Friday, February 2, 2007

February flood, bus service in Kuching and CVLB again

It's February!

What's so cool? Yupp! It's the months when the torrential rain is at its dreadest moment in Kuching and termo readings aren't that hot. We've witnessed in the past couple of years that the threat of floods in this city was greatest around the Chinese New Year celebration. I remember when our local press printed a photo of a swine took refuge on the roof of a house during the worst flood hit in years. Wonder whether the piggy was rescued... My friends' citrus at their hobby garden, albeit assisted by the government, were lost too after inundated for weeks by the flood. I joined them the year after that worst flood, and this year's new year saw another flood at those gardens, yet again!!

Well, today it is the CVLB again in our press. I kind of like the stuffs laid out by the rethorical chairman but there is no end to the supposed problems and best solutions to things at hand are not within sight. Lecturers and professors renting cars in Desa Ilmu? I think there are not the only ones to be singled out. The students want to rent cheap and available nearby. The basic of economics of demand and supply counts here. Should they be regulated? Once regulated there is no enforcement? CVLB is not an enforcement body said the chairman, then will the police, RTD or councils take up the cases? Complicated. May be let the biz