Friday, December 30, 2016

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Kuala Lumpur, new MRT and feeder buses fare-free until Jan 16.

The Rakyat Post: "Planning ahead to avoid potential teething problems when the new Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) takes on public passengers from 6am tomorrow, all rides will be free till Jan 16.
This is a smart strategy to nip in the bud all complaints from commuters while MRT operator Prasarana Negara Bhd addresses any challenges which may arise due to human behaviour patterns and unforeseeable pitfalls.
During the MRT service launch today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak the MRT and feeder bus service will be free for one month until Jan 16. “This gives an opportunity to the people to try the new, modern and efficient public transport facility.”"

Monday, December 19, 2016

Road-building is political, while facts are against it

Free Malaysia Today : "If the DAP leaders had taken his concerns seriously and engaged in constructive discussions, I doubt Roger would have taken his ideas publicly. Nothing is more frustrating than having policymakers make decisions based on political expediency rather than data, evidence and scientific analysis and then claiming to do the latter. Chris’s “answers” to Roger’s articles – parroting party line – is a case in point. Recognising and lamenting over traffic congestion is one thing; prescribing failed policies of prioritising building more roads rather than a good public transportation system is like prescribing aspirin to a cancer patient. As Roger pointed out, empirical studies in many countries have shown the futility of the road building frenzy. The new mayor of Houston early this year publicly admitted that investments of over RM10 billion to build and expand the 26-lane Katy freeway did not solve traffic congestion. He said a new paradigm was needed. So why is Penang bent on repeating failure?"

Friday, December 16, 2016

Malaysia urban planner quits his party, challenges govt on road-building plans

Free Malaysia Today : "GEORGE TOWN: There will be no end to Penang’s traffic problems if the state government presses on with its current transport master plan (PTMP), transport scholar Roger Teoh said.
Teoh said the “building more roads approach” taken by the PTMP would be useless in the long run, as many studies, he claimed, had shown how bad it could be.
Teoh told FMT Penang officials were using weak arguments to counter his concerns, which were backed with numbers."

Thursday, December 15, 2016

‘Penang people demand quick solutions to transport woes’

Free Malaysia Today : "GEORGE TOWN: The state government must take concrete action when the public demands immediate solutions to Penang’s traffic congestion, a DAP grassroots leader said today.
Penang island city councillor Chris Lee Chun Kit said the state government could not tell the people to wait for improvements to public transport infrastructure when Penang was already choked with traffic, especially during long weekends and school holidays.
“They don’t want to wait for public transport infrastructure improvements that may not even come,” he told FMT."

Monday, December 5, 2016

Reduced #publictransit fare for seniors in Singapore

The Straits Times: "Seniors will soon get to enjoy more perks with a new free card - which offers concession fares on public transport and discounts on items such as groceries and plane tickets.

The PAssion Silver Concession Card was launched yesterday to make it easier for seniors to stay active and be engaged in the community. It will be free for every Singaporean aged 60 and above. The new card merges the Senior Citizen Concession and PAssion cards."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Helicopter money -- big mistake -- make more buses #farefree instead

Thailand Is Giving Cash To Low-Income Families To Help Fix Their Economy: "In a bid to combat this and kickstart the weakening economy, the government has approved plans to give low-income families a one-time payout."
Capitalism is a trickle-up economy. That is why austerity makes things worse. But pushing money to the bottom is equally risky as it could lead to devaluation/inflation. Here is a chance to change the culture and reduce the wasteful private auto. Thailand already has many fare-free buses. This plan should be expanded instead of handing out money which might be spent on cars.

Friday, November 18, 2016

False promise of #ParisAgreement against the reality of demand for more cars

The Star Online : "Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia all rank in the top 10 countries globally in terms of intention to acquire a car within the next two years. Around four in five Indonesian and Thai consumers (81% and 79% respectively) intend to buy a car within the next two years, as do three-quarters of Filipinos (76%) and seven out of 10 Malaysians (71%), compared to just 65% globally.

“Historically automotive demand in South-East Asia has been relatively low, and for many households owning a car has been financially out of reach,” said Chang Park, Managing Director of Nielsen’s Automotive Industry Group in South-East Asia, North Asia and Pacific.

