BUKIT LANJAN: More reliable public transport, parking at public transport stations the answer to traffic congestion woes

BUKIT LANJAN: More reliable public transport, parking at public transport stations the answer to traffic congestion woes

Why is it that only 17% of Kuala Lumpur commuters use public transport but Singaporeans and Hong Kongers 63% and 89%?

“It is obvious the answer is reliability and confidence, or the lack of it, in public transport service and the convenience in parking at public transport terminals,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff.

He said both the federal and state governments must therefore launch really, really aggressive programmes to educate the public on the need to resort to the use of public transports, be it LRTs, MRTs, buses or even taxis.

However, for the public to be convinced, the confidence of commuters must be won over.

“This is where both the state and federal governments can achieve by ensuring there is ample parking space at public terminals and that the service are reliable.

“Parking fees must be absolutely affordable. Better still, free. Punctuality is an issue that cannot be compromised. If this is guaranteed, commuters in the Klang Valley will leave their cars behind and use public transport,” Syed Razak said.

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the 14th General Election (GE14), said traffic congestion in the Klang Valley has reached intolerable levels.

“Building more tolled roads is not helping. In fact, the traffic dispersal system has worsened. The only way to solve traffic congestion is to reduce the volume of cars on the road.

“And this can only be effective if public transport appeals to commuters,” he added.

Syed Razak said both the state and federal governments must start working in tandem to do all they can to convince Klang Valley commuters to use public transport instead of private cars.

“Failing to do so, or achieve a high reliability in public transport … the traffic woes in the Klang Valley will only worsen,” he added.

Here are two news reports for more details on the traffic woes of Klang Valley commuters that also affect Bukit Lanjan residents and commuters:


Home > News > Nation

Wednesday, 7 December 2016 | MYT 4:58 PM

NKVE jammed due to overturned lorry


PETALING JAYA: A lorry carrying oil has overturned along the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), causing an oil spill and massive delays along several roads.

According to the Fire and Rescue Department, the lorry had skidded and overturned at KM13.5 of the NKVE from Shah Alam - Setia Alam at 2.56pm on Wednesday.

One man sustained minor injuries.

Star Media Radio Traffic reported that the lorry is still in the process of being cleared as of 4.41pm.

The lorry is reportedly blocking the right lane and middle lane of the highway, causing a 7km jam from Subang.

The accident is also slowing down traffic from Seafield on the Elite Highway.

Motorists driving along the NKVE can expect at least an hour delay. - The Star Online

Solving Malaysia’s traffic jam problem

by: Sebastian Loh

November 30, 2016

As you probably know from experience, traffic jams are a huge problem in the Klang Valley. The World Bank estimates that Greater Kuala Lumpur residents “spend more than 250 million hours a year stuck in traffic.” Congestion also exacts a huge toll on our economy – Greater Kuala Lumpur traffic ate 1.1 – 2.2% of GDP in 2014.

And the situation isn’t getting better. According to one poll, most Malaysians said they are spending more time in traffic compared to a year ago. That’s bad news if you want to see a kinder, gentler Malaysia – experts have linked traffic jams with aggression.

So why is traffic so bad in urban Malaysia and what do we do about it?

Probably the number one cause behind our traffic jams is the ridiculous amount of cars on the road. Malaysia has the third highest car ownership rate in the entire world, a Nielsen survey found. 93 percent of our households have at least one car, with 54 percent of households owning more than one vehicle.

Unsurprisingly, just 17 percent of Kuala Lumpur commuters use public transport, the World Bank said. Compare that with Singapore – 62 percent – and Hong Kong – 89 percent. It’s no wonder that our roads are so jammed so often. Many Malaysians prefer the prestige and convenience of owning a car, but they just end up hurting everyone else (themselves included).

Malaysians often complain about the price of cars and petrol. But the fact is, for too long, cars and petrol have been too affordable. This is largely the result of Mahathir’s rule, when local carmakers like Proton enjoyed massive government support and petrol was generously subsidized. The active push for private vehicle ownership combined with pitiful investment in public transportation led to the present situation – too many cars, and naturally, too frequent traffic jams.

So to even begin addressing the problem, we need to discourage driving and encourage use of public transportation. To that end, the government’s move to abolish fuel subsidies was absolutely appropriate, even if it was unpopular. The World Bank also recommends slapping taxes on fuel in order to fund public transportation and support the environment. But while that’s the correct approach, it may be too politically toxic for any government to consider.

Still, the government should refrain from any attempt to make cars cheaper – for example, by slashing excise duties to push up vehicle sales. It should instead focus on making ambitious and appropriate investments in public transportation. Average Malaysians often claim they have no choice but to drive, and so it is incumbent on the government to provide that choice.

The MRT project is a good start, but far from sufficient. The government needs to ensure that public transport coverage extends throughout the Klang Valley and beyond. Major residential areas are still far from LRT and MRT stops, some of which don’t make any sense. For example, the Abdullah Hukum and Dang Wangi LRT stations see few passengers, emphasizing the need for better planning. Honestly, what were they thinking?

The government should also create and enforce far more bus lanes. Their absence is why bus waits can last up to an hour or more, when they should take between 15 to 30 minutes. Transport experts strongly endorse bus lanes, seeing them as a way to significantly increase the number of passengers on the road (as opposed to the number of vehicles).

Apart from policy changes, there also needs to be a change in attitudes. Owning a car is a much-cherished, and even mandatory status symbol in Malaysia. It’s often seen as a sign of success, independence, maturity, and even (bizarrely) masculinity. Forget scoring a date if you’re an adult male without a car.

This is the mentality that has fed our disastrous and unsustainable traffic situation. We need to accept that there is nothing wrong with not owning a car. There is nothing wrong with taking public transport. In fact, it saves you a massive amount of hassle – it’s not the less desirable option, but the smarter one.

If it’s the government’s responsibility to provide convenient public transport, then it’s our responsibility to embrace it on a cultural level. For our own good, our addiction to cars and cheap fuel must go. Imagine the amount of time and money we’d save, not to mention the stress and accidents we’d avoid. The transition won’t be easy, but it all boils down to this: Are we serious about solving our traffic problems, or are we serious about complaining about them? - MALAYSIAIMPACT"



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