Loke: On-demand van service to address first- and last-mile connectivity

KUALA LUMPUR: An on-demand van service to address first- and last-mile connectivity issues will be introduced in areas without access to public transportation.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said a RM50 allocation under next year's Budget will be used to purchase the vans and to provide the service.

"Not all residential areas have bus routes. So in these neighbourhoods with no public transport to reach public transport stations such as the light rail transit (LRT) or monorail stations, residents can call for on-demand van services.

"The allocation for the vans will be part of the RM50 million initiative allocated in the Budget to strengthen bus lanes.

"Vans will be strategically placed based on the demand in various areas, and not in one specific location," Loke said after opening the DAP annual convention at the party's headquarters here today.

When elaborating on the enforcement of bus lanes, he said the ministry will hold discussions to amend the Road Transport Act to effectively empower authorities in the matter.

He added the possibility of collaborations with private companies and the use of advanced technology such as vehicle recognition through licence plates were among things on the cards.

"We aim to empower the authorities to enforce these bus lanes, possibly through cameras.

"Currently, we have deployed enforcement officers from the traffic police or Road Transport Department (RTD) to monitor and stop any violators.

"Prasarana might also collaborate with these agencies to roll out services related to fines for those who do not adhere to regulations at the dedicated bus lanes," said Loke, adding that it will take time to advocate such initiatives.

He said several pilot projects for the dedicated bus lanes in several areas around the Klang Valley have successfully reduced travel time.

"For example, a pilot project in Jalan Ampang managed to increase (public transport) ridership and reduce travel time to Kuala Lumpur's city centre, particularly the KLCC area.

"Even though the ridership for the mass rapid transit (MRT) services has increased, there are still congestions in areas like Cheras.

"So, the implementation of bus lanes in Cheras will hopefully encourage more people to use public transport," he said.

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