KOTA ISKANDAR, Aug 16 — The Johor state government is committed to continuing its free bus services and will increase ridership through additional routes over the next five years, said an official.
Johor Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee chairman Mazlan Bujang said this will be done through the Johor Public Transport Corporation (PPAJ) that will expand the service to various popular routes that will be identified.
He said the state government will also look into improving less utilised routes via a comprehensive plan.
“We will transform the public bus service holistically within the Iskandar Malaysia area in Johor Baru through projects such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and stage bus service transformation (SBST) with the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) and the Land and Public Transport Commission Land (SPAD),” he said today.
Mazlan said this in reply to Hahasrin Hashim (Panti) on his question on the state government’s plans to extend public transport in Johor over the next five years at the state assembly in Kota Iskandar here.
Mazlan (Puteri Wangsa) added that besides that, the double tracking project will continue and is expected to be operational in 2021 where it will be integrated with public services such as taxis and buses.
“This is to ensure that the public transportation network provided will be continuous, comprehensive and has maximum accessibility to consumers.
“The construction of the double tracking project is expected to also boost the local economy as well as to encourage and increase the usage of public transportation especially in the areas such as Segamat, Kluang, Kulai and Johor Baru,” he said.
On a related question by Zaiton Ismail (Sungai Balang) about the difference between the previous Muafakat Johor and present Harapan Johor bus services, Mazlan said the latter was a free bus service provided by the state government for routes which did not previously have bus services.
“The state government through the PPAJ had reviewed the Muafakat Johor bus service introduced by the previous administration, and concluded that its implementation including costs and usage-level should be reviewed.
“In addition to that, the state government will also regularly review the Harapan Johor bus service cost to continuously improve and expand its routes,” he said.