RMK-12: Public transport use low due to cheap cars, reg vehicles up from 20 to 30 mil between 2010-2018 – paultan.org

Prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has just announced the 12th Malaysia Plan (Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 or RMK-12), a five-year guide for the country’s development. In it, the government has both reviewed the nation’s performance in line with the 11th plan and proposed several measures to address the biggest issues, including in the area of transportation.

Here, we’re focusing on Malaysia’s public transportation, which has seen sweeping development over the past five years, such as the introduction of the first Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line (Kajang Line) and the extension of the Kelana Jaya and Ampang/Sri Petaling Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines. Despite this, Malaysia failed to reach the 40% public transport modal share target last year.

The government listed a number of reason for this – inadequate connectivity, lack of accessibility and reliability of services, the reluctance of the public to switch from private vehicles and, of course, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Poor first- and last-mile connectivity between different modes of transport is said to be a particular pain point, hampering seamless travel.

The local public transport system is also said to suffer from low On Time Performance (OTP), long journey times and lack of holistic travel demand management, affecting its efficiency and reliability. All this has contributed to an underutilisation of public transport, below the government’s target.

Another huge contributor was Malaysia’s relatively low cost of car ownership, which has made the public reluctant to switch from private vehicles to public transport – likely exacerbated by the pandemic. The number of registered vehicles has shot up by around six per cent per annum, rising from 20.2 million in 2010 to 30 million vehicles in 2018. The ratio of vehicles to population stood at 0.9 in 2018, making Malaysia one of the highest in the region in this regard. So much for our “high car prices”, eh?

Tags: 12th Malaysia Plan

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