Way out?

There was this front page ‘news’ in The Sun this week highlighting someone’s idea on a solution for KL’s traffic jams — report here. As a driver, of course, I felt an urge to read on, as traffic jams have been a major problem in KL

However, what was put forth as the solution(s) was something that will not go down very well on every driver. The panel of experts engaged to give their opinions suggested that road pricing (road users are charged for using the road) be implemented. Apparently, this will force people to use public transport, as the cost of driving a car become more expensive. Although both has commented that this is not the ‘only’ solution, it sounded to me that this might be one of the ways to ease road congestion.

To me, this is simply ridiculous. What people have failed to realise is, IF M’sia’s public transport is half as efficient as — say, Singapore’s — KLites would not drive. Then, obviously, there would not be any congestions. It seems that those decision making people employed by us tax-payers always look at problems way off track. Business-minded people are always taught to look at problems at their root. Solve the root, solve the problem.

Why on Earth ‘punish’ the citizens when the public transportation itself is not efficient enough to attract users? One of the experts mentioned that even if public transportation were to improve, it does not guarantee less traffic on the road. True, maybe, but why don’t improve the public transportation side first (at least fo the sake of those already taking them) and if it does not improve, then implement solutions which won’t go down well on the people?

I can safely say that people will still pay (to use their own transport, that is) IF the public transportation is not improved. LRTs not on time, breaking down in the middle of a journey, busses stopping at every bus stop waiting for passengers to get on (for some 5-10 mins), pathetic state inside the busses, etc, etc. Not to mention that the amount of busses one has to change in order to get to one place. If they are on time, okay, we can plan our journey.

How could we ‘plan our journey’ (as suggested by them) if we don’t even know if the busses are arriving? What if we need to attend a meeting urgently and this bus driver suddenly felt like having a cup of teh tarik first before his journey?

I remember that some Minister (can’t remember when or who cos it was ages ago) took the effort to ‘try’ taking our public transportation and the report came out in one of the local papers. The picture of him was all-smiling giving thumbs up to the service. I was like, hello? — taking the bus at the least busy time of the day? Of course there would be no people on board and no jam!

And, if the bus company is expecting some VVIP on board, I’m sure huge preparations are done beforehand to make things go smoothly. I would love to challenge this people who are always so concerned about the efficiency of public transportation take them for at least a week to and fro their workplace, at the busiest times of the day. Go undercover to experience it. Since it’s the rainy season now, all the better. Or, try it during the time when school re-opens.

I am sure they wish they could travel in their comfy cars again.

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