Moaz Yusuf Ahmad explains why Perbadanan Putrajaya should stop calling for a monorail system in the city.
PPj needs to stop calling for the Putrajaya monorail project to be revived
It has come again – the call from Perbadanan Putrajaya to revive the Putrajaya Monorail has become an annual event for those who follow public transport in Malaysia.
And, like every year the call is the same – without the monorail Putrajaya will have traffic gridlock. Without the monorail the roads & highways leading to Putrajaya will be congested. Etc. So rather than writing a new response, I thought I would just look back through letters that I have written in the past about the Putrajaya Monorail and simply recycle the reasons.
Here goes: There is no demand for the Putrajaya monorail that buses cannot handle. Repeat: there is no demand for the Putrajaya monorail that buses cannot handle. Repeat: there is no demand for the Putrajaya monorail that buses cannot handle.
The issue is Putrajaya is not traffic congestion inside the city. The issue is the number of people who continue to drive to Putrajaya because:
1. Malaysians are used to driving and therefore think it is easier to drive and double park.
2. The main ways to get to Putrajaya using public transport (like the KLIA Transit or RapidKL E1) are based in KL – but not everyone is located in KL.
3. Taxi services in from Putrajaya Sentral are costly (RM9 coupon fare to the Treasury Building) – and then you have to get a taxi back – but there are no taxis cruising the streets.
4. Bus services in Putrajaya are considered ‘unavailable’ because the information (routes, schedules) is not communicated to people before they get into their cars and start driving into Putrajaya.
Any attempt at getting people to use the park & ride or use the buses from Putrajaya Sentral will continue to fail as long as people feel that they ‘have to’ drive to Putrajaya because they are not confident in the buses – and just building the monorail will not change this in any way.
Last year I stated that the operator of NadiPutra needed to operate buses linking various towns (Sepang, Cyberjaya, Seremban, Kajang, KL, Dengkil) so that people would not need to drive to Putrajaya. This proposal was rejected by the operator, saying that their mandate was Putrajaya and Putrajaya alone.
Last year I stated that the operator of NadiPutra needed to get information online and use social networking – that was promised but never delivered.
And as expected, the call to revive the Putrajaya monorail comes once again.
Perhaps new SPAD COO Azhar Ahmad, fresh from his innovative 4-year tenure at RapidPenang, can make a difference here. He could convince NadiPutra to expand their operations to service the entire Langat Valley (rather than just Putrajaya) – allowing them to reach more customers. And most importantly, he could find ways to get customers to use NadiPutra – not by calling for a monorail or LRT, but just making the bus service more reliable & ensuring that existing and potential bus users get the information that they need.