Developing a public transport network is an expensive endeavour for any government, but having one that is seamless for commuters is worth the cost, according to transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong. He said that most governments, even those in advanced countries, would incur losses in building and operating a public transport system. However, he said things cannot simply be measured purely in terms of cost.
“We need to view the whole issue of public transportation in totality, not merely on how much capital expenditure was invested in a project. It is almost impossible to recover the money spent on public transportation and this is something that happens even in advanced countries,” he said.
He said that good public transportation will help reduce traffic congestion and this will help people save time and money. “All that time spent being caught in traffic is a big loss. So the expenditure on improving public transportation to ease people’s journeys will be worth it,” he said last week during the official relaunch of the KTM Skypark Link service.
As reported by The Star, Wee said this in response to a question asking how much the government was spending on subsidising users of the Skypark Link, which is an express service from KL Sentral to the Subang Skypark Terminal via the Subang Jaya KTM station.
Previously, the fare for a ride was RM10, but is now 65% cheaper at RM3.50. Fares for children aged two to six, primary and secondary school students, senior citizens as well as persons with disabilities enjoy a further 50% discount. Rapid KL has also responded by adding KTM Terminal Skypark in two of its bus routes – Rapid KL route 772 and MRT feeder bus route T804.
Wee said the new fare would help reduce the burden of transport costs. “The cost of public transportation is a major factor that affects a person’s cost of living in this country, and the government is always committed to helping vulnerable groups, especially those in the B40 category, as it wants to provide inclusive development without marginalising any section of society,” he explained.
“We have introduced various initiatives to help elevate the people’s socio-economic status, so we urge all to take advantage of them,” he added.
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