KL LAUNCH NEW NETWORK IN KEPONG, SEGAMBUT, SELAYANG, BATU CAVES, SENTUL & GOMBAK
Kuala Lumpur , 16 th March 2006 – Today marks an important day for RAPID KL as it launches the very new bus network for the Klang Valley starting with Area 2 involving Kepong, Segambut, Selayang, Batu Caves , Sentul and Gombak. These areas will have new local shuttle services and trunk line service into the hubs in the city linking them into the city via city shuttle services every 5 minutes.
At the launch today was the Chairman of RAPID KL, YBhg Datuk Rahim Mokhti, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rein Westra, Encik Ali Mohd Nor, Chief Operating Officer (Bus) together with YB Datuk Dr Rahman Ismail, MP of Gombak, YB Dr Tan Seng Giaw, MP Of Kepong and YB Dato’ Tan Kee Kwong, MP of Segambut.
In his speech, Mr Rein Westra said, “it is a completely new bus network to offer efficient bus service emphasizing on shorter waiting time and journey which includes an affordable day fare for the public starting from 18 th March for the residents in Kepong, Segambut, Selayang, Batu Caves , Sentul and Gombak.”
He said the local shuttle service will be available every 15 minutes and trunk service at every 10 minutes. He said the public is able to achieve a saving of minimum 10 to 20 minutes with this new network compared to the old. He added that this is without special lanes for buses and taking into consideration of the high traffic towards city.
With this new system, RAPIDKL has also identified various hubs in the suburbs for the local shuttle and trunk line service to meet. Mr Westra elaborated, “We are working very closely with the local authorities on these hubs and will build special bus terminals to have proper waiting areas for the customer and areas for buses to stop to pick up passengers. Using the bus service will be more comfortable.”
In addition, more bus stops will be installed beginning with 200 in Area 2 involving Kepong, Selayang, Gombak, Batu Caves and Sentul. These new bus stops will have information such as bus routes for the local shuttle, trunk line services and city shuttle.
New fare structure was also introduced today with local shuttle service day fare priced at RM1 and trunk line service at RM2. These fare is valid for one day use for unlimited ride for its service and for those who takes all three services which is the local shuttle, trunk and city shuttle, a one day comprehensive fare is priced at RM4 which is valid for all RAPID KL bus system including the old system which is concurrently operating at other areas of the RAPID KL bus network.
To enjoy the comprehensive tickets which is cheaper, user must purchase ticket from origin destination. Concession tickets are available for school uniform children and senior citizens (with passes) at RM1 for local shuttle, RM1 for trunk line services and RM1 for city shuttle. Comprehensive ticket for these group is priced at RM3. In addition, Montly Travel Cards are also valid for the new bus network.
Westra also said free rides in area 2 would be offered to all customers on 18 th and 19 th March whilst actual revenue service will commence on 20 th March. He added, “We want as many people to be familiarized with the new system. Old bus route numbers will not be used anymore as new numbers will be introduced under the new network structure for all RAPID KL buses.”
“For easy recognition of the buses, all local shuttles will have big green dot on the front, side and back of the buses. Trunk lines will be blue. City Shuttles will be red, “he added.
In addition, all bus numbers for area two will be starting from ‘2XX’, City Shuttle service ‘1XX’ and the numbers will follow suit according to the areas for easy identification of which are the buses are going.
To ensure that all customers are introduced to this new bus network, RAPID KL will station some staff at the bus hubs and bus stops to explain how the system works. Road shows will commence on 18 th and 19 th March at Metro Prima, Bandar Baru Selayang, Sungai Mas, Greenwood and Warta Lama between 10 am to 6 pm and will continue until 24 th March.
Westra also informed that brochures will be available at all bus terminals in the city and there will also be information standee at major shopping and commercial buildings completed with information brochures of these routes for the public to help themselves.
At least 24 old routes with old numbers will be changed. All in all there will be will a total of 32 routes out of which nine routes are completely new and four trunk lines for area 2. There are still eight new routes scheduled to be introduced soon.
RAPID KL also announced that its call center will operate from 6.00 am to 12 midnight daily from 18 th March 2006 onwards to answers customers queries and feedback.