“We have seen those tables turn in a big way in recent years, however, largely due to rising income levels across the region as more and more households join the middle class and attain the financial means to make their first car purchase.”

Intention to upgrade among car owners here is also high, particularly in Indonesia (the highest globally), and the Philippines (seventh highest)."

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Penang’s challenge: More highways or good public transportation

Free Malaysia Today : "Penang is at an important crossroad. Which road will it take? Will the State ignore scientific evidence and make policies based on personal whims and populism by over investing in highways to please car users? Or will it show far-sighted and courageous leadership by building and improving public transport; educate and lead the public along this new road of sustainable public transport system? Investing more and more on highways undermines a good public transport system."

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cabinet approves extension of free bus, train service

Coconuts Bangkok: "The cabinet yesterday approved a THB2.2 billion project to extend free bus and train services for another six months.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the free public transport service will be extended to the end of April of 2017, Daily News reported.
There are currently 800 free buses and 152 free trains in service. The free ride scheme was initiated in 2008 during Samak Sundaravej’s term as prime minister and has been continued ever since to help lower travel expenses for low-income people."

Monday, October 24, 2016

Car ownership a sign of failure, not success

Malay Mail Online: "An overly high vehicle ownership is by no means an indication of prosperity but a consequence of failed planning. The ultimate result of low public transport take-up and an excessive abundance of private cars is the nightmarish traffic snarls along our roads and highways, resulting in unnecessary time, resource and economic losses.

The most pressing task for the government is to decisively improve our existing public transportation. To the commuters, a prerequisite for all public transit systems is fast and convenient services.

Simply put, no one would want to waste lots of time changing trains or buses to reach their final destinations. In other words, the government must expand not only the network coverage but also improve connectivity among the different modes and systems.

Secondly, public transport fares must be affordable. If we have to spend as much money taking public transit as to pay for car mortgages, many will then opt for the latter given the added convenience."

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Jakartans lack access to decent public transportation

The Jakarta Post: "The report surveyed megacities and satellite cities and showed that Paris received a perfect score (100 percent), followed by Barcelona (99 percent) and Madrid (92 percent). Cities at the bottom included Washington D.C. (57 percent), Beijing (60 percent) and Jakarta (44 percent). But when the survey included the metropolitan area Paris score dropped to 50 percent, Barcelona to 76 percent and greater Jakarta 16 percent.

“The PNT metric illustrates how unplanned urban and suburban growth focuses on automobiles and only those who can afford to drive,” said Clayton Lane, the chief executive officer of ITDP."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

DAP MPs: Tax exemption for carbuyers against pro-public transport policy

Malay Mail Online: "“This kind of one-off measure is not only irresponsible but also sends a wrong signal for a government that is trying to increase the usage of public transportation,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted."

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Transport expert: Bus lanes better than LRTs for Penang

Free Malaysia Today: "GEORGE TOWN: A dedicated bus lane straddling existing roads is the best bet to alleviate traffic in Penang than the elevated Light Rail Transit (LRT), a transport academic from Australia shared yesterday.
University of Queensland urban planning lecturer Dr Dorina Pojani said the system, commonly known as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), was the cheapest and the most effective way to allay traffic woes.
She said BRTs would cost one-tenth that of LRTs and has seen great take-up and effectiveness in South American countries such as Colombia.
Pojani said BRTs were a perfect fit for medium-sized townships like George Town and many other parts of Penang."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Malaysia - high fares not good for public transport

Towards better public transport | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News: " A word of caution is necessary. Success of the network to enhance the economy will depend on affordability. Threats of fare increase on a regular basis do little to endear the system to those who need it most. On economics alone to be the criteria, fares of a system costing billions are unfair on consumers whose contribution to economic growth and development is indisputable. After all, there can be no burdening of consumers who vote with their feet.

