Admitting feeder buses not enough, Anthony Loke seeks to rope in cabbies and e-hailing drivers as missing link in rail transport

SUNGAI BULOH, Feb 7 — The Transport Ministry is in talks with taxi and e-hailing companies to help solve public transportation first and last mile connectivity issues, in particular for train systems.

Its minister Anthony Loke acknowledged that feeder buses alone are not sufficient to solve the first- and last-mile connectivity issues, he said the ministry is looking into various other methods.

“The Land Public Transport Agency is in the midst of carrying out a pilot project to introduce the ride sharing concept among taxi and e-hailing companies on offering optimum rides and most importantly at a lower fare for commuters who are using public transportation,” Loke told a press conference after observing a test run of the Mass Rapid Transit 2 or the Putrajaya Line which runs from Putrajaya Sentral Station to Kwasa Damansara Station.

Loke was asked about the reasons for its low rail ridership.

He added that the ministry’s target of 40 per cent usage of public transportation could take time to achieve as some train lines are still new.

But he is upbeat that the numbers will rise to 200,000 passengers on a daily basis in the next one to two years.

He said the government is also doing its part to encourage commuting through mass rail public transport.

An example of the initiatives is the introduction of a monthly pass which integrates all public transport lines.

“That is one of the policies which the government has adopted to ensure that public transportation users get to enjoy facilities at reasonable prices.

“It’s not accurate to say that the ridership is low, as there are some train lines such as the Kelana Jaya Line that have very high ridership,” he said.

He added that commuters need some time to buy in by weighing the benefits of taking the train to and from work vs driving.

He also gave an assurance that the government will continue to find more ways to address this issue and asked the public to suggest ways it can improve.The MRT Putrajaya Line (previously known as Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line) is the second line of Klang Valley MRT Project.

The Putrajaya Line has 36 stations of which nine are underground, and runs for 57.7km.

Out of the 36 stations, 10 are interchange stations and connecting stations.

Phase I of the Putrajaya Line from Damansara Damai to Kampung Batu completed and began operations last June 16, 2022.

Like said, the Phase II, from Kentonmen to Putrajaya Sentral is expected to begin operation some time in the mid-March this year.

Along the Putrajaya Line, there are 16 stations that will have Park and Ride facilities.

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