Kuching Sentral to open in March, 2012

TRANSIT took note of interesting information about the opening of Kuching Sentral, a bus terminal located at 6th mile, Jalan Penrissen, a short distance from Kuching Airport and the old Sarawak Government Railway Corridor. The terminal was supposed to open in December 2010 but the projected open date is now March 2012.

Kuching Sentral a new hub for public transport (The Borneo Post)

12 January 2012
by Peter Sibon, reporters@theborneopost.com

PROJECT INSPECTION: Syed Hamid (centre) touring Kuching Sentral with Ghazali (right) and Hasbi Habibollah (left), chairman of the state Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB). — Photo by Jeffery Mostapa. Image courtesy of The Borneo Post.

KUCHING: The RM100-million Regional Bus Terminal known as Kuching Sentral located at Mile 6, Jalan Penrissen will provide a new dimension for public transport services in the state, said the chairman of Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar. Continue reading

BRT in Kuching developing a name & face?

For some time, TRANSIT has been following proposals for a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Kuching.

The early proposal for a BRT system was called the Kuching City Area Transit (CAT, of course) and would have had a number of lines running through the Kuching town area as well as to the north side of the river. The proposals for Kuching CAT seemed to emphasize loops around different parts of Kuching City.

The original route map proposal for Kuching CAT.

Click here for a larger version of the image above.

The most recent proposal is to have a Kuching BRT system that focuses on service on major road corridors. Rather than loops, this proposal focuses on building up demand in certain corridors.

Both proposals have been given strong support by Sarawak Urban Development Minister Abang Johari Openg, who has been wondering why it is taking so long to get approval from the federal government for a project that only costs RM200 million.

The bus rapid transit proposal also received support from a recent summit on public transport for Kuching. You can see TRANSIT’s comments here, which we will also re-iterate below.

Most recently, TRANSIT has noted an image posted in a forum on Kuching Public Transport that shows a “Kuching Transit” bus service. Is it official or someone’s fantasy drawing? We don’t know yet…. Continue reading

No SCORE: Sarawak Minister suggests that the proposed Miri-Bintulu rail corridor may become a white elephant

TRANSIT took note of this article from the Borneo Post, in which Sarawak’s Infrastructure Development & Communications Minister comments unfavourably about the proposed Miri-Bintulu railway corridor, which is part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

The feasibility of the railway link is being examined as part of the organized development which is to benefit the economy of Sarawak.

‘Railway system not viable as public transport in state’ (Borneo Post)
June 28, 2011

INFRASTRUCTURE Development and Communications Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong has stated that it is not viable to construct a railway system for public transport usage in the state at the moment, due to the low population of Sarawak.

Although a study on Railway Development Master Plan for Central Region of Sarawak was in its final draft stage and scheduled to complete by August this year, Manyin (BN-Tebedu) added that the cost was too expensive even if the tracks were to be used for the transportation of goods. Continue reading

Abang Jo is not happy with public transport & development planning. TRANSIT: Well, neither are we.

TRANSIT took note of this interesting set of articles detailing Amar Abang Johari Openg’s continued push to get a Bus Rapid Transit system built in Kuching.

Abang Jo, Satok Assemblyman and Minister of Housing and Urban Development … and possible successor to the Chief Minister of Sarawak, has been calling for the Federal Government to provide RM200 million in funding for Kuching’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit system for nearly 3 years. His most recent push was to hold a public transport conference in Kuching, inviting experts to state the obvious – that Kuching needs a better public transport system and that the Federal Government needs to support the funding.

One would think that a Federal Government that is ready to spend RM7 billion on the LRT extensions and perhaps RM50 billion on the Klang Valley MRT project could somehow find RM200 million (or even RM1bn) for Kuching, the 4th largest city in Malaysia.

On the other hand, Sarawak is the wealthiest state in the Federation of Malaysia – so perhaps one can wonder why a compromise cannot be reached, with both state and federal government investing in public transport.

Abang Jo: We are going the wrong way! (Borneo Post, 24 May 2011)

INTERACTION: Abang Johari (second right) and Abdul Wahab (right) greeting participants after opening Focus Result Delivery (FRD) Lab for Kuching Urban Public Transport session. Image courtesy of Borneo Post.

by Saiful Bahari

KUCHING: Building flyovers and widening roads would not solve traffic congestion problems. These approaches would, in fact, exacerbate the problem by inducing more traffic. Continue reading

Updates #73


Updates #73

1. Article: Integrated public transportation within a year: DPM (NST) – Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yasin took his trip on the Klang Valley public transport system and claimed that the public transport system can be integrated within a year.

