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Gov’t to spend savings from diesel subsidy to improve public transportation

Publish date: Sun, 16 Jun 2024, 04:01 PM

ECONOMY Minister Rafizi Ramli said the government will use the savings gained from the removal of subsidies from diesel to upgrade the train service from Padang Besar to Johor Bahru within five years.

He stated that with better public transportation, the number of people who drive vehicles and depend entirely on the use of the road will decrease year after year.

“Our railway track is very durable, the previous government spent more than RM20 bil to build a double railway track from Padang Besar to Johor Bahru, but the existing trains only use 30% of their capacity.

“If you ask people, they still curse us because there are not enough trains. If we have money, container trucks will not make so much noise about diesel because they will use trains,” he said in a video posted on Facebook.

With the government facing heavy criticism over the subsidy cuts, he asked whether Malaysia wants to move forward, saying fixing the public transportation weaknesses cannot be left to others.

“On the other side (the opposition) will make promises or swear all kinds of things because they only think later,” he added.

In January, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook noted the government would ramp up enforcement and penalise those who misuse bus lanes.

According to the minister, this was part of their efforts to increase public transport ridership, especially for buses.

In the Prasarana 2023 Performance and Future Plans report, Loke pointed out the average daily ridership for buses last year stood at 241,000 and was targeted to increase to 285,000 this year.

“People prefer not to take buses because they will be stuck in traffic jams so the frequency is unpredictable. We are addressing those issues.” - June 15, 2024

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