Public Transport User Survey in Penang: An Invitation

malaysia penang heavy trafficWe have been asked by Ms. Alexandra Kang, a Lecturer and PhD candidate in the University Sains Malaysia, to draw survey of bus user attitudes in George Town Penang to the attention of our readers, both here and in the associated Facebook site for sustainable Penang at https://www.facebook.com/SustainablePenang, you will find below a short letter of introduction by Ms. Kang, with a direct link to the survey. In addition she provides us with some general background information on user a non-user attitudes toward bus travel in George Town. She will be sharing the results of her survey with out readers here.

Dear Friend,

As level of motorization grows in George Town, traffic congestion becomes an issue that needs to be addressed promptly.  Johannesburg Your effort in completing this survey will contribute to less traffic congestion, and more effective RAPID bus in Penang. There is no right or wrong answer to the survey questions, but only your true opinion that counts.

This survey is undertaken by the student to fulfill the requirement of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in University Sains Malaysia. Your information will be protected and not revealed to a third party. Please begin by clicking the following link to go to the survey.

–  – – > Click on this link

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Background

When a preliminary study was conducted to investigate why commuters in George Town (GT), Penang are not favouring Rapid Bus (RAPID) but have been chosen to mobilize using their own private vehicles for years, comments varied in magnitude. Some significance inputs were:

  1. “The nearest bus stop is 15 minutes’ walk, a bit too far for me.”
  2. “The bus stop is quite distance from my house to my workplace.”
  3. “The bus stop is quite distance from my house to my workplace.”
  4. “I do not intend to use bus (RAPID).”
  5. “Bus is good but LRT better.”
  6. “Don’t have confidence on the public transports (RAPID).”
  7. “Buses arrival time are inaccurate due to traffic & using own transport have more flexibility.”
  8. “I encourage the use of RAPID, if there are more frequent trips and accessible destination! Thx.”
  9. “It (RAPID) takes too long. What takes me 20 minutes might take me up to 2 hours to reach the destination.”
  10. “Must give yourself at least 2 hours allowance for your appointment, because RAPID got no timetable.”
  11. “The road condition must be considered as well.”
  12. “Need dedicated bus lane such as the new system in Sunway.”
  13. “It’s good to encourage public to take public transport (RAPID).”
  14. “I would love RAPID bus provided great phone service, Bravo!”
  15. “The bus driver need to be trained to be more considerate, more polite and do not speed.”
  16. “No RAPID between my house to work place.”
  17. “RAPID has to be more systematic and the drivers have to be more patience and friendly.”
  18. “The lunch time should be taken in shift and bus driver shouldn’t pick passenger.”
  19. “Public stay away from public transport due to long waiting time and inefficiency.”
  20. “Use bus pass for frequently traveler – prepare an empty bus for different route after school hour.”
  21. “My family doesn’t take on bus as we are already seasoned to using car due to lousy bus serve in the past.”
  22. “Use smaller buses thus more frequent buses can be put on the routes.”
  23. “The entire public transportation system (not only RAPID bus) needs a complete re-engineering!”
  24. “Would consider using RAPID when car or motorcycle breaks down, like there is no alternative backup vehicle to use.”
  25. “Bus services must have schedules and stick to it 100%.”
  26. “To have more rapid bus for convenience of the public.”
  27. “If the RAPID public bus can be like Singapore so convenient, I definitely commute without thinking.”
  28. “Rapid bus system needs to improve before I decide to use.”
  29. “Until traffic jam is solved in Penang, MRT/LRT will be better than Rapid.”
  30. “We need subway….not more buses!”
  31. “Most of the Rapid Bus drivers are very reckless.”
  32. “No proper road and traffic enforcement.”
  33. “There is big room for public transportation improvement in Penang.”

Justification of bus lane is provided in the observational study by Proulx and Baron (2015). In the case of GT, some pointed at the lack of bus lane for poor ridership. However, it is in fact not warranted due to the unique landscape and narrow carriage ways of GT conurbation centre (Kang, Jayaraman & Soh, 2013).

A comment made which desire for “great phone service” reflects a switch away from conventional features about speed and price of public transport to desire for comfort and convenience (Acott, 2015). The differences in the demography, household and gender role dictate the amount of chauffeuring burden among the community in GT.

As level of motorization grows in George Town, traffic congestion becomes an issue that needs to be addressed promptly. I would like to explore further what are the various reasons, perceptions, expectations and values of the commuters for being hesitating to commute with RAPID bus.

If you are a resident in Penang and use mostly car or motorcycle for your daily trips, you could contribute your opinion by completing this survey about RAPID bus.  There is no right or wrong answer to the survey questions, but only your true opinion that counts. Your information will be protected and not revealed to a third party. Let us make Penang a better place to stay and more livable city with less cars and pollution, but more effective RAPID bus.

Please begin by clicking the following link to go to the survey.

– – – >http://www.sogosurvey.com/k/RQsTRPWUsYsPsPsP

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References

Proulx D., Baron S. (2015) “The Case For Bus-Only Lanes on Georgia Street: An Observational Study” URL: http://bit.ly/1NlTHxI

Acott, K (2015) “Lattes And Luxury Give Public Transport A Tick: Buses And Trains With Espresso Machines, Phone-Charging Portals And Fold-Down Tables Should Be Part Of The Public Transport Network In Cities Such As Perth, Says A Visiting Transport Expert” URL: https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/29052410/lattes-and-luxury-give-public-transport-a-tick

Litman (2015) “Evaluating Household Chauffeuring Burdens: Understanding Direct and Indirect Costs of Transporting Non-Drivers”, presented at the ITEA Annual Conference and Summer School, Oslo, Norway. URL: http://bit.ly/W8kt7r 

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 About the author:

Alexandra Kang Ah Geik is a senior lecturer of the School of Business and Administration. Prior to her joining WOU, she served as a corporate secretary in the secretarial division of Deloitte Kassim Chan. She spent substantial years in training and educational consulting services, and also headed the Business Management School of few private colleges. She teaches courses in the areas of Management, Corporate Governance, Corporate Law and Corporate Administration.  She can be contacted at serenakang@wou.edu.my.

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About the editor:

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as a development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist and international sustainability activist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1969. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport - https://worldstreets.wordpress.com . | Britton online: https://goo.gl/9CJXTh

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