Kuching One Of Five Cities In Malaysia Selected For SBST Programme – Masing

KUCHING: Kuching has been selected as one of five cities in Malaysia for the nationwide Stage Bus Service Transformation (SBST) programme.

Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, disclosed this in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly yesterday.

He said the contract period for this programme shall be five years plus three years and the agreement will be finalised by this month.

The operation is expected to commence next year. It will take nearly one year for the buses to be manufactured and fitted with electronic ticketing system with ‘touch-n-go’ card compliance, onboard WiFi, GPS (global positioning system) tracking and onboard CCTV for security before they could be operational, he said.

He said the Kuching SBST project will cover about 560 km with 15 trunk routes and 12 feeder routes.

There will also be 130 new buses to increase the coverage from the existing coverage of 269 km and the bus frequency will range from 20 minutes to 1� hour interval depending on the routes served.

He also said the five existing stage bus operators in Kuching had formed a consortium called Konsortium BBK Sdn Bhd as the network operator.

The fares imposed in SBST would be in accordance with Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) fare structure and the ultimate goal of SBST is to reduce traffic congestion, improve the reliability and efficiency of existing bus services.

If the pilot project in Kuching is deemed successful, the government may replicate it to cities in Sarawak in stages, he said.

In view of the government’s plan to implement the Light Rail Transit (LRT) transport, the SBST routes and stations will be planned to complement the route of LRT in order to ensure seamless connectivity to commuters, he added.

Masing told the august House that to better address Kuching City’s traffic issues, Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara, Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan, Majlis Perbandaran Padawan, Majlis Perbandaran Kota Samarahan and JKR Sarawak will be conducting a pilot project known as Integrated Intelligent Traffic Light System.

He said that based on the present traffic condition, especially during peak hours, a more holistic approach should be adopted for traffic management.

He explained that the Integrated Intelligent Traffic Light System is a traffic monitoring system connected to computers where traffic light timing will be adjusted in accordance with real time and traffic volume.

However, this engineering and technical system integration would take time to deliver.

Masing also told the august House that over the next one year, the agencies will be implementing pilot route links along Green Road, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Satok to Kuching Sentral and Kota Samarahan to Jalan Song.

In view of this, traffic junctions along these roads will be undergoing upgrades and calibration and once this system is properly tested and proven successful, gradual roll-out of similar systems will be carried out throughout the state, he said.

Source: The Borneo Post