The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) signed a contract on January 18 with MARA Liner Sdn Bhd, signalling the pre-launch of the myBAS Kuala Terengganu service under the Stage Bus Service Transformation (SBST) programme.
The contract was signed by SPAD Chief Executive Officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah and MARA Liner Sdn Bhd Chief Operating Officer Zahrail Affenday Mohamed, witnessed by Terengganu Chief Minister Dato’ Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman, and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dato’ Seri Nancy Shukri.
The improved myBAS service in Kuala Terengganu offering seven trunk routes and one feeder route covering a total distance of 235.9km will enable commuters in Kuala Terengganu and adjacent areas to enjoy wider connectivity and integration resulting in more reliable bus service across the city.
Thirty new buses will be put into service for Kuala Terengganu in the second quarter of 2018 which will be rolled out in phases. Phase 1 will see the introduction of three trunk routes and one feeder route: T102 (Kuala Terengganu-Sultan Mahmud Airport-Jeti Merang), T301 (Kuala Terengganu- Chendering (UiTM)- Marang), T202 (Kuala Terengganu-Pasir Panjang-Kampung Laut- Bukit Payung) and F100 (Kuala Terengganu City Feeder).
Phases 2 and 3 will see four additional services: T201 (Kuala Terengganu-Wakaf Tapai-Kuala Berang), T203 (Kuala Terengganu-Gong Tok Nasek-Kedai Buluh-UCSI University), T204 (Kuala Terengganu to TTI-Sungai Rengas-Serada-Rawai-Bukit Payung) and T101 (Kuala Terengganu-Manir-Gong Badak-Batu Rakit).
Nancy said Kuala Terengganu will be the very first myBAS service under SBST to incorporate the use of electric buses.
"In fact, 30 per cent of the buses that will be deployed for the full roll-out will be electric buses. This is a very positive development driven by the Federal Government’s vision for a reliable and sustainable bus service. It is good for the environment as these buses have a very small carbon footprint, do not produce smoke and run more silently than diesel buses,” she said.
The Federal Government introduced SBST via SPAD in 2015 with an investment of RM100 million to drive myBAS services in five capital cities as part of a pilot project to improve the public's mobility and access in areas where stage buses remain the backbone of land public transportation.
Under this model, SPAD will be responsible for the network, the operating cost, and will receive the fare box revenue. In return, operators will be paid a vehicle per km rate, and are required to deliver on the agreed service level performance to ensure commuters enjoy better connectivity.
In January 2017, the Government approved the implementation of the SBST programme in major cities and town in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. myBAS Kuala Terengganu will be the fourth implementation under the SBST programme, and is the first for the East Coast.
The SBST programme aims to create long-term value for stage bus services plying social routes which previously lacked coverage by developing safe, relevant and reliable bus services. myBAS service has been in operations in Kangar, Seremban and Ipoh, and has reached a cumulative ridership of 9.3 million people (or 400,000 passengers a month), operating along 51 routes with a combined distance of 1,434km.
“We hope that once the myBAS service is made available in about three months’ time, the people of Kuala Terengganu will try out the service. We believe that the services will be very popular once they experience the service reliability, comfort and efficiency of the myBAS services,” said Mohd Azharuddin.