Transport for Everyone, Everywhere, Everytime

By:

Chong Yoong Wai

Affiliations:

Transit Malaysia

Policy Code:

3k Transport

Problem Statement:

Efficient, sustainable and cost-effective transportation is crucial in ensuring every Malaysian has the mobility they need to access social, economic and cultural opportunities. However, there is currently a public transport usage gap. Multiple incidents involving the rail system lately have impacted rail operators. These include major safety incidents and collisions and doors being left open during train services. Multiple reports of sexual harassment and assault were also reported on the system.

This lack of trust in the system’s safety and reliability has resulted in continued poor uptake of services. Pre-covid numbers suggested only 20% of Klang Valley residents use public transport, compared to the 50% of residents using private vehicles to travel. While more public and active transport options are being created, these options are often poorly thought-out and only benefit a small sub-section of the population. Hence, public and active transport modes are largely inaccessible for everyone, especially those in the B40.

Value(s) and Belief(s):

– Urban realm goal of 20-minute neighbourhoods: Basic necessities within 20 minutes from home or travelling to the city should not exceed an hour without using private vehicles.
– Better transport policy, informed by the expertise of urban planners in diverse specialties, such as public health, transport, social planning, etc.
– Further regional connections are important in developing regional areas

Proposal of Solution:

The management of transport services, especially in the Klang Valley, should be devolved to individual states or regions. This allows regions the capacity to make their own decisions about creating integrated transport systems in a location-sensitive manner.

A Parliamentary Inquiry into Public and Active Transport should be established. The Terms of Reference of this Inquiry should evaluate the safety and the effectiveness of public and active transport in Malaysia, and to give recommendations to that effect.

The current National Transport Policy document must be refreshed to coincide with the broader urban realm goal of 20-minute neighbourhoods. The focus of this refresh should be on with the goal of reducing car dependency in cities and regions. Statutory requirements to revise the Plan after a set number of years must be inserted into the 2010 Land Public Transport Act. The Act must also be amended to create statutory requirements to report, publish, and review commuter and performance datas.

Concerted effort must be given to upskill urban planners on transport good practices through professional education. Incentives should also be provided to practice in regional areas, where good planning expertise is currently scarce.

Building on the refresh of the National Transport Policy, all levels of government must build a public and active transport network that not only caters to work-home journeys between cities and the suburbs, but also travel between different suburbs. As city-regions grow, more effort should be taken to encourage inter-suburban transport to jobs, housing and social services.

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