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A request to new Prasarana CEO - bring down BRT fares

ADUN SPEAKS | To the incoming Prasarana Malaysia Bhd CEO, congratulations in advance on your new appointment. As you familiarise yourself with your new role, I ask that you consider reviewing the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Sunway fares.

It is clear from the figures since the BRT began operating that it is not reaching its full ridership potential.

According to the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad), the January to July 2018 figures reveal that the BRT’s daily ridership on working days was at an average of 10,563 persons per day.

This performance falls far below the initial projection of 2,400 persons per hour.

Moreover, it is also important to highlight at this juncture that only 25 percent of users ride on the full fare.

A large part of the problem is due to the BRT fares – with a ticket price of RM1 per kilometre, the BRT ranks as the most expensive public transport option.

By comparison, the LRT Kelana Jaya Line, for example, has an average ticket price of about RM0.30 per kilometre.

The need to encourage ridership on the BRT is compounded by the increase of transport-oriented developments (TOD), where developments close to public transport are given a higher plot ratio and are therefore particularly dense. It would be a waste if the usage of public transport does not reflect the purpose behind the TOD trend.

With five out of seven stops located within Subang Jaya and given the increased development over the last few years, I believe that Subang Jaya residents can truly benefit from a good transport option.

Given the low ridership, it is questionable as to whether Prasarana's initial justification for the present fares can hold water, i.e., that the high fares are required to service the operating cost of the BRT line.

It is for this reason that I call upon Prasarana to reduce the BRT fare by 50 percent.

Given that the new Pakatan Harapan government is serious in making public transport more affordable and accessible to all, I also hope Spad and the Transport Ministry will support the proposal to reduce the BRT fare.

MICHELLE NG is the state assemblyperson for Subang Jaya.

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

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