Malaysians will make hundreds of millions of daily trips in the next 12 years with the growing and ageing population projected by the National Transport Policy 2019-2030. (BERNAMA)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians will make hundreds of millions of daily trips in the next 12 years with the growing and ageing population projected by the National Transport Policy 2019-2030.

The framework projected that coupled with increasing affluence and mobility trends, Malaysians will make an estimated 131 million daily trips in 2030, a significant increase from the 40 million trips in 2010.

The country’s population, which grew from 28.3 million in 2010 to 31.7 million in 2016, is estimated to reach 41.5 million by 2040.

This is one of the eight future trends identified by the framework, which was aimed at providing strategic direction and reference point for ministries and agencies in developing an efficient, integrated and sustainable transport system in the country.

Other future trends identified by the framework included a rise in urbanisation, which is projected to reach 80 per cent in 2030, compared to 71 per cent in 2010.

“Migration to cities is driven largely by job opportunities and increased standard of living.

“This trend places additional demands on sustainable urban development to facilitate the development of necessary infrastructure and facilities whilst at the same time ensuring that the use of carbon resources is within the limits of sustainability,” the framework noted.

The proliferation of the Global Positioning System (GPS), which allows individuals to access real-time traffic conditions and transit schedule information as well as empowering them to set and change travel schedules and routes is expected to continue and intensify in the future.

“Through smart phones, travellers will have access to more travel options and real-time status of all modes of transport.

“The digitalisation of payments has revolutionised both the ability to pay but also how users are charged for services.”

The framework also projected that commercial traffic would continue to increase due the proliferation of e-commerce and online shopping platforms.

“As online shopping captures a larger market share, it will reduce consumer travel associated with shopping trips, however commercial traffic will increase as a result.”

The e-commerce contribution to growth domestic product (GDP) in 2012 was RM49 billion. E-commerce contribution to GDP rose to RM68 billion in 2015.

“The upward trend is expected to continue, almost doubling in 2020, with RM114 billion under business as usual scenario, and expected to hit RM170 billion with the right interventions.

“A study in 2016 suggests that Malaysia is at an inflection point of e-commerce growth with a projected annual growth rate of 11 per cent, which is indicative of significant potential for growth.”

The framework also highlighted the need to take into account future growth in passengers travelling by air as well as in airfreight in the nation’s future transport planning.

The National Transport Strategy Study by the World Bank (2014) forecasts an annual growth in passenger numbers of 4.1 per cent between 2013 and 2033 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The same study also projected annual growth at the Penang International Airport and Kota Kinabalu International Airport by 6.1 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively during the same period.

“Air travel in the last decade has been shaped by the sharp growth in low cost carriers (LCCs), accounting for as much as 25 per cent of global air travel according to estimates.

“Aside from their impact on passenger growth and mobility, LCCs have brought about fundamental changes in air travel such as focus on secondary airports, the adoption of point-to-point travel and increased automation in both sales and services.”