A just and fair fare structure must be formulated. A strong sense of social responsibility for what is essentially a public utility is unavoidable. The government cannot absolve itself of financial responsibility for the upkeep of the rail network especially. It is an economic infrastructure necessity and the fares must, therefore, reflect this fact. --"

Monday, August 29, 2016

Group calls for urgent transport fare review

Free Malaysia Today: "PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Public Transport Users Association (4PAM) has renewed its call for the establishment of a Public Transport Tariff Review Committee (PTTRC) and urged Prime Minister Najib Razak to ensure that public transport fares are reviewed immediately.
Speaking to FMT,its president Ajit Johl said all stakeholders should be represented in the PTTRC and it should report directly to the Prime Minister or the Transport Ministry.
He was reacting to a reader’s letter to The Star which said that using public transport was less feasible than driving one’s own vehicle because fares on LRT and BRT were exorbitant.
Ajit said Malaysians were suffering because nothing like a PTTRC had been set up."

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Singapore: To address problems of globalization, make #publictransport fare-free

The Straits Times: "Public transport, for example, is a necessary expenditure for the almost 60 per cent of households without a car. The adults need to get to work and the kids need to get to school, and walking or cycling are rarely feasible options. While the Government already subsidises transportation costs and invests billions in infrastructure, I think policymakers could consider gradually increasing subsidies further so that the real, inflation-adjusted costs to commuters fall over time, to the point where they might eventually become free (or practically free). Such a move may be considered by some to be radical. However, I think there is a strong moral and economic case for it."

Saturday, August 13, 2016

#Publictransport more expensive in Malaysia than Singapore

Free Malaysia Today: "He wants to know, on a dollar for dollar basis, why the ride in Malaysia costs three times more compared with that in Singapore."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Malaysia PM seeks integrated and seamless public transport, starting with buses

New Straits Times: "Fortunately, on social media, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wrote: “Connectivity, and more specifically, public transport are very dear and close to my heart. I seek to ensure that the government provides seamless and integrated service to the people.” On that promise, those working in Kuala Lumpur or doing business there are asking City Hall to postpone the high parking fees until such time that an efficient public transport system is in place. City Hall does not need to lay rails for a high-speed link access, or even a tram line. All it has to do is designate bus lanes in the city. Vehicles trespassing on these lanes, except taxis, will be harshly dealt with. Surely, when public transport runs smoothly, it will be the transport mode of choice. What of those drivers stuck in a traffic jam because there is one lane less for them, you may ask. Serves them right for driving into the city, when public transport takes one from A to B effortlessly."

"The private vehicle is an expensive ticket"

Take public transport, top-ranking govt officers told | Free Malaysia Today: "the “higher-ups” use public transport as a means to travel to work as well to show the public that public transport was not necessarily meant for the poor.
He also urged other city councils to follow DBKL’s example and increase their parking rates as well.
Ajit said it was good that DBKL had started the initiative and there should be an increment every year.
“People need to understand that a private vehicle is basically an expensive ticket.”"

Motorbikes choking Hanoi

CityLab: "To compensate for the proposed ban on motorbikes, the government plans to augment Hanoi’s public transportation. It seeks to double the number of buses (currently at around 1,000) and construct two metro lines in the next five years, with four more by 2030."

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Kuala Lumpur CBD to limit parking to two hours

Free Malaysia Today: "KUALA LUMPUR: The public should not hesitate but try commuting via public transport to enter the Kuala Lumpur Central Business District (CBD), says Federal Territories Deputy Minister Loga Bala Mohan.
He was responding to public views which disagreed with the government move to limit the parking (metered on road parking only) duration to only two hours in CBD areas like Bukit Bintang, KLCC, Ampang and other areas in the city centre.
He said the move was aimed at stimulating the public to often use public transport to commute rather than their own vehicles."

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Klang Valley Malasia, 16 new light rail stops open

The Star Online: "PETALING JAYA: Land public transport in the Klang Valley received a huge boost with the opening of 16 new light rail transit (LRT) stations to form a seamless loop between the Kelana Jaya and Sri Petaling lines. ...For the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), the opening of the LEP is a major milestone in turning Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley into a world class city. “By expanding connectivity, we hope to reduce the number of cars on the road, helping to reduce congestion, facilitate a more positive daily commuting experiences, and in the longer run, reduce our CO2 emissions,” said SPAD CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah."

