Monday February 16, 2009
Buses for the disabled
ALL the 200 new buses to be added to the Rapid Penang fleet would be disabled-friendly, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said.
He said the buses would be delivered by June, bringing the total number of buses owned by the company to 350.
He said the new buses would be fitted with a ramp each to enable wheelchair-bound passengers to board them.
Nor Mohamed added that Rapid Penang had also installed the Global Positioning System (GPS) on all its buses to monitor their movements.
Passengers trying out the Rapid Penang bus service in Pekan Darat.
“The GPS is rented from a service provider.
“It will improve route frequency and enable the company to provide better service to commuters,” he told reporters in Butterworth yesterday after launching Rapid Penang’s new Butterworth – Pekan Darat route in Tasek Gelugor.
Nor Mohamed said the company hoped to break even in three years despite the losses it suffered since beginning operations in July 2007.
It is learnt that the company has recorded losses of about RM7mil.
Nor Mohamed said the company projected to serve 40,000 passengers daily when the new buses were put on the road.
“The current fleet of 150 is serving about 25,000 passengers daily,” he added.
He said more routes would be introduced, especially in rural areas on the Penang mainland, when the new buses begin ope-rations.
Rapid Penang is a subsidiary of RapidKL which is 100% owned by the Ministry of Finance Inc.
Nor Mohamed said the company was set up to improve public transportation in Penang and was not purely profit-driven.
“The responsibility of serving the people was on our minds when we introduced Rapid Penang,” he added.