For more information, please call toll free at 1-800-388-228 or visit www.rapidkl.com.my
BUS services under the new Rapid KL Area 3 network that covers Pandan and Hulu Kelang will continue despite a call by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) to postpone the launch of the bus system.
Rapid KL chief operating officer (bus operations) Mohd Ali Mohd Nor said he had contacted council president Datuk Ahmad Shafii Saidin to explain to him about the bus system.
“We explained that we had already started service in Areas 1 and 2 and are now proceeding with Area 3 and by June we will complete the whole coverage.
“We (Rapid KL and MPAJ) agreed that we would proceed with the launch but the network and infrastructure are not complete yet. We will have further discussions with MPAJ to finalise issues such as improvement of infrastructure,” he said.
The council called for a postponement of the bus service at its full board meeting on Thursday, saying it needed time to study the system.
Ahmad Shafii, who was apparently upset that he and the councillors were not informed of the new Rapid KL system, said the council wanted to look at the details and give its views.
Following the introduction of the Areas 1 and 2 bus networks over the past four months, Rapid KL launched the Area 3 network on Sunday. Other areas covered under the Area 3 network are Ampang, Wangsa Maju, Keramat and Setapak.
Under the new system, commuters will only have to wait for 15 minutes for a local shuttle and switch to a trunk bus that runs at a 10-minute frequency to link to the five city hubs – KL Sentral, Titiwangsa, Medan Pasar, Maluri and KLCC.
From the hubs, they can take a city shuttle, with a 5-minute frequency, to get to their final destination.
KLANG Valley’s largest bus operator, Rapid KL, has begun a new City Shuttle service between KLCC and Pusat Bandar Damansara.
City Shuttle No.116, which began operating early this month, also covers Titiwangsa, Bukit Tunku and the Jalan Duta government offices.
A Rapid KL spokesman said the service was launched as a result of requests from commuters who lived in the eastern part of Kuala Lumpur, such as the Pandan and Ampang areas, and who worked in Jalan Duta and Pusat Bandar Damansara.
“The new service should meet their needs,” he said.
Buses depart from KLCC and travel along Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Tun Ismail (PWTC), Langgak Tunku, Jalan Duta, Jalan Semantan before getting to Pusat Bandar Damansara.
The return trip is along the same routes, but in reverse direction. The fare is RM2 and the ticket can be used on any City Shuttle bus for a whole day.
As the routes serve mostly officer workers, the spokesman said buses would depart from KLCC only at the following times: 6.30am, 7am, 7.30am, 8am, 8.30am, 9am, 9.45am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.15pm, 1pm, 1.45pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 4pm, 4.30pm, 5pm, 5.30pm and 6pm.
“For those living in the Pandan area, they can catch Rapid KL local shuttle buses to Pandan Indan light rail transit station and take the LRT to Titiwangsa where they can switch to City Shuttle No.116 to Jalan Duta or Pusat Bandar Damansara,” said the spokeman.
Alternatively, commuters can take a local shuttle bus to Ampang Point, transfer onto a trunk bus to KLCC and then catch the City Shuttle No. 116.
Those living in Ampang can make their way to KLCC using local shuttle and trunk buses to catch City Shuttle No. 116.
Otherwise, they can use local shuttle buses to Ampang LRT station, take the LRT to Titiwangsa where they can catch the City Shuttle No.116.
The spokesman also said several changes had been made to City Shuttle routes No.102 and 111, as well as Local Shuttle No. 219.
The changes are:
City Shuttle No.102 between Titiwangsa and Medan Pasar now does a U-turn under the Jalan Ipoh flyover and proceeds along Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Pahang after leaving Titiwangsa instead turning left into Jalan Ipoh,
City Shuttle No.111 between Maluri and Medan Pasar now serves Jalan Peel instead of Jalan Cheras,
Local Shuttle No.219 from Metro Prima in Kepong has now been extended to the Segambut KTM Komuter station. The route previously ended at Jalan Lang Emas in Taman Sri Sinar.
KLANG Valley's biggest public transport operator, Rapid KL, believes its revamped bus network, which has been operating for the past four months, is on the right course and working well.
