Improving the first- and last-mile connectivity will convince more people to use MRT and LRT. Pix by Zulfadhli Zulkifli

MUCH has been spent on the public transportation system, such as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit line projects.

The opening of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line is timely to reduce congestion.

The most challenging aspect now is to encourage people to use these facilities to reduce the number of vehicles.

The media has given wide coverage on this issue, initiating bicycling programmes to galvanise support for a cycling culture.

One of the most unexplored avenues to maximise MRT and LRT ridership is to improve the linkages to stations.

It would be more enticing to commuters if the first- and last- mile connectivity was improved.

MRT and LRT are not the solutions to the traffic situation in an urban environment.

One thing that stands out during the morning rush hour is the large number of single-occupancy cars.

To win over this group to use public transport won’t be easy.

People will choose to drive if they face poor feeder bus services, high fares, parking charges, parking space, difficult connections to different train services.

If we open our eyes to the reality facing us, the use of bicycles fits in well.

Besides being toll-free and environmentally friendly, it also promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Cycling as an alternative mode has taken a back seat for too long.

The authorities have not gone far enough on this issue.

Nevertheless, Kuala Lumpur City Hall is leading the way in this direction.

As I see it, cycling is low in most people’s priority list as many perceive it as outdated.

Many say the less than pleasant weather conditions is not ideal for cycling, which is hard to swallow if we compare the success stories of cycling in other countries that have harsher weather conditions.

In Puchong, commuter ridership of LRT Stations 6, 7 and 8 falls short of expectation, as evident by the almost empty stations during non-peak periods.

And, we are not seeing any decline in traffic in the Damansara–Puchong Expressway (LDP).

Connectivity to these stations is inadequate. It would be good if the corporate sector initiates such projects as part of its corporate social responsibility programmes. With a little investment in such infrastructure, the result will more than justify the cost.

Bandar Puteri, together with Setia Walk and Wawasan, covering a radius of more than 8sq km with a population of about 16,000, is the ideal testing ground to build a bicycle or pedestrian path and park-and-ride bays in the vicinity to get more people to use the LRT.

Eddy Ng Soon Hoh, Puchong, Selangor

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