Friday, July 1, 2016

Guess what?: Tanta Ginting wants better public transportation

The Jakarta Post: "JAKARTA: Actor Tanta Ginting says he doubts the Jakarta administration’s policy to impose an odd-even number plate regulation on cars and motorcycles would significantly reduce traffic jams.

“If you want to reduce traffic jams significantly, then improving public transportation facilities is the only way,” Tanta said as quoted by recently. "

Friday, June 24, 2016

Jakarta to renovate and expand 2600km of sidewalks

The Jakarta Post: "Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama promised to consistently improve sidewalks and public transportation services in his remarks at Jakarta’s 489th anniversary on Wednesday.

The city administration would renovate and expand 2,600 kilometers of sidewalks across the capital by engaging private companies, the governor said."

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

PAS candidate wants better public transport services

The Star Online: "KUALA KANGSAR: The PAS candidate for the by-election here wants better public transportation services for the convenience of residents.

Dr Najihatussalehah Ahmad (pic) said those living in villages here were forced to rely on the services of chartered boats, which did not have fixed operating hours.

Public buses in the area are also poorly maintained and need to be replaced, she told reporters at the PAS operations centre here on Monday."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

In Malaysia, proper #publictransport a "government priority"

paultan : "In an earlier report, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had stated that the public transport system of a country was its backbone and that an efficient and reliable system needs to be in place to ensure progress. He said that with an urbanisation rate of 60%, a proper public transport system in the country is both a necessity and a government priority."

Jakarta Governor mulls free public transport

GovInsider: "“If ERP generates a good enough income I want buses to be free … for the whole city. This will improve the lives of Jakartans,” the Governor said, according to the Jakarta Globe.

The system will be entirely run by the city government. The Governor decided against working with the private sector so that all of the revenue goes to the city and can be used for public transport.

“Earlier we wanted to cooperate with private firms. But I decided not to share with the private sector so 100% [of the revenue] generated goes to the city and we can subsidise,” he said."

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cabinet extends free public transport services for 6 more months

สำนักข่่าวแห่งชาติ :: "BANGKOK, 10 May 2016 (NNT) – The Cabinet has agreed to continue to exempt commuters from bus and train fares for another six months to reduce their living expenses. "

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Loga: Ministry wants 60pc of city dwellers to use public transportation by 2020

Malay Mail Online: "KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — To reduce traffic congestion in the city by 2020, the federal territories ministry is targetting 60 per cent of city folks and 40 per cent of those in rural areas to use public transportation.

Deputy minister, Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan said currently, only 20 per cent of city folks use public transportation in Kuala Lumpur and described it as “very low”."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 23, 2016

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Free Bus Rides In Johor Baru To Help Rakyat Save Money To Buy Homes

malaysiandigest : ". "With the rising cost of living, the young will get to save more of their income if they use public transportation to get to work. Instead of buying a car, they can save the money to buy a house.

"The inter-city bus service can also reduce the number of cars in the city centre, and this will alleviate congestion," Khaled said in his speech at the launch of the bus service which will have a fleet of 30 buses plying 15 service routes in four municipalities, namely Johor Baru City Council,"

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mass slaughter as cars continue to win war on people

Bangkok Post: news: "The first six days of the "seven dangerous days" of Songkran saw 397 people lose their lives in road crashes across Thailand, a 29.74% jump from last year, with drink-driving remaining the major cause of accidents."

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Costs of car culture not paid by those who profit from it -- managing distracted drivers

More drink-drivers arrested, 75 vehicles impounded | Bangkok Post: news: "A total of 3,085 people were arrested for drink-driving and 75 of their vehicles impounded at road safety checkpoints during the past three days, April 9-11, National Council for Peace and Order deputy spokeswoman Col Sirichan Ngathong said on Tuesday."

Singapore public transport minister sees end of private car in 20 years

Channel NewsAsia: "“These driving forces are already changing our transport sector in significant ways,” said Mr Khaw. “Changes will be incremental but over 15 years, we shall collectively experience a quantum leap. Private cars will likely start to go the way of horse carriages, if not in 15 years, definitely in 20 or 25 years’ time.”"

