‘UPGRADE RURAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT’
Government should consider three-tier system, says expert
IT IS vital to upgrade public transportation connectivity to boost the socioeconomic status of rural folk. Public transportation experts said a detailed study was needed to decide on a suitable system of public transport.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Transportation Engineering (Traffic Engineering) Prof Dr Amiruddin Ismail said urban areas such as Seremban, Ipoh, Alor Star, Langkawi, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Baru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching were also in need of a public transport upgrade.
“Maybe these cities need to improve their bus services. However, other modes of transport such as trams could also be considered.
“Some rural areas should also be considered as candidates for good and reliable public transport, especially when such areas have become important transit points for people and their daily activities.”
He said towns such as Kuala Pilah, Tampin, Alor Gajah and Karak also needed improved public transportation.
Transport planning expert Goh Bok Yen said the government should look at implementing a three-tier public transport system in rural areas.
He said the bus was the best mode of transport, in terms of economic flexibility, for small populations,
“The three-tier transport system includes a community bus (van or multi-purpose vehicle), better known as a shared bus, which transports those living in remote areas to bus stations.
“From there, they can take feeder buses to transfer points where they then journey on a stage or transit bus service,” he said, adding that making community bus services available would create job opportunities for retirees in villages.
Fund allocations in the 2017 Budget for rural public transport included the ramping up of the construction of the PanBorneo Highway.
Other projects included the RM55 billion, 600km East Coast Rail Link, from Port Klang to Gombak, Bentong, Mentakab, Kuantan, Kemaman, Kerteh, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Baru and finally to Tumpat.
RM100 million was allocated for the repair of the Gua Musang Tumpat train line, 19 new train sets for the ETS train service, in stages until 2019, and RM114 million for the building of rural roads in Sarawak.
A section of the Pan Borneo Highway under construction.