Does Rapid Penang really solve our problem?

 

For many years, Penangites have suffered enough of the worsening public transportation. When Rapid Penang is about to launch, it sounds promising with the new fleet of modern buses, professionally trained bus drivers and extended bus routes.

After the launch of Rapid Penang for nearly 2 months, I have made 2 attempts to try out the service. Despite the encouragement of other bloggers on “Hop on to Rapid Penang” and “Give support to Rapid Penang”, I have a complete different view.

The first attempt to try out Rapid Penang was 2 weeks back. There is this usual saying among Penangites – “New toilet, nice to sh*t.” (if you could directly translate it into Hokkien) or “Definitely must try out before it tears out.”.

As a supportive Penangite, sure I would like to hop on to support. Our destination – Queensbay Mall. By referring to the bus route and schedule, we knew that there should be a bus to service the Jalan Delima route, with a frequency of every 20 mins. We then waited for 30 mins but there was not even a single bus which came to our sight. With much disappointment we decided to head back and took a car instead. Have you ever had the frustration when you waited for hours for a bus to arrive but there was none and when you hopped into your car dozens of buses drove past you?

Anyway 2 weeks later we decided to give Rapid Penang a second try. This time we allowed more intervals for the bus to arrive. We walked to the main Bus stop at the junction of Jln Yeap Chor Yee and Jln Delima. We waited there for 45mins but again….still there wasn’t a single bus passed by! We decided to fail Rapid Penang’s service again.

With this experience, we realized that the passersby like to shoot us with a strange look as if they were asking “What the heck are these people doing here?” Ok, fine….!

 

After a long walk home, this major question popup into our mind. “Is Rapid Penang really solving our problem?”  My conclusion is NO.  My points as below:

·         City Planning and Traffic Condition

§  Preservation on heritage building all around the town area and limitation of land. How will government build express lane for Rapid Penang? Unless they can be moved to another location.

§  No proper planning on cabling, the contractors will just dig and cover the roads which explains why there are so many pitholes on our roads. How to prepare an underground tunnelling system?

§  Encouragement on Rapid Penang and eliminating driving.  We know that if everyone hops on Rapid Penang, our traffic will be smoother. However, what steps have been carried out to encourage taking bus instead of self-driving?

·         Penangites’ attitude and mindset

§  Looking one kind at people who are waiting for bus, not sure if anyone of you had this kind of feeling where people stare at you as if you are a weirdo who would want to wait for a bus. Could it be that I have too high self-consciousness?

§  How many people live in Penang and how many people own cars? Statistic shows that on average one Penang family owns 3 cars. What will they do if they don’t drive?

·         Routing and Scheduling

§  Most of the working people in Penang are concentrating in B. Lepas area, as far as I know, there is not even a single bus which stops by the factories.

§  The Rapid Penang schedule shows there will be a 20-30 mins of bus frequency. But the problem is when should a person wait for the bus and will the bus arrive on time to the destinations?

·         Car park and travel distance

§  No proper car/motor parking lots nearby the bus stops. If the bus stop is far from one residential area, is there any proper car/motor park by the bus stop so that people no need to walk that far?

§  How far is the destination from one place to another in Penang? If today we foresee the traffic will be jammed today, why don’t I ride the motorbike instead?

If you do have comments or better suggestion about this blog, you are most welcomed to provide feedback.

3 thoughts on “Does Rapid Penang really solve our problem?”

  1. This is a good one….

    I like this line

    “Penangnites’ attitude and mindset

    § Looking one kind at people who are waiting for bus, not sure if anyone of you had this kind of feeling where people stare at you as if you are a weirdo who would want to wait for a bus.”

  2. said something…?nothing much,,,,,,hav a drink???
    WAT UP………!!!!!
    n helb tea Good for every one on the FIKA hot Day!!! ^@^

  3. Lol, what’s wrong with waiting for a bus anyway? What’s with the stares? -_-‘

    If it wasn’t for the very worth it RM2 whole day pass charges (unlike RapidPenang which charges by distance right?), i think i would rather use Metrobuses instead of RapidKL sometimes.

    Firstly, at peak hours, people are packed into the bus like a can of sardines. They should either have more buses or enforce the ‘maximum passenger limit’ rule. I’d prefer the former, Malaysians will be fighting to get in if it was on a first come first serve basis. I have already seen it once, and an old lady was the one doing the pushing. *gasp*

    Secondly, like you said, the buses don’t show up on time. For those who don’t have any other choice, tunggulah sampai mati. 😛 They should have somekind of system to notify us if the buses are stuck in traffic etc.

    Thirdly, even if the buses do come at regular intervals, knowing what time specifically the buses would be arriving would be even better (like for LRTs). The bus might just have left and the next one won’t arrive for another 45 minutes for example. I would have to wait the whole 45 minutes because I’m afraid i might miss it if i go to the toilet etc. On top of that, some drivers actually rest an additional 20 minutes or so after arriving. That’s more than 1 hour of time wasted!

    I would suggest that same system i mentioned above so people would be able to use their time better instead of waiting aimlessly, hoping to see the bus around the bend.

    BYE!

    p.s. OMG, i should send this to RapidKL.
    p.s.p.s. They would do better to maintain the interior/exterior of the buses as well.

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