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Various reps should study transport system, MTUC

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  • Ronald Dawson
    DepotNews.com NewsWire Various reps should study transport system, MTUC Source: Business Times Publication date: 2001-01-04 Arrival time: 2001-01-03 THE
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2001
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      DepotNews.com NewsWire

      Various reps should study transport system, MTUC
      Source: Business Times
      Publication date: 2001-01-04
      Arrival time: 2001-01-03

      THE Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) had proposed for the setting up
      of a working group comprising representatives from relevant parties to
      review the existing public transport system in the country.

      MTUC president Senator Zainal Rampak said representatives from the
      Government, public transport operators, trade unions, consumer bodies and
      travelling public could sit on the high level committee which will come up
      with observations, guidelines and recommendations for the implementation of
      public transport structure.

      "The MTUC-proposed National Transport Policy could be used as the reference
      document for further discussions by the commission," he said in a press
      statement released in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

      Zainal, who is also Transport Workers Union general secretary, welcomed the
      proposed revamp of public transport systems to make them more efficient,
      less expensive and passenger-friendly.

      On Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Government
      had to take over the light transit system (LRT) in the city to restructure
      the public transportation system.

      He said the move is also due to the public demand for cheaper transportation
      which could not be met by the LRT operators due to high cost.

      The Finance Ministry, on December 22, announced the taking over the LRT
      firms' assets for RM6 billion, the first move in restructuring the city's
      public transport system.

      The revamp, according to the Ministry, aims to integrate rail and bus
      services to allow commuters to move more easily within the city.

      Currently, Kuala Lumpur's LRT services are provided by two companies, namely
      Sistem Transit Aliran Ringan Sdn Bhd and Projek Usahasama Transit Ringan
      Automatik Sdn Bhd.

      The plan was drawn up by the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee after
      the two LRT concessionaires requested help in overcoming debt problems.

      The Government would finance the LRT assets acquisition through a series of
      five to 15-year bond issues that would carry a coupon rate of 5.8 to 7.2 per
      cent.

      Zainal said it does not matter whether the Government's move is a bail- out
      of the LRT operators. What matters, he said, is the public are given the
      best public transportation service.

      He said the MTUC had, in a memorandum addressed to the Transport Minister
      and Entrepreneur Development Minister in July 1998, proposed the adoption of
      a National Transport Policy, comprising appropriate provisions for urban and
      suburban public transport systems in cities and towns nationwide.

      "The MTUC had already anticipated that Kuala Lumpur will soon be facing a
      massive traffic gridlock, and that a comprehensive review of the public
      transport systems is urgently needed," he added.

      Zainal said the travelling public expect the public transportation system to
      meet certain requirements such as cheap and affordable fares for low and
      middle income groups; proper integration of road and rail-based systems to
      minimise delays and transfer hassles, especially during rainy seasons;
      frequent, punctual and reliable feeder bus services between railways
      stations and surrounding commercial and residential areas as well as a
      connection between urban and suburban railway networks and major commercial
      and residential areas in the city.

      Other expectations include the introduction of a common integrated ticketing
      system to facilitate commuters switching between different transport
      systems/zones; the integrated public transport system should be manned by
      well-paid, capable and skilled workers who are also trained to handle all
      emergencies as well as a well-maintained system which is punctual, safe,
      comfortable and accessible to the physically handicapped.

      Publication date: 2001-01-04
      © 2000, YellowBrix, Inc.
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