The Government has reaffirmed its commitment on the country’s public transport transformation plan in ensuring the realization of its agenda in increasing public transport modal share for Kuala Lumpur to 40 percent and other capital cities by an average of 15 percent by the year 2030.
In stating this today, Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also stressed the need for public transport planners to ‘think outside the box’ and to study the success stories of other countries.
“We will ensure that no projects are delayed; but if delays are inevitable, it should be at the very minimal,” he said in his keynote address at the 16th International Association of Public Transport (UITP) Asia-Pacific Assembly, held at Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is Home Affairs Minister, acknowledged the possibility of delay in the projects in view of the grouses by employers on the shortage of construction workers.
“Although there are already about 1.99 million legal foreign workers in the country, employers still faces a shortage of workers resulting in delays in some projects. We took note of that and as I speak, we are fine-tuning the process of hiring the workers,” he added.
Co-hosted by Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (Prasarana) and UITP, more than 500 key players in the public transport industry from more than 30 countries are attending the two-day Assembly, which was last hosted by Malaysia 16 years ago at the turn of the millennium.
In undertaking the public transport transformation plan, Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid said that the Government has undertaken a host of initiatives. They included:
To date, we have rolled out a host of public transport initiatives including:
- · Improving the main rail line with the Klang Valley, as well as down south to the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia;
- A line extension for the LRT services in the Klang Valley to reach even further into the suburbs and provide for the first time, LRT services to 300,000 new commuters
- An improvement in capacity for the monorail and LRT services in order to ensure more passengers can be moved, particularly during peak hours;
- A Bus Performance Monitoring Hub System;
- A new taxi business model;
- The promotion of park and ride facilities;
- An automated fare collection system
“Further down the line, in December, we will see the opening of Phase 1 of the MRT Line 1 from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, involving 12 stations and an elevated track of 21km. Phase 2 is scheduled to open in July 2017 with an additional 30 stations and 30km of seamless travel.
“We also look forward to increasing the public transport modal share with the upcoming Putrajaya Urban Rail project currently in the pipeline.
“For bus services, we are excited to have a second Bus Rapid Transit project for the Klang Valley in the pipeline, and to date, have rolled out the Stage Bus Service Transformation programme for 11 capital cities in the country.
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid also said that Malaysia is in the midst of planning for the High Speed Rail project, which would connect the central business district of Kuala Lumpur to downtown Singapore in a mere 90 minutes.
“Indeed, these are exciting times for Malaysia and we are well on the path to transforming the public transport industry,” he added.
In his welcome address, Prasarana Group Chairman Tan Sri Ismail Adam said that the organizing of the high profile Assembly was timely with Malaysia currently in full gear of its transformation process.
“Prasarana is proud and honoured to again host of this event – the gathering of brilliant minds and passionate hearts of outstanding individuals serving people for a better world through promotions of seamless travel, smooth connectivity and sustainable urban mobility via an efficient public transport system,” he said.
Immediately after the opening ceremony by Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid, Malaysia shared the exciting experience of its transformation journey with Prasarana, MRT Corp and ERL taking the stage for the opening session.
The opening day also included discussion of the subjects of accessibility and integration of public transport, financing public transport projects and charting the future of public transport in the Asia Pacific.
The Assembly closes tomorrow with the organization of three technical visits to Prasarana’s Bus Rapid Transit – Sunway Line Depot in Bandar Sunway, MRT Line 1 Depot in Sungai Buloh and Rapid KL LRT Ampang Line Depot in Ampang, Selangor.