Friday, January 15, 2016


In the recent exercise to revamp bus routes in Klang Valley and Greater KL areas by Public Transport Commissioner or SPAD since last December, there will definitely be some hickups and a feeling of discomfort among daily commuters. All complaints and feedbacks from commuters are essential to ensure the revamped bus route system plan runs smoothly for them to enjoy a better service and safe rides.

We need to know that the ‘Bus Network Revamp (BNR) has taken measures including to consult with bus operators over the past one year, studies on commuters feedback and the commissioner team themselves went to the ground to make reviews and evaluation of each bus route around Klang Valley vicinity.

SPAD has also taken steps to involve commuters participations in their exercise when they have provided complaint platform via their hotline or an open discussion through their official Facebook and Twitter. However, there are certain unexpected situations brought up by medias which need to be addressed further thus clarified.

In the commissioner findings that there are over 400,000 daily commuters relying on bus services in Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley (GKL/KV) and the BNR exercise is the major initiatives under the NKRA to improve the public transport route system and increase the number of the existing bus around GKL and Klang Valley.

Under this revamp exercise, bus capacities would increase in congested routes and areas with less passengers and its neighbourhoods, the routes will be deployed. But eventually, the role of these stage buses will be more functional and improved when we realize that it would be a solution to commuters’ beginning and end of their journey. Meanwhile, the stage bus industry will transform into a viable business.

In SPAD’s BRN planning, informations are very essential to passengers. Therefore, several communication approaches are taken and among others are distribution of brochures, giant posters are placed at 10 bus information panels in key bus hubs, public service announcements on mainstream radio stations and informative editorial pages in the print medias.

Dissemination of informations do not stop at that, SPAD also pave commuters’ complaints and inquiries on their official Facebook and Twitter where urbanites are savvy.

Undoubtedly, planning on paper may seems smooth but when it comes to implementing them, we will certainly face hickups and obstacles. In this early stage, there are operational issues in certain ways and SPAD has been acting on them and will continue to monitor just to ensure that the rakyat are provided with better bus service.

In the issues highlighted by media operators involved one of the underperforming operator, SPAD has issued warning statement and dateline for them to improve their services. SPAD has also informed them that firm action will be imposed if they still failed to show any improvement.

SPAD not only in response to complaints via their hotline and emails or in their official FB, but they have also developed a monitoring system through their Performance Monitoring Hub (PMH) with a GPS unit installed in every bus. The GPS is to monitor every bus designated routes that have been set, but unfortunately, during inspections there are instances where the GPS is not functioning.

However, it is the operators’ responsibility to ensure that their monitoring equipment are working well as required. The operators are also supposed to be responsible to ensure that sufficient amount of buses are provided despite any hours as per committed.

Since 2012, the government has allocated RM470 million under the Interim Stage Bus Support Fund (ISBSF) to ensure that the stage bus industry could sustain in their businesses and improve their service qualities. Any operators who meet SPAD requirements are eligible to apply. To date, about 195 operators have qualified and have received financial assistance from the government. Unfortunately, Metrobus is among those who is unable to meet SPAD requirements.

Eventhough the medias may seek to share commuters views, at the same time they should also inform their readers to channel their complaints directly to SPAD for a more affirmative and effective action and finally their problems can be solved.

Indeed, SPAD’s agenda in the implementation of BNR is for the stage bus industry to remain competitive and their operational costs sustain, thus as for the commuters they would enjoy good quality and reliable bus services.

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