Monday, April 11, 2016

In Malaysia, free buses show the way to fight urban sprawl

The Star Online: "“Public transport right now is not convenient. Changing MRT lines is so difficult and it’s not convenient,” she said.

She added that the quality and connectivity for public transport has to be improved to convince more people to use it.

Wong agrees that public transportation is the “key to development in Selangor”.

She said that the state has involved with the construction of MRT and LRT lines, and is working closely with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to develop bus lanes, bike lanes, and provide free buses.

“We have a very comprehensive free bus service, it shows that public transportation is the way to go,” said Wong."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Malaysia experience shows the mistake of building rail before buses

New Straits Times : "First came the rail systems, the Putra and Star light rail transit (LRT) and KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd), as well as the ERL (Express Rail Link) to KLIA. Then came the monorail. Feeder buses around commuter trains grew to service the passengers, but it was slow and time consuming. Although the commuter trains were jam-packed during rush hours, the system did not develop in tandem to gain popularity. "

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Johor Baru Malaysia starting new free bus service - 30 buses | Malay Mail Online

Malay Mail Online : "JOHOR BARU, March 20 — The state government will start a free bus service here and in the outlying districts of Pasir Gudang and Kulai in the middle of next month.

Thirty buses will ply several routes in the pilot project, called Johor Muafakat (Johor Unite)."

Sunday, March 6, 2016

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Thousands have fun on first Car-Free Sunday in Singapore

The Straits Times: "Housewife Cindy Cheng, 44, and her husband took their four children to the event, which she described as a good opportunity for family bonding. "We are an active family, and like to expose our kids to the outdoors as much as possible. The event was up to our expectations and we will definitely come again.""

Friday, February 19, 2016

Writer has suggestions for Thailand #publictransit

The Nation: "With mega-projects set to be a major mover of our sluggish economy, I propose that many should be focused on improving the efficiency of our public transportation system. This could be done by:

a) Integrating public transport so that different systems work seamlessly as one. For example, no longer would we have the Airport Link light railway drop passengers in the middle of nowhere. With Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha enjoying absolute power to force inter-agency cooperation, now is the time to push this through.

b) Shifting our long-haul transit from roads to high-speed, dual-track railway, thus lowering costs.

c) Pushing retail fuel prices back to where they were when oil was US$100 per barrel, and using the surplus for transportation mega-projects.

d) Installing closed-circuit cameras at all major intersections to automatically fine speeders, those caught idling at intersections, etc. Fines for traffic offences should double each time a given driver breaks the law in a given year.

e) Requiring that car owners prove they have parking spaces for their vehicles, as in Rome. Cars can be parked only in the district where the owner resides. Otherwise they will be towed.

Burin Kantabutra"

'via Blog this'

Friday, February 5, 2016

Kuala Lumpur residents call for more free buses, shaded walkways

The Star Online: "“The journey is less than half an hour and I am sure people will not mind walking if there was a proper shaded walkway.

“Proper walkways can help reduce the number of cars on the road,” he said.

He highlighted that densely populated areas such as Kajang, Puchong and Subang Jaya were not equipped with shaded walkways, making residents less reluctant to walk instead of driving their cars over a short distance or using public transport which would require them to walk from the rail station or bus stop to their destination.
...Upen macro section and privatisation deputy director Mohd Yazid Sairi said the Selangorku buses serviced five areas — Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Kajang, Klang and Ampang Jaya — at a cost of RM12.5mil.

He added that the network would be expanded as there had been more requests for the free bus service."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Singapore politely, quietly, joins the war against cars

Channel NewsAsia: "SINGAPORE: The aim is to have three in four commuters choose public transport as their main mode of travel by 2030, a proportion rising to 85 per cent by the 2050s. To make this "car-lite" vision come to pass, the Government will invest a projected S$36 billion in public transport expenditure over the next 5 years, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Citing a 1975 speech by the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Khaw said on Thursday (Jan 21) that the objective is "a city pleasant, green and cool, and safety and convenience for the pedestrian"."