Home TA Online 10 ways to improve mobility in Kuala Lumpur

10 ways to improve mobility in Kuala Lumpur

Traffic jam in Jalan Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur at 10 am on a working day – BENEDICT LOPEZ

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Malaysia needs to build new transport infrastructure and maintain and improve existing infrastructure so that it functions efficiently, eases traffic jams and reduces disruptions.

Public transport in Kuala Lumpur has improved in recent decades. Today, KL Sentral is a well-developed transport hub, comparable with hubs in many other cities worldwide. A comprehensive network of buses, taxis and various rail systems links the KL centre with the outskirts.

But these connections have only marginally eased traffic snarls in the city, which still faces frequent traffic jams, even during off-peak hours.

If we take certain measures, we can overcome the teething problems with the city’s transport system.

  1. Improve last-mile connectivity – Passengers alighting at light rail transit (LRT) and mass rapid transit (MRT) stations often have to wait around 20 minutes for feeder buses to residential areas. This deters commuters from taking the trains. To complement the feeder buses at these rail stations, allow three-wheeled vehicles or tuk-tuk, as they call it in Thailand, to transport commuters from MRT and LRT stations to residential areas
  2. Increase bus frequencies – Issue more licences to bus companies to increase the frequency of ordinary bus services from residential areas to key places in the city. Buses must ply key routes at least every five minutes. If possible, designate special lanes for buses to ensure optimum frequency. Commuters now have to wait around 20-30 minutes for a bus in residential areas like Bangsar. Many bus stops do not have proper seats, making it uncomfortable for passengers, especially senior citizens. Display the arrival times of buses at each bus stop
  3. Reduce waiting times for intercity bus services and increase the services for regular, well-patronised routes
  4. Offer senior citizens a 50% concession for season tickets (Currently, Rapid KL has a RM50 monthly pass, which gives unlimited travel for commuters, but no discount is given to senior citizens)
  5. Impose severe fines on those flouting traffic regulations – Many people abuse the law thinking they can contravene the law. When they are issued a fixed penalty notice, they will wait for a ‘discount’ to be offered. Stop giving discounts to traffic offenders. If they fail to settle fines within a certain period, charge them in court. Highlight the offences of those convicted in the media; the shame from the media coverage will be a deterrent to other motorists
  6. Issue penalty notices to those who illegally obstruct parking bays with dustbins, flower pots and chairs. All over KL, motorists and motorcyclists park indiscriminately on pavements, denying senior citizens, the disabled and pregnant women an unobstructed path. Take stern action to ensure rules are observed. Erect barriers on pavements to deter motorists and motorcyclists from parking on them. What is most appalling is when motorcyclists park on tactile surfaces that are meant for blind people
  7. Install CCTV cameras at strategic points in KL to catch offenders for any traffic violations. Irresponsible motorists and motorcyclists endanger the lives of pedestrians when they ignore the flashing lights at pedestrian crossings
  8. Introduce a demerit points system for traffic offences and suspend the driving licences of repeat offenders. Cancel the driving licences of more serious offenders
  9. Introduce more competition in ride-hailing services to benefit consumers. Initially, such services were a boon for the people but fares have risen. A journey that used to cost RM4 has soared to RM17. During peak hours, it is difficult to hail a private hire vehicle. All other taxi services should also provide ride-hailing services
  10. Ensure public transport plays a critical role in all new property development projects. At present, property development projects rarely take into account public transport connectivity
READ MORE:  Solve Penang's congestion with more buses - not expensive overhead rail line
Vehicles parked on a pedestrian pavement in Bangsar, denying pedestrians their right to walk – BENEDICT LOPEZ

Transport Minister Anthony Loke recently highlighted the poor maintenance of rail infrastructure and station facilities. The escalator at the Bangsar LRT station breaks down often. When this happens, senior citizens, the disabled and pregnant women face difficulty climbing the escalator stairs. The authorities must immediately repair all malfunctioning facilities at LRT and MRT stations. 

Loke is taking on many other issues in the transport sector. He is undoubtedly committed and sincere in trying to improve the country’s transport systems. The public must assist the minister in discharging his enormous task by providing him feedback.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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Benedict Lopez was director of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in Stockholm and economics counsellor at the Malaysian embassy there in 2010-2014. He covered all five Nordic countries in the course of his work. A pragmatic optimist and now an Aliran member, he believes Malaysia can provide its people with the same benefits found in the Nordic countries - not a far-fetched dream but one he hopes will be realised in his lifetime
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Cheng TK
Cheng TK
12 Feb 2023 12.27pm

Should also consider using minibuses with higher frequency during less busy time to more places.

Cheng siew ho
Cheng siew ho
7 Feb 2023 7.50pm

Another thing to add..
Consumer can be inform the next eta of bus..

Example when I was in London few months back, 5min before bus arrive I walk out of my house .

When I arrive the tube station I know what time is my next bus arrival to take me back home

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