There’s no denying how bad traffic has gotten on the road these days. It seems like the jams are even worse than before the Movement Control Order. Is it because people just aren’t taking public transport anymore? And if so, why is that? KTMB Chief Executive Officer Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin claims that Malaysians refuse to take public transport and that most of it rarely reach full capacity.
Are the people lazy? Or are our public transport systems just so terrible? On this episode of Dwibahasa, Hanif and I try to find out.
The key takeaways
If you’re unable to watch the video for whatever reason, I will summarise the key takeaways from the conclusion for our video here.
First, the official Pulse app by Prasarana performed far below my expectations. It feels like it was designed in the stone ages and performs about as poorly as a stone tablet too. You don’t get detailed information on how busy a route is nor is the map particularly detailed in my experience. I also wasn’t getting turn-by-turn directions for the walking sections and for some reason it suggested a terribly inefficient path.
Couple that with the freezing and slow loading we experienced, you’re honestly better off using Google Maps if you want transit information. And that’s kind of a shame when you consider the fact that this is supposed to be the official transit app.
Hanif wasn’t particularly happy with the state of disrepair some of the bus stops he encountered were in. Information boards were not updated with the latest routes, and you don’t even have clearly displayed bus stop codes so you’re never quite sure which stop you’re at nor what bus is supposed to come through this route. That being said, when we were in the buses and trains, the vehicles were far better maintained and much cleaner than the stops themselves.
Regarding the question of whether anyone is taking them, the answer is yes especially for the main routes. The trains were full in my experience although the feeder systems were quite empty in Hanif’s case. What we found out was that the stations with park and ride facilities filled to the brim with motorcycles and vehicles, with many resorting to parking their cars and bikes along the main road because the provided car parks were full.
This seems to indicate to me that the people are taking public transport, it’s just that the feeder systems were so terrible and inefficient that everyone prefers to just drive to a major MRT or LRT station, park their car there and continue the journey via public transport. And if the goal is to reduce congestion and reliance on single driver cars in a household, I’m not quite sure this is the direction we should be heading in.