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Low cost alternative to LRT/MRT in our cities

Do we need high cost MRT/LRT to solve traffic congestion problem in KL, Penang, etc?

Bogota in Colombia is a metropolitan with 7 million people can move around 1.3 million passengers in each day with the low cost BRT a.k.a. Bus Rapid Transit.  And the cost is just 1/10 of expensive MRT system.

What do we need is political will and proper planning.

BRT main features are dedicated lanes for buses, cash card ticketing system and bus redesign for ease of alight  and depart at bus stations and using bicycle to connect last mile.


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admin says:

LRT or MRT the most is can cover 30% populated areas, another 70% areas still need to be served with a world-class bus system like in Bogota.

Shanghai and many major cities in China have much better bus shutter services than any cities in our Bolehland (Bodohland?)

mieaab says:

Bus use less fossil fuel or Natural gas, or electricity if runs like a tram system. It must run on ALL highways around KL at all time.

The answer more logical is,we need an integrated system ASAP.

How to work this system? Simply tender out the rail project during economic recession. Things will be cheaper and labour is abundant.

Next questions is how you identify the service?

Like DC London and NYC, we still need subway. Why??? coz, our urban population has not stop growing. DC with limited population growth are now working on new subway lines. DC lines are extensions of lines develpoed pre 1969. And few lines vover the periphries. Sice DC suburb is growing further out and faster than DC itself.
KL now have massive jam daily on her outer ring road.

Why??? coz these neighbouhood are the least connected and takes longer time and distance to travel.

KL needs at least 2 more lines and both must cross KL Central business district.
Then KL need an outer ring line connecting all these lines.

Then you can talk about bus.

But in KL downtown bus rides should be FOC. get the money from charges on the parking lots collections.

Lastly the feeder bus system must be made available at ALL rail stations. The service must be as frequest as the rail service themselves.

Without integrated system, none of us will actually benefit and we will continue to face the same traffic problem similar to the one in KL in 70s and goes on until today.
So lets think bus together with a comprehensive rail system.

admin says:

Bus system is more agile and flexible to cover more areas.

Singapore and New York with extensive of MRT networking still have to rely heavily on efficient bus service system.

MRT is tapping its power supply from fossil fuel powerplant as well, therefore MRT/LRT is not a greener mode of transport compared to electric vehicles.

Malaysia can locally build bus coaches is curbing outflow of money to foreign countries unlike sourcing for MRT/LRT coaches.

Bogota is a tropical city as KL or Penang. My friend in Singapore cycled to MRT station in the morning where heat is never an issue for him. Raining is more problematic for tropical cities.

If a city planners cannot plan for a good bus system, do you expect them are smart enought to plan for state-of-the art LRT/MRT?

KL is a good example of screw-up LRT plannning.

ethan says:

BRT may be cheap to implement at first but studies have found that it would cost a lot in the long run due to operating cost. You need 4-5 articulated buses to carry what one long train carries. More buses = more driver salaries to pay.

The fact remains that buses on roads take up space. The main reason for the high construction cost of rail is the elevated tracks and tunnels. If we forgo that and stick to at-grade rails, then BRT won’t look so cheap in comparison.

Promoters of BRT also conveniently left out maintenance costs. Rubber tires are used up faster than steel wheels. Buses also burn diesel and pollute the environment. even if you’re using LNG or hybrids, it is still using fossil fuels.

BRT is also less effective than rails at attracting development around its lines and stations. No developer would want to put their money on something that is “flexible” — here BRT line one day, gone another day. In fact, the very “flexibility” of BRT touted by promoters is a lousy excuse for not doing proper planning: “Oh, so we put this BRT line here; if it doesn’t work well, we’ll shift it to the next road.”

Living in Malaysia has the downside of the tropical weather. Less people would want to cycle at 12 noon in KL or Penang like people in Bogota do.

In Ottawa, which has a successful BRT since the 70’s, there is news that they may be shifting to rail. If you have the money and political willpower, go buy the MRT/LRT. Poor folks have to make do with BRT. It’s interesting to take a look at China. The major cities like Beijing and Shanghai get MRT, and second-class cities like Hangzhou and Kunming get BRT.

In short, BRT have its own role to play, and it is not playing LRT or MRT. In fact, MRT is in a different league altogether than LRT — think of it as a notch higher than LRT. We don’t call LRT “light-” for nothing.