter-state travel since its introduction.

ETS remains the sole profit-making entity for KTMB, carrying 4.2 million passengers in 2017. However, the ETS still suffers from unsold seats during the off-peak period, especially on working days.

Ticket prices for off-peak travel need to be reduced by 20 percent.

The price difference will shift travellers with a flexible schedule from peak period towards the non-peak period. This will increase occupancy during the non-peak period while increasing available seats for non-flexible travellers.

Currently, the singular pricing structure brings together flexible and non-flexible passengers together as there is no motivation for those with a flexible travelling schedule to shift away from peak periods.

Journey planner app

The unpredictable bus arrivals and route information have shunned people from using public buses.

A journey planner with real-time information will reduce waiting time and allow commuters to ply new and unfamiliar routes by public transport.

Public transport commuters in Selangor have long demanded for a journey planner app with real-time bus arrivals.

The introduction of a journey planner has led to an increase in bus ridership and public transport usage in major cities worldwide.

A journey planner app should be introduced for all stage buses around Malaysia.

Unlimited pass outside Klang Valley

Besides Klang Valley, the Rapid Bus also services Kamunting, Kuantan, Penang and Manjung.

These places have great potential to increase the number of ridership. The Rapid buses travelling outside Klang Valley still operates on paper ticketing and not cost-competitive compare driving (excluding vehicle ownership).

Hence, the unlimited bus pass (My50 for RapidKL) needs to be introduced for other Rapid bus services outside Klang Valley.

However, the monthly pass should not cost more RM50 for Rapid Penang & RM25 for Rapid Kamunting, Rapid Kuantan & Rapid Manjung.

The writer is a Parti Soaialis Malaysia Environment & Climate Crisis Bureau member.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.