Major cities can duplicate Klang Valley's public transport initiatives

KUCHING: Some of the public transport initiatives that are implemented in the Klang Valley can easily be duplicated in all the major cities, including Kuching, said the Transport Ministry's secretary-general Datuk Long See Wool.

He said the matter, which would take into consideration the unique problems faced by Sarawak, would be discussed with the state government as soon as possible as part of efforts to reduce fatal road accidents.

"The main initiatives now being implemented in the Klang Valley to reduce congestion are related to rail and bus services, including the bus express service which has been recording increasing ridership.

"This can be applied in Kuching from the city centre to other parts of the state, especially during peak hours, to reduce travel time," he told reporters after officiating at the Malaysian Road Safety Council's 51st annual general meeting, here, on Tuesday, Nov 30.

Long said his ministry supported the state government's request for a federal allocation of RM100 million to build overtaking lanes on the trunk road from Serian, near here, to Miri under the Tenth Malaysia Plan, which is under the purview of the Works Ministry.

The request has been put up as a resolution during the ongoing meeting which has about 300 participants, including from the state Public Works Department and traffic police.    

Long said at present, a study was being done by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) on the feasibility of implementing the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) in Johor to create a special lane for buses to reduce the travel time from one destination to another.

He said there was also a proposal to seek help from the Fire and Rescue Services Department and Health Ministry to deploy helicopers to reach the sites of accidents as soon as possible, especially those involving buses.

He was confident that the newly formed Public Transport Commission, which would start operating by the year end, would implement a lot of initiatives to enhance service standards by first injecting capacity to meet the target of the National Key Result Area (NKRA).

Earlier, he said, road accidents were a universal issue and identified as the main cause of deaths for those aged 16 to 25, including in Malaysia.

"There is revenue loss for the country due to injuries and deaths from road accidents, that is, a drop of two of per cent or RM10 billion in GDP annually based on the GDP of RM528 billion," he added. — Bernama
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