More commuters using Penang Bridge shuttle bus

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More commuters are using the Bridge Express Shuttle Transit (Best) service across the Penang Bridge during peak hours.

1 March – Less than 100 commuters when service was launched

31 March – 400 commuters daily

22 April – 800 commuters daily*

That’s close to 800 fewer private vehicles on the Bridge during peak hours and goes some way in easing congestion.

This is definitely the way to go.

The Penang Transport Council is now mulling plans to expand the service to cover Bukit Mertajam, Nibong Tebal and Komtar.

Service frequency could be increased once Rapid Penang gets another 200 buses next year.

The Penang state government and Rapid Penang should work together to improve the bus service even further, spare us the congestion and save us from incurring expensive investment in roads and highways.

Apart from Best, which is free, Rapid Penang should also come up with an affordable monthly season ticket for Penangites that would cover all parts of the island and mainland. They can also work with Penang Port to include ferry fares in the season ticket cost.  These season tickets could be widely sold in the state at places like mini-markets, sundry shops, and news vendors.

* See Star report.

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Stanley

Syabas to the DAP-led Penang Govt.
Another ‘1st’ for Msia, after ‘free WIFI’ and other initiatives.

Penang will act as a ‘Template’ for other PR state govt and in fact a DAP Leader should be heading PR at this juncture after the sterling performance of DAP in Sarawak.

SamG

Sean, in Bayan Lepas most factories provide excellent bas kilang services for production workers. Services upto Taiping & far north as Kuala ketil. Buses pick up from factories & drop off aftr bridge where shuttle vans pickup & drop the workers almost at doorstep

Sean

So is that the factory themselves that organises that transport? The only problem I could see with the bus transport being organised by individual businesses rather than as a public service is that a residential area could become dependent on a single company for transport. For example if “Ford” picked up workers in Kampung Ayam and “Buick” picked up workers in Kampung Cicak, there would a positive feedback mechanism at work that would make it increasingly efficient for each company to only want to visit one village, and hence workers in each village to be more likely to work at… Read more »

SamG

Since 1973 when MNCs started seeting up plants in Bayan Lepas, they have been providing Bas Kilang services for their employees. Much improvement has been made since then. Very efficient services, as they switch between buses and feeder vans. The companies also demand the buses are well maintained and comfortable. It has been a while since I left Bayan Lepas, so I don’t know if there has been any changes since. Also not sure if the feeder vans pick up workers for all factories to send them into the interior or specific to fatory only. The no of workers moved… Read more »

Afiq

You may not know that many factory workers are now driving their kancils to work.

Ong Eu Soon

This is what exactly the BEST should do, but a no brainer like you will distort the logic to support your equivalent stupid CM. That explain why feeder buses is needed to switch the commuters from the shuttle buses. So that commuters can reach their destination just in time not just in trouble. So that the services can be extended to Prai and Butterworth areas. Worse LGe and sycopant supporters like you just don’t how to integrate BEST with the existing factory bus services which majority of the MNC will happily make the effort a success story.

Iskandarbak

Glad to know the response from the public is growing. Im sure, soon more replications will be initiated.

tan, tanjung bungah

Hi everyone,

Congrats to State Govt and Rapids Penang for their collaboration in making BEST a success – much savings for those who avail themselves of the service!

Those who are unable to avail themselves of the BEST service due to valid reasons are actually also indirectly benefiting from less cars on the road during peak hours, whereby less cars means shorter shuttling trips and cost in terms of petrol consumption, wear and tear, etc.

Pg State Govt should always strive for more such innovative ideas to make Pg more liveable.

SamG

Anil, Do you recall that the BN State Govt also introduced a Park & RIde service for KOMTAR Govt staff? If not mistaken from Sg Nibong to KOMTAR
Any idea what happened to that?

passion1

A BN initiative, and for Komtar Govt staff.only? Must be FREE service, I believe.
‘Hangat hangat tahi ayam’ project.
They can never come up with such ideas, like crossing the channel Park & ride.

Fooart

TIME FOR THE RAKYAT TO THROW OUT BN TO THE SEA

Ong Eu Soon

The BEST need more feeder buses to improve the services else it willnot be sustainable in the long run. If the service can extend to as far as Nibong Tebal, why not provide the same service to those working in Prai or Butterworth factories, when you have empty buses return to the main land side. All you need is more feeder buses to take over the commuters and ferry them to their destination. If feeder buses can not be deployed, there is no hope that the public bus services can be sustained in the long run.

SamG

You are confused Ah Soon. This is purely a Park & Ride Service. Users park their cars in Sunway Carnival & hop on the BEST to Bayan Lepas FIZ and Bukit Jambul. What feeder bus service are you mumbling about?
This has nothing to do with your BESTEST of BEST Public Transportation Mega plan

Sean

I think yours is a fair comment – this seems squarely aimed at commuters with their own cars. Presumably there are commuting workers who may not have cars, depending on motorcycles, lifts, [insert transport option here] and so on. Is there a less affluent class of Penang Bridge user who could also benefit from a bus service, if only it came closer to their homes?

