SPAD: Public transport too slow
PETALING JAYA: It takes longer to get to the city by public transport than it does by car, a government study concluded.
This was due, in part, to the increase of highway networks and the poor quality of public transport, according to a draft version of the Greater Klang Valley/Kuala Lumpur Land Public Transport Master Plan.
“Door-to-door travel times for private vehicles remain competitive against the use of public transport. Travel times are much higher by public transport, resulting in poorer accessibility to jobs and facilities,” it said.
The lack of “bus priority measures”, coupled with the rise of private car usage, have also contributed to the longer travel times experienced by public transport users, the plan added.
“Travel times by car are typically shorter than by public transport for many journeys in the region. The exception is those corridors currently well-served by rail such as the LRT corridors,” it added.
The change in household characteristics, rise in household incomes and affordability of cars also played a role in the lowered usage of public transport.
This was further demonstrated through two figures in the report (see attached images), one for public transport and the other for private cars.
Public transport users in the furthest reaches of Ampang and Klang supposedly took between 180 and 300 minutes just to get to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).
(Red areas show longer traveling times, while blue ones show the shortest.)
Compared with cars, the traveling time was significantly lower, with periods lasting between 90 to 120 minutes. Longer periods were only recorded if the users were near Negeri Sembilan.
The masterplan’s findings – drafted by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) – comes as no surprise. Klang Valley residents have had to bear with poor public transport facilities for many years with no end in sight.
Inaccessibility, poor integration and late public vehicles have forced many citizens to turn to private cars and motorcycles just to get around.
The masterplan also showed that public transport usage in the Klang Valley had fallen from 34% in the 1980s to between 10 to 12% in 2008.
It added that transit movements to the city centre may have seen a more than 30% mode share, “due to the higher volumes of bus and rail demands”.
Bus stops in Klang Valey poorly maintained
Nevertheless, these numbers are still much lower than those recorded by international cities such as Hong Kong (90%), Singapore (63%) and London (55%).
Accessible public transport was especially lacking in residential areas, the draft plan noted.
“At the outer end of journeys, there is very little penetration of residential areas…63% of the population lived within 400 metres of a bus service.”
“The service pattern does not mirror emerging land use patterns and ability to provide for good public transport.
“The situation is exacerbated in the lower density fringe areas…difficult to serve effectively with bus services, thus dependency on private motor vehicles is likely to be high,” it said.
There were also relatively few bus stops in the Klang Valley (more than 4,200), with many of them in poor condition and lacking in transit information.
KTMB (Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad) Komuter stations also appeared to suffer from a lack of accessibility.
Despite serving 157km, 12 of its 50 stations, the draft said,appeared to serve less than 250 passengers a day.
With a 15-minute peak hour headway (frequency period), the Komuter records a daily ridership of 95,000, much lower than the Kelana Jaya and Ampang Rapid KL LRT lines.
In comparison, the Kelana Jaya line has a daily ridership of 160,000 and a peak hour headway of three minutes, while serving 24 stations.
The Ampang line on the other hand, with a peak hour headway of three to six minutes, has a daily ridership of 141,000, with its serving of 25 stations.
“This reflects the inaccessibility from the surrounding areas as well as the low frequency and slow journey times on KTMB,” it said.