Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mobilizing more buses

Public transport demand is cyclical. It's highly demanded in the mornings and evenings. At other times of the day, they carry pretty much lighter loads.

In the meantime, there are also other non-public transport buses in the Klang Valley.

School buses do their runs from around 6 a.m. to 7.30 a.m., in the mid day, and evenings. Excursion buses (bas persiaran) are unlikely to be used that early in the morning. While I have no idea when factory buses (bas kilang/pekerja) are used.

What I am suggesting is that these buses be mobilized to add capacity to the current network whenever they are needed, and whenever they are free.

For example, most school buses ought to finish their runs in the morning by around 7.30 a.m., or 8 at the latest. How about Rapid KL subcontracting these buses to do some trunk or express routes? Meaning having these buses do Rapid KL services, issuing Rapid KL tickets and accepting Rapid KL passes doing Rapid KL routes.

Since these buses are not really designed for public transport purposes, i.e. they only have one door in front, have a set of stairs to climb and have many seats but a narrow corridor, they are better used for longer distance travel.

So, why not use these buses to pick up passengers for trunk and express routes in addition to the current ones?

For example, the western suburbs (Areas 5 and 6) like Subang Jaya, Sunway, Puchong and the Damansaras are badly covered by the rail networks. School buses, after doing their school runs, can be used to ferry passengers right into KL or other urban centres, such as Pusat Bandar Damansara.

As for other areas, they can be used to temporarily relieve the demand due to the Komuter and LRT reaching its current capacity (until the new rolling stock arrive).

Or like how about having new routes from these areas head to the City via expressways like the NPE or Penchala Link to conduct express services?

It can be a little trickier in the evenings, due to school ending at the same time workers in the city return.

At least, making one part of the journey easier and less stressful is better than none, and especially if it's the one that's going to affect your mood for the rest of the day.


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