PUTRAJAYA: Travel time by bus within the Klang Valley will be cut by almost half when the Rapid Bus Expressway Transit (RapidBET) system swings into action on Tuesday.
"BET is our first step towards transforming bus services to be attractive and accessible for all commuters," Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat told reporters before chairing his ministry's post-Cabinet meeting here yesterday.
Under the RapidBET system, buses will utilise less congested highways to link heavily populated areas and the city centre.
"Naturally, by using the highways, travel time is reduced.
"The service will have limited stops and rely on feeder buses and park-n-ride facilities to ensure sufficient ridership," he told a press conference.
Two routes will be implemented in the introductory stage - from Kota Damansara to KL Sentral and Pasar Seni via the Penchala Link; and from Bandar Sungai Long to Pasar Seni via the Grand Saga Highway.
"Before the new system, the journey time from Kota Damansara to Pasar Seni was about two hours. Now, it is expected to take about 50 minutes.
"The travel time between Bandar Sungai Long and Pasar Seni was about 85 minutes and it will be reduced to 50 minutes," he said.
He said the buses would run at 15 to 20-minute intervals during the morning and evening peak hours.
"Frequency and service periods will be increased in later stages depending on the demand," he said.
Another two routes that had been identified and would be implemented later are from Subang Mewah to Pasar Seni via New Pantai Expressway and from Sri Muda to Pasar Seni via Kesas.
Ong said he had come across commuters who took two hours to get to work and another two hours to get back home.
"We must reduce the travel time and then move on to increase the level of comfort," he said.
Ong will be joining commuters on Tuesday to experience the expected "smooth" journey.
Ong said the system was in line with the Government's goal to increase the modal share of public transport in the Klang Valley from 10% to 25% by 2012.
Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad's group communications general manager Ebi Azly Abdullah said the bus fare would remain the same - between RM1 and RM3 - but the service would be better.