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Rapid Penang To Operate 140 Buses With Ramps

October 16th, 2008 - Thursday

Wuan alerted me to the following piece of news in the New Straits Times Online just now. My first reaction was a cynical snicker. I have heard one too many tall tales from RapidKl, Rapid Penang, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad and even the Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop regarding the accessible bus issue to know better and take news like this with a generous pinch of salt.

I checked around and none of my well-connected friends in Penang have seen the prototype of a Rapid Penang bus with the ramp installed yet. This is how it is in Malaysia. Stakeholders are not consulted on their needs and do not have a say in how these needs are being managed. RapidKL was deaf to the various comments on the prototype of accessible bus and went ahead to build similar buses with ramps and wheelchair locking devices that are neither functional nor safe to use.

Is this going to be another fiasco like RapidKL’s? Time will tell. Nevertheless, having been involved with these people, I am not too optimistic. How do you expect people who have very little understanding of what disabled people’s needs are to do the right things? But this is how things are being done in Malaysia. We spend money building amenities that are not functional and then spend money again to rectify the mistakes, or maybe not at all. Malaysia Boleh!

NST Online » Local News
2008/10/16
Wheelchair ramps on buses

GEORGE TOWN: RapidPenang buses are set to be more disabled-friendly with the move to install wheelchair ramps on board its 140 new buses.

The installation of the wheelchair ramps is expected to be completed by early next year.

RapidPenang chief executive officer Azhar Ahmad said the disabled-friendly buses would be delivered in batches from March.

“The ramps will ensure that the disabled can commute on public transport,” said Azhar.


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