Asfar (right) says house buyers sometimes wait for years before they can get a bus to their neighbourhood. With him is Marimuthu. — Picture by Nik Rosli Ishak

PETALING JAYA: The Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association calls for a National Transport Policy to improve the services of public transport.

In a joint press conference with the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca), its president Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali said the policy would serve as an indicator of how public transport operators should run their services.

"With the policy, we will know clearly what is expected from us. Passengers would also know what they can expect from us.

"It will also keep us informed as local authorities have information on the population sector needing our services.

"One example is providing bus services to a new residential scheme. The current practice is to have a certain area developed first before planning for public transport services there. House buyers would have to wait, sometimes for years, before they can get a bus to their neighbourhood," Ashfar said.

He said the local authorities can project the need for public transport as they have the information on developments.

This will help prepare operators to extend their routes to the areas.

Ashfar also urged the government to engage both public and transport operators when designing transport terminals.

"Take the Bandar Tasek Selatan integrated transport terminal, for example.

"We had raised our concerns including air pollution, holding areas for buses, and traffic conditions in the area. This could have been avoided if we were consulted beforehand.

"Ultimately, the passengers would suffer if these problems are not addressed properly."

Fomca chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selva Raj said public transport garnered the second highest complaints, the first being higher food prices.

"We want to encourage people to take public transport, but at the same time we can't say that the service is viable.

"The fact that more highways are built does not help as that would mean more people opting to drive as they think highways are solutions for traffic jams."

He added that a memorandum to improve the public transport system would be submitted to the Land Public Transport Commission.

Also present was Fomca president Datuk Marimuthu Nadason.

By Nuradzimmah Daim
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