Deputy PM Muhyiddin on an Ampang Line (STAR) LRT train. Beside him is a token OKU as well as the Minister of Transport Kong Cho Ha. Picture courtesy of NST.


Continue reading

Updates #47

Updates #47

1. Letter: Deploy cops at train stations to deter pickpockets (The Star) – K.L. from Serdang comments on security issues on KTM at Serdang and KL Sentral stations.

2. Two articles about the Rawang bus terminal:

The sky-bridge connects the Rawang Bus Terminal to adjacent office lots. — Picture by P.C. Lim for Streets-NST

give different stories about the status of the new terminal. The terminal was completed 6 months ago but has yet to be opened because the CVLB permits direct all buses to use the old terminal (200m away) instead. However, the terminal should be open soon.

3. Article(s): Many newspapers covered the fire of a Metrobus on Jalan Silang, KL on 25 April. Instead of covering the articles, we will just share the photo with you.

Metrobus on fire on Jalan Silang near Kota Raya department store in Kuala Lumpur.

4. Articles: Council discussing possible routes for buses in Petaling Jaya (The Star) and MBPJ sets up Rapid PJ bus service (Malay Mail) both discuss a plan for additional local bus route service in Petaling Jaya.

[TRANSIT: We will follow up on this initiative by the MBPJ with more information in the near future.]

5. Article: No city tour for 40 tourists (The Star) – reports of touting and Van Sapu (illegal vans) led to this ‘sting’ operation on tourists who take “Van Sapu” from Penang Airport.

6. Article: Taxi drivers can help keep tourists safe (Star-Metro) – report on an initiative in Kuching to have taxi drivers become the ‘eyes and ear’ of the police.

7. Article: Most number of complaints against cabbies (The Star) – a summary of complaints to the CVLB shows that most complaints are against errant taxi drivers.

8. Article: Bullet trains not right for inner city (Malay Mail) – a response to a question about bullet trains in the current Senate sitting.

Kuching to get RM200 million transport hubs

TRANSIT takes note of this article commenting on plans to decentralize public transport in Kuching with a number of transport hubs.

Kuching to get RM200 million transport hubs (NST)

2010/04/14
By Desmond Davidson

KUCHING: The transport network here will be decentralised through a series of “suburb hubs” to be built in key residential areas.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said it would cost the state government RM200 million in the next five years to improve the woeful transport system here.

An allocation for the project has been set aside under the 10th Malaysia Plan.

Abang Johari, who had travelled extensively, said areas that had been identified for such hubs were the MJC in the north-eastern suburb of Kuching, Matang in the western suburb, Muara Tebas in the east, and Jalan Song in the north.

The central hub of the network, to be known as Kuching Central, will be sited on an area near the Kuching International Airport.

He added that these hubs would have an “efficient service” to connect them to the city centre.

Giving the Matang hub as an example, he pointed out that the hub there would service a network covering the coastal areas from Damai in Santubong to Telaga Air, Matang.

He said the sub-hub in Telaga Air would have a network of its own to cover the area right up to Rambungan, while the Rambungan hub would have a network that covered all areas in the southern end of the state, including the resort towns of Lundu and Sematan.

“When I was given the Urban Development portfolio in December, it was obvious the city’s transport system was poor,” he said after opening Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) three-day engineering conference, “Encon 2010″ here.

He said improving the transport system was now his focus and priority.

A developed transport system could spur the growth of new industries, especially the service-related industries, he added.

“With a good transport system, tourists can travel from one spot to another much faster, more conveniently and far cheaper.”

He said Kuching would serve as the test bed for any transport system that would be introduced in other major towns like Sibu, Miri and Bintulu.

“If the model put into place here is successful, then the same model will be used to improve the system in other major towns.”

TRANSIT Says:

We appreciate the efforts & dedication of Abang Jo towards improving the public transport system around Kuching and other parts of Sarawak in the future.

We want the system to be simple and informative and easy to access – which is why we support having a Local Public Transport Council that is responsible for planning, organizing and managing public transport services and communicating information about public transport to the public.

Our hope is that the “Hub & Spoke” system used in Kuching is more effective than the system that was introduced in the Klang Valley and in Penang – both of which eventually saw reduced numbers of hubs and more direct service – because governments were not interested in the complicated planning that is required to make the ‘hub & spoke’ system work.

And while we are happy to see that Abang Jo has not once mentioned “LRT”, we would like to know more about the plan for “Rapid Transit” connections (Kuching CAT?)between the hubs.

If there are no rapid transit connections between the hubs, the inconvenience of “transfer + wait” and the lack of information would drive many people away from public transport (as it happened in KL and Penang).

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