Rapid KL chief executive officer Rein Westra said after an initial drop in the number of passengers, it had picked up since the revamp.
“It is too early to say for certain, but there are signs that there has been a slight increase in the number of passengers,” he said recently.
The radical revamp of Klang Valley’s bus network involved removing the former single journey bus routes and replacing them with three types of buses – city shuttle, trunk and local shuttle buses.
Rapid KL is meant to complement the existing LRT services, a move that is a reason for the increase in the number of passengers lately.
City shuttle buses run every five minutes between five bus hubs inside and on the fringes of Kuala Lumpur’s central business district.
The hubs are at KL Sentral, Titiwangsa light rail transit station, KLCC, Maluri LRT station and Medan Pasar.
Trunk buses run from these hubs along major roads to regional hubs at strategic locations such as shopping centres outside the city.
Trunk buses, which run at 10-minute intervals, only stop at selected bus stops, thus improving journey times.
Local shuttle buses, meanwhile, fan out from regional hubs into residential areas. These buses run once every 15 minutes.
The city shuttle service was launched on Jan 16 while trunk and local shuttle bus services in “Area Two” (covering Kepong, Selayang, Batu Caves and Sentul) were launched on March 18.
On April 30, the bus network for “Area Three,” which included Setapak, Wangsa Maju, Hulu Kelang, Ampang and Pandan, was revamped.
The network in other areas will be revamped in phases and the entire process is to be completed in July.
At the moment, there are 16 city shuttle routes, seven trunk routes and about 50 local shuttle routes.
The revamp also saw a change in the ticketing system from single-trip tickets to whole-day tickets. A whole-day city shuttle and trunk bus tickets cost RM2, while local shuttle bus tickets cost RM1.
Westra...'the response is a pleasant surprise'
Westra said the number of passengers using the system exceeded previous levels a few weeks after the new routes were introduced.
“We anticipated a slight drop in numbers because this is what usually happens when bus routes are changed,'' he said. “But, exceeding previous levels so quickly is a pleasant surprise.”
Westra said the new system was the best method to improve public transport usage in the Klang Valley quickly without the need to drastically increase the bus fleet at an astronomical cost.
He said this “hub and spoke” concept, on which the new system is based on, had been implemented successfully in several cities in the world. In fact, the airline industry also uses a similar concept to ensure sufficient loads.
Westra said Rapid KL had implemented steps such as changing bus routes so that passengers need not cross roads at hubs, and building bus shelters so that changing buses would be more comfortable.
“External conditions, such as massive road works in the Kepong area, have in some areas thrown our timetables out of order,'' he said. “To overcome this, we have put in more buses to ensure that frequencies are kept.”
Over 600 bus stops with route information boards have also been set up at areas affected by the revamp.
Westra said Rapid KL would be working with local authorities to further improve bus stops, especially those in areas that had become regional hubs, and to create bus lanes to improve journey times.
Furthermore, more buses were on the way to boost Rapid KL’s fleet further.
On complaints over fares, Westra said commuters should realise that the new day pass gave them the freedom to move around anywhere all day long.
“Passengers are getting the mobility of a car for the price of a bus ticket,” he said.
Westra hoped that commuters would take the time to find the best possible combination of bus and light rail transit routes to move around.
“On our part, we will continue to respond positively to suggestions, adjust and change whatever that is necessary to ensure passengers get the best possible service.”
In Adelaide, they have the free bus service which circulate through the city centre and passing through tourist attractions. The frequqncy of the buses are very good and they even have TVs inside featuring Adelaide's history and a funky music promoting the Adelaide Metro(Get up and Go!!!). I hope Rapid KL could adopt this idea, with free buses travelling through BB Walk, KLCC, KL Tower, etc.
KUALA LUMPUR: Since last Saturday, more than 40,000 passengers have enjoyed free rides on RapidKL buses. The three-day free ride was offered in conjunction with the launch of RapidKL’s new service network in the Serdang area.
Free rides were offered on 179 buses plying 37 routes, including Cheras, Bangi, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Serdang, Sri Kembangan, Sungai Besi and Balakong.
