Malaysiakini Letter

Why not free shuttle service for Klang Sentral?

Moaz Yusuf Ahmad  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I refer to the Malaysiakini report The bus station that tore the opposition apart .

As an advocate for mass-transit, I have been very disappointed by the latest issue in public transport, namely the closure of the urban Klang North Bus, Taxi and Express bus terminal and the relocation of public transport services to the new Klang Sentral terminal on Jalan Meru.

The Klang Municipal Council and the state government seem to have ignored long-standing public comments and complaints related to the new terminal from the awarding of the concession, to the location and design of the terminal to the poor information given to public transport users and operators.

They seem determined to proceed without paying any heed to the concerns of the people. The relocation has now swelled into a giant political issue and politicians and NGOs are taking sides.

Although I have given feedback on the Klang Sentral project, through my work with the group Transit, I do not wish to get involved in political issues.

My only goal is to improve public transport services and for that reason, Transit has developed a comprehensive plan for the Klang area which we are trying to share with the state government and the people.

Unfortunately, it is hard to separate politics from public transport. It seems it is even harder to get the government to, at least, pay heed to the concerns of the people and make an effort to resolve these concerns.

I myself was surprised to be told by one wakil rakyat (who is at the centre of this controversy) that public consultation and feedback were not necessary for this public transport project.

That this kind of attitude should prevail is a great disappointment and it shows how much more needs to be accomplished in our society.

There can be solutions if everyone would take the time to work together and consider the views of all stakeholders. For example, the Klang Sentral concessionaire could have thoughtfully introduced a free shuttle bus service to help passengers who now have to go to the new terminal.

This would supplement the local RapidKL bus service and help the bus operators and the commuters as well.

But ad hoc solutions are not an excuse for poor planning. Ultimately we must accept that public transport services should not be relocated from urban areas.

Instead, we should be making more effort to make urban public transport more convenient, friendly, and reliable. The only solution to traffic congestion in Klang will be a public transport solution.

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