Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rapid Penang To Get Even Better

The commendable new bus service Rapid Penang is set to get even better when another 100 buses is added to the current fleet of 150 buses.
100 new buses for fleet

A HUNDRED new Rapid Penang buses will be added by end of the year to increase frequency of services.

State Local Government, Traffic Management, Information and Community Relations Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said with the new buses, the intervals of 20 minute to 60 minutes might be shortened.

"Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB) will be bringing in the new buses as promised and we will allocate them to the routes depending on the need," he said.

He said there were many suggestions on extending and including new routes in housing estates and the Penang International Airport.

"We welcome the suggestions and will discuss them with Rapid Penang," he told a press conference yesterday.
With the addition of the new buses, Penangites can look forward to shorter intervals, more routes, increased coverage and better rides with the recently launched Rapid Penang, as if all these weren't good enough at this very moment. I admit it's not perfect but it's definitely way much better than the shitty service we had to rely on for ten years or so.

In the near future, hopefully we should see less vehicles on the roads with school going children opting to ride the reliable bus service instead of relying on their parents to get them to school and back home. This is really what's causing the traffic jams at major roads in the morning and evening compared to yesteryears when public and school buses were the usual mode of transport for students apart from bicycles and their own two legs. It's still wishful thinking at this moment in time but it's definitely something to look forward to.

When you see motorcyclists riding on buses rather than their motorcycles, that's when you know the tide has turned. If they see it safer and more financially viable to take the bus rather than their two-wheelers, public transport has achieved its goal. With the Penang Monorail to come in a few years time, public transportation will become the major people movers on the island, very much like Singapore and Hong Kong.

If that's the future we're heading to, I'm willing to bide my time and wait it out. Things are looking up for Penang, after years of neglect. It's time for the Pearl of the Orient to shine once more.

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