RapidKL officers, including bus operations general manager Khairuddin Sulaiman, were on the ground yesterday to gauge the feedback from the public. They were happy with the positive response.
Khairuddin said RapidKL would be replacing old buses in stages to ensure better service.
"So far, we have penetrated 70 per cent of the viable routes in the Klang Valley and there are plans to expand further."
Iranian Morteza Moghadam, 24, who takes RapidKL buses to his English classes at Limkokwing University College of Creative Technology in Cyberjaya, was impressed with the service.
"I came to Malaysia 10 days ago and started using public transport on my first day here. I am impressed with the cleanliness of RapidKL buses."
Razif Othman, 21, finds the buses convenient and cheaper than taxis for his trips to the Multimedia University.
NOT all passengers warmly receive Rapid KL’s new bus service although some say it is a welcome change.
What passengers find welcoming is the fact that buses are a lot more frequent and it is only RM2 for a ride in the city, no matter how many times you get onto a city shuttle.
Naturally, the biggest problem passengers have is with changing buses at transit stops to get to their destination. Some also say it is expensive.
Westra ... ‘the difference between the old network and new network system is that the old network goes from each residential area direct into the city centre’
Chief executive officer Rein Westra said Rapid KL used to have 26 routes in Area Four but from July 1 there were 32 local shuttles and four trunk lines.
“The difference between the old network and new network system is that the old network goes from each residential area direct into the city centre.
“The new network introduces three different systems – the local shuttle which traverses routes every 15 minutes, the main trunk line connecting residents from suburbs to the city hub with minimal stops every 10 minutes and the city shuttle offering a frequency of every five minutes,” Westra said.
What this means is that commuters are now required to do a lot more than sit on a bus, they also have to be alert, get off at the right stop and catch a connecting bus to the city – if that’s where they are headed.
The new bus system is divided into the local shuttle (obvious from its green board), main shuttle (blue board) and city shuttle (red board).
There are 178 buses for Area Four – 55 for the trunk line, 16 express buses and 107 local shuttles.
Although the service may seem cumbersome with having to change buses now and then, but the bigger picture is in offering frequency and connectivity in Rapid KL’s service by connecting the suburbs to the city.
Rapid KL corporate communications division senior manager Katherine Chew said more routes would be introduced to offer better connectivity in all areas and in Putrajaya.
Chief operating officer (bus operations) Mohd Ali Mohd Nor said Rapid KL would have over 1,000 new buses on its bus network system by the end of the year.
He said Rapid KL had 90,000 ridership daily on its bus network covering 4,000 sq m.
“We are not insisting that our system is the best but we want the public to try it and give their feedback,” he said.
Area Five (along Federal Highway and south of it towards Klang) and Area Six (north of the Federal Highway) will be launched sometime this month.
The main reason for building the bus network, Mohd Ali said, was to fill the gap in the entire bus system.
“This way, we have developed a network where we have integrated with all the rail stations – KTM and LRT, giving passengers connectivity to their destinations,” he said.
This route starts at Jln Ampang infront of the twin towers opposite K Avenue. It covers the city centre shopping areas. The bus goes along Jln Ampang turns left into Jln Sultan Ismail goes to the Shangrila Hotel junction. Here it turns right into Jln Raja Chulan passing The Weld, ING, Hotel Istana crosses the junction passes next to Pavilion. Turns into Jln Bukit Bintang passing Westin, Starhill till Lot 10 junction turns right onto Jln SI again. Goes back to Jln SI - Jln Ampang junction, crossing it and turning left at Jln Raja Abdullah in Kg Baru. At the end of Jln Raja Abdullah turn left back to Jln Ampang. Passes Wisma Denmark, Dang Wangi station and back to Jln Ampang - Jln SI junction. Crosses junction going along Jln Ampang and turn right at Jln P Ramlee then into Jln Pinang going around KLCC passing Convention centre and then turn into Jln Brinjai going pass Citibank and back to Jln Ampang
So this route is really good for shopping and tourists covering major shopping areas and hotels in the city centre....all for just RM2 unlimited day trips!kay:
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