Govt to rope in cabbies, e-hailing drivers to boost train ridership, says Loke

THE Transport Ministry is in talks with taxi and e-hailing companies to help resolve the first- and last-mile connectivity issues in particular for train systems in efforts to boost train ridership.

According to its minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook, feeder buses alone are insufficient to resolve the issue, adding that the ministry is looking into various other methods that included ride-sharing and offering cheaper fare to the public.

“The Land Public Transport Agency is in the midst of carrying out a pilot project to introduce the ride sharing concept among taxi and e-hailing companies on offering optimum rides and most importantly at a lower fare for commuters who are using public transportation,” Loke said at a press conference after a test ride on the new MRT2.

MRT2, or Phase 2 of the Putrajaya MRT Line, is slated to be fully operational in the middle of March. It covers a span of 57.7km with 36 stations from Kwasa Damansara to Putrajaya.

Loke, when asked about the reasons for its low rail ridership, said that the ministry’s target of 40% usage of public transportation could take time to achieve as some train lines are still new.

However, he remained upbeat that the numbers will rise to 200,000 passengers on a daily basis in the next one to two years, adding that the Government is also doing its part to encourage commuting through mass rail public transport.

An example of an initiative that had been introduced in the past is the monthly pass which integrates all public transport lines.

“That is one of the policies which the government has adopted to ensure that public transportation users get to enjoy facilities at reasonable prices,” he asserted.

“It’s not accurate to say that the ridership is low as there are some train lines such as the Kelana Jaya Line that have very high ridership.”

He further pointed out that commuters need some time to buy in by weighing the benefits of taking the train to and from work versus driving.

He also gave an assurance that the government will continue to find more ways to address this issue and asked the public to suggest ways it can improve. – Feb 7, 2023


Main pic credit: Bernama

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