Posted on 30 Mar 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post

KUCHING (March 30): Sarawak needs dedicated lanes for public buses, not just for its hydrogen-powered Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART), to address traffic jams, said Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin.

The state Transport Minister said separating lanes for public buses from other road users would not only provide a smooth and hassle-free transport experience for road users and public transport passengers, but also will help to address the current traffic congestions.

However, he said, the plan to introduce special lanes designated specifically for public transports including buses and taxis is still under discussion.

He assured that efforts to improve the public transportation system are underway as his ministry has proposed the plan on having dedicated lanes for public transport.

“Now the ministry is also proposing that we must have dedicated lanes for all this public transportations. Otherwise, they (public buses) will be caught in the jam too and cannot reach their destination punctually on time.

“So, we need to see and have a look at in terms of our planning of our road infrastructure. We have to look at this public transportation where we must, we need to have a dedicated lane.

“Then only they (public transport) can be punctual,” he told reporters when met at Kenyalang Traffic Garden today.

Citing his travelling experience using a public bus from Serian to the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH), he said the traffic congestion had caused some hassle for public bus users.

He recalled that he only reached the hospital around 12.30pm although he took off in the bus around 9am.

“That’s why we have made a proposal that we must have a special route for public vehicles such as buses. For our ART, it will have its special lane here in Kuching,” he said.

While the plan to build special lanes for ART is already in progress, he said this would only be available in Kuching.

He said since Sarawak has envisioned ART as its future public transportation, such special lanes for both ART and other public transportation also needs to be provided in other cities.

“We see our ART we have a dedicated lane so that it will be seamless travel so that it will be punctual.

“There’s no obstruction on the road. You cannot be punctual when you have your public transport together with the members of the public ordinary cars (on the same lane). If you are caught in the jam they are also caught in them.

“We need to have a special route or lane for ART, and also for other cities in the future, we should have a special route for public buses,” he added.

Meanwhile, when asked about the public’s comment on the usage of public buses seen as unreliable, Lee said this would depend on the situation of the road.

Lee pointed out the state government’s RM1 flat-rate bus fare programme has increased the number of ridership, although he did not have the figures on hand.

He also said that the state government will continue the programme in an effort to help ease financial burden faced by the rakyat especially those in the B40 and M40 groups who were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to revive bus services which are in dire straits.

The Borneo Post

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Last Updated On 22 Mar 2024

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