‘Efficient’ Public Transport System


I refer to your article “Update on Bus Services for Perak” (Ipoh Echo Issue 123) and wish to highlight the following:

Ipoh bus service is still poor in spite of the many new buses plying the city routes. There is still no bus serving the Bercham-Tasek Industrial area route although a large number of people who work there live in Bercham. Three decades ago there were buses plying the said route but there are none today. Our complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

My one other observation is the absence of proper bus schedules. The buses at Medan Kidd come and go at the whims and fancies of the drivers and conductors. Their attitude is causing much hardship to commuters who have to wait indefinitely, especially at the Super Kinta and Ocean bus stops.

I sincerely hope the authorities would do something to address these shortcomings. What is the point of talking about the future when the present problems are being conveniently swept under the carpet?

Perhaps, Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon should spend a day in the streets and see how Ipohites grapple with a very ‘efficient’ public transport system on a daily basis. He may learn a thing or two this way.

Christopher Ng
Bercham, Ipoh

6 thoughts on “‘Efficient’ Public Transport System

  1. Each time I want to take the train or Inter-city bus to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur where I now stay, I turned the idea down. It is not because these two system of transportation aare not efficient, rather I fear for my intra-city (within Ipoh) transportation needs.

    Yes, there are hired car (not taxis as they do not want to charge you using the meter) that would ask for the sky as a fare to take you short distances! Aha, yes, we have bus services, too many from Ipoh will proclaim! What type of bus services do we have, with the exception of some buses being air-conditioned, they are practically the same some 50 odd years ago. They ply the same routes and irregular schedules! Many are filthy and smelly; polluting the city.

    To be honoured with City status, Ipoh should be ashamed of its public transport system! The authorities simply do not want to improve things! So typical of Ipoh managers, they prefer to keep the old and reject the new! Whenever they try something new, they transfer the old to a new place resulting in a bigger mess! (E.g. Inter-City Bus Terminal from Medan Kidd to Medan Gopeng.)

    Ipoh is blessed with a Trans-Peninsula Dual Track Railway system crossing the city from North to South. It has many rivers flowing across the city from North to South East and West to Central Ipoh, thus open spaces are available for the builing of Light Railway Transport system to link to the main Dual Track System.

    O, the skeptics will proclaim that the demand is not there! Are they very sure? Look at the congestion during rush hours in the city centre and major suburban areas! Planning ahead is not a bad idea, even if the skeptics are correct in assumming that there is no demand for it. Look at Kuala Lumpur, it is a bit too late (but better late than never) for them to start thinking seriously about Public Transport! They have to upset landowners to acquire land to build railway tracks! They have to be delayed when houseowners start taking them to court or protest whenever tracks cross near their homes!

    Do it now and do it fast. Improve the public transport system or lose the trust of the people!

  2. Many people don’t know that many bus companies actually make profits on the government diesel subsidy and not from bus services. Bus companies receive a fixed monthly quota of diesel, irrespective the diesel alloted is used or not. Bus companies operate fewer trips, sell the unused diesel at the regular pump price and make profits from this practice.

    The operator of the Manjung bus service is given a fixed subsidy by the state government to compensate for the lower passenger volume. So there should be no reason or excuse for the irregular bus service. People who rely of the service should sign a petition to the Perak MB to complain and demand for better service.

  3. This is what call efficient public transport which replaced Syarikat Sitiawan bus company.
    Bas rakyat 1 Malaysia was launch in 26 Jul 2011 for the better of villagers of Sri Munjung?
    Old days bus operated by syarikat Sitiawan Bus company from Ayer Tawar to Changkat Kruing was schedule in order by time table & all villagers were never missed any buses.
    Currently the bus operator by Bas rakyat 1Malaysia never operate punctually & villagers waited more than 2 hours if missed the previous bus.
    Students should pay for half price with uniform or student tags accordingly but the bus conductor forced students paid full fares! Which is too much! In KL students & senior citizen are paying half fare.
    A lot of students waiting more than 2 hours to reach home during the week end for schools activities & their wasted time waiting for buses is a great lost to them.
    The intervals of bus arriving should be reduced or special time table over the week end.

  4. The bus driver and conductor will stop the bus at certain bus-stops and have a meal in coffee shops while the passengers wait patiently in the bus! Not sure if this is still happening at the time of writing.

  5. The state government ought to allow Rapid to operate in Perak. A vast improvement would likely occurs. On top of that, with the experience and resources, Perakians would benefit. Penangites have benefited since RapidPg has started operating. Within the Ipoh municipality, the fare could be just a flat rate of RM1. (Perak Transit is charging commuters at rates that far exceed the stipulated rate as approved for stage buses. For short distances, commuters are charged even higher than taxi rate.)

  6. I have been staying at Tasek since the 70’s and I don’t remember ever been a bus service between Tasek and Bercham. All bus routes operate like spokes out of Ipoh and don’t travel sideways between adjacent areas.

    Bus schedules are not kept or can’t be followed simply because there are not enough buses plying the respective routes. 2 or 3 buses may service a particular route that the entire journey takes more than an hour, this means an interval of minimum 20 to 30 minutes. If there are only 2 buses or when traffic on the road is heavy, then the interval jumps 40 or more minutes. Also, the interval is long at times of the day when there are few passengers waiting for the bus, sometimes an hour or more, because the number of buses is reduced to cut operating costs.

    The main problem with public transport is that the Ipoh Council and the state government can’t do much about the issue. Public transport comes under the direct control of the Land Public Transport Commission or Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD). Bus permits, schedules, routes, ticket price, etc, are all determined and approved by SPAD located in KL.

    A secondary problem is that bus services in Ipoh are monopolized. Ipoh Omnibus, Century Omnibus, PK (these companies use the same color scheme), Reliance, General (these companies ply the Ipoh – Kuala Kangsar route) and Perak Transit are owned or controlled by the same people. Perak Transit is just a branding and actually operates under the permits of the other companies mentioned (see the side of the buses).

    New bus operators have been blocked from providing bus services because there must not be objections from existing bus operators. Existing bus operators (who are the same people) have strong political links with MCA, which Dato’ Dr Mah belongs to.

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