SamG

sorry, have to be fair to The Star. Did read their reports several times. At 800 cars its about RM1.07 million/yr in bridge toll at 20 days a month. However total loss less cos Rapid Penang buses have to pay toll too. Its also petrol & car maintenance costs savings for users. Top of that co give a RM140 bridge allowance to staff, so a RM120 savings (minus RM1 parking per day)

Sean

Thought I posted this before – the article says capacity is 1,000 and now carrying 800. What’s the passenger experience like now? As ridership approaches capacity the likelihood of the arriving bus having no spare seats will rise. Is the 1,000 seated capacity or does it include standing? How’s the onboard WiFi working out? Is it good enough for catching up with news / social sites? Good enough to get meaningful work done (for those who assert there’s a difference =p )? The price looks keen – that’s about RM3.50 per journey, with a floor of about RM3 at capacity.… Read more »

Penangite

Sean ,

Why dont you venture to find out answers to your questions ?

Sean

I am an interested ‘PortDicksonite’ – it’s easier for me to venture the question in the hope a Penangite would answer it.

Man Laksa

May be you can investigate that infamous Port Dickson hotel incident?

Sean

As strange as it may seem, I am actually far more interested in what a public bus service is like for its regular passengers than I am in the sex exploits of the political establishment.

penangite

Sean ,

Point noted that you hail from PD ! I hope you will see how proud we are of the commendable deeds our state government have churned out and how protective we are against BN infiltrators !

I agree with you that we would like to hear from the end users themselves but they have not posted any comments sofar ! Anil you should target the end users of this service – I’d say .

passion1

Sean, this State government will know what to do. Maybe get Rapid Penang to hire buses during peak hours, until more new buses arrived.
Again, the objective is to get as many people to use the shuttle service
About on board WiFi, I would think that the person trying to access it on board the bus is trying to show-off.

Any body in such important position and urgently need to check their e-mail in transit, need to be chauffeur driven. Please give way to the others.

Hello! If it rains, carry an umbrella-loh!

takuk-takik

Errr…there seems to be a “but” here…the Penang Bridge operator will have less toll to collect.

passion1

Get the priority right. Toll collection becomes secondary in this case, because reducing congestion on the island is on first priority.

‘Syabas’ to Penang state Government. I hope that, in the long run, people from Seberang Prai can own one car lesser in each family, because a housewife can drive her husband to catch the shuttle, and then sent the kids to school, and then do her marketing.
What a saving!

moo_t

These mean those car driver already save tons of money on Penang bridge toll , perhaps time to announce a payment scheme. Otherwise this is not fair to people that are NOT driving in the first place.

Andrew I

Time to sell the BM, Gherkin.

Yang

Penang under LGE is the hope for the rakyat of Malaysia. PR has proven itself not only in Penang but also Selangor & Perak 11 month government. Continue with BN and you will have incompetency and corruption.

Vernie

Anil You should do an article on rising cost, which is one of the biggest issues confronting the government. http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/news/story/0,4574,436267,00.html? Selected Milo and Nescafe products are set for another round of price hikes which analysts see as positive for its manufacturer Nestle Malaysia, but which will come as bad news for Malaysians already concerned about the escalation in living costs. A second round of price increases for fiscal year 2011 will be instituted next month, with the retail prices of Milo powder and Milo Fuze raised by 4 per cent, and Nescafe soluble coffee by 6 per cent, said analysts… Read more »

Maniam

Beer prices in Malaysia will go up by about 3 per cent from May to reflect higher raw material costs, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd says.

http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/cabs/Article/

Wei Siong

Do not worry. Malaysia is the only country where a Minister is appointed to go round checking prices at supermarket/hypermarket to control price increase.

james cameron

This is great. Hope the government can attract more Public Transportation users in Penang Island as well.

Arifin

This is a good example of ‘rakyat didahulukan’, and enable rakyat to save money while easing the traffic jam and cutting down pollution.

Rozita

Johor people really envy those Prai residents who have such bus service shuttling them to work in Penang island with so much convenience.

Many Johoreans have to pay for bas kilang to travel to work in Singapore daily. They have to wake up early, endure long journey and traffic jam at the CIQs and causeway.

Penangites must thank their state government for the great job.

SamG

My colleagues in Cyberjaya are amazed by the great & BEST work done by PR Govt in Penang. All they can say is, Mainstream Media would never report such good work & initiatives.

dollahyankee

been reported in the star a couple of time actually…
i tought this BEST idea might be fail again because THEY had tried THIS before. i think i am wrong lahhh…

Vernie

TV3’s Majalah 3, RTM’s Panorama and Astro Awani should have a documentary on this – detailing the journey of a Prai worker to Bayan Lepas on BEST.

We are waiting.

Wei Siong

Our TV stations prefer to report ‘smut’ and sensational news.

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/162756

A true Malaysian

Not all in MSM are rotten. There are still many of them in there with conscience. Anyway, what’s important is that if a policy is good, is good, whether it is from BN or PR.

Malaysians are intelligent enough to vote on ‘good policy’ basis. This trend should be the way, not loyalty, not gratefulness.