Monday, January 11, 2010

RapidBET is set to kicked-off today,12 Jan 2010

Bus Expressways Transit modelled from Brazil & Colombia successful bus transit

Curitiba rapid bus transit unload the passenger to the unique covered and transparent 'tube' bus stop complete with turnstile and lift for the handicapped

Starting today, the very much hyped and awaited BET(Bus Expressways Transit) or also known as RapidBET will be kicked-off and giving taste to commuters to feel the new journey exprience.

It is modelled from two successful Bus Rapid Transit in Brazil and Colombia, but how much can we emulate still reeling doubt for frequent commuters to city centre.

RapidBET Implementations

BET is a system where the buses will utilise less congested highways to link heavily populated areas and the city centre.

Naturally, by using the highways, travel time is reduced as the highways are less congested than the normal routes. The service will have limited stops and rely on feeder buses and park-n-ride facilities to ensure sufficient ridership. With BET, travel time is expected to be reduced by about 50 per cent.

Altogether, four BET routes have been identified and the time savings is between 15 to 70 minutes.

However, for the introductory stage, two routes will be implemented starting next Tuesday.
The routes are:
1. RapidBET1 - Kota Damansara to KL Sentral & Pasar Seni via the Penchala Link
2. RapidBET2 - Bandar Sungai Long to Pasar Seni via the Grand Saga Highway

The expressways involved for BET are included as such as:

1) Penchala Link (Kota Damansara to Pasar Seni), with an estimated 70 minutes reduction in travelling time (from 120 minutes to 50 minutes).

2) Grand Saga (Bandar Sungai Long to Pasar Seni), with an estimated 35 minutes reduction in travelling time (from 85 minutes to 50 minutes).

3) New Pantai Expressway (Subang Mewah to Pasar Seni), with an estimated 15 minutes reduction in travelling time (from 75minutes to 60 minutes).

4) KESAS (Sri Muda to Pasar Seni), with an estimated 15 minutes reduction in travelling time (from 90 minutes to 75 minutes).

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd group communication general manager Ebi Azly Abdullah explained that four buses will be employed on the first route (BET 1) and six buses on the second route (BET2) and the fare for the routes will cost from RM1 to RM3. (Hmm...well done there!)

He added that normal bus services will not be affected as BET is an additional service.

BET1 (plying during peak hours only)
Pick up points: Latan Biru Apartments, Section 8; Dedap Apartments, Section 4; Pelangi Damansara; and Ikano Centre

Drop off points: Mid Valley and Pasar Seni
6.45am - 7.45am (every 15-minute interval) from Kota Damansara to Pasar Seni
5.30pm - 6.15pm from Pasar Seni to Kota Damansara.

Pick up points: SMK Bandar Sungai Long; Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman; and Taman Segar
Drop off points: Taman Segar; Taman Midah; Fajar, Jalan Sungai Besi; Wisma SEA; Majestic; Pudu jail; Swiss Garden hotel; Puduraya; Kota Raya; and Pasar Seni

Peak hours:
6am - 8am (every 20-minute interval) from Bandar Sungai Long to Pasar Seni
5pm - 7pm from Pasar Seni to Bandar Sungai Long
Off peak hour: intervals of every 30-minutes.

One thing i shall observed now, could we really replicate the success of Bus Rapid Transit from these two countries, while at the same time having our own identity of our own bus rapid system and does not look down the convenience to commuters as well?

Now, lets take a look of how the rapid bus transits system looks like in Colombia and Brazil, how do we fair with them?

1]TransMilenio in Bogota quoted from Clarence Eckerson (Streetfilm: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Bogotá)

In Bogotá, where the BRT system goes by the much more sexy name, TransMilenio, you’ll travel almost three times the speed of the typical New York City bus. The average TransMilenio vehicle travels at 17.4 mph. In New York City, buses poke along at 6.2 mph. Some TransMilenio routes average nearly 25 mph!

BRT system will offer many of the excellent features that we saw in Bogotá,features like physically-separated bus lanes, pre-boarding fare payment, wide doors that open at boarding level and a control room nerve center that monitors and manages the entire system. These features give Bogotá a bus system that really works.

Take a look of video i have attached earlier here.

You will see the system quite reliable,functional like our rail light transit despite it is using bus to carry commuters and buses came arrived on time for both sides despite it does not using a driverless system like our Putra LRT(shame on us!!!).

2] Curitiba Bus System by By Joseph Goodman, Melissa Laube, and Judith Schwenk (

Buses running in the dedicated lanes stop at cylindrical, clear-walled tube stations with turnstiles, steps, and wheelchair lifts. Passengers pay their fares as they enter the stations, and wait for buses on raised platforms. Instead of steps, buses have extra wide doors and ramps that extend out to the station platform when the doors open.

The tube stations serve the dual purpose of providing shelter from the elements, and facilitating the simultaneous loading and unloading of passengers, including wheelchairs, efficiently. This system of same-level bus boarding, plus the pre-boarding fare payment, results in a typical dwell time of no more than 15 to 19 seconds at a stop.

The bus system of Curitiba, Brazil, exemplifies a model Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, and plays a large part in making this a livable city. The buses run frequently—some as often as every 90 seconds—and reliably, and the stations are convenient, well-designed, comfortable, and attractive.

Consequently, Curitiba has one of the most heavily used, yet low-cost, transit systems in the world.

It offers many of the features of a subway system—vehicle movements unimpeded by traffic signals and congestion, fare collection prior to boarding, quick passenger loading and unloading—but it is above ground and visible.

Around 70 percent of Curitiba’s commuters use the BRT to travel to work, resulting in congestion-free streets and pollution-free air for the 2.2 million inhabitants of greater Curitiba.

When you have seen and read through these two Bus Rapid Transits and our own system called BET, I really hope the BET system could be the answer to the prolonged transportation issue in Klang Valley.

Though i have not seen or exposed on how will the BET is deployed except its routes and it will be using rapid buses, i am quite curious especially when i looked on these 2 exemplary, it looks like the idea was good and timely but on the implementation of our own Bus Rapid Transit called RapidBET, it seems it is too rushed considering do we have to check back our own bus stops condition all and have a proper system to help the swift flow loading and unloading (not to mention having special system for handicapped like Curitiba BRT has).

Can our BET be at par like what they have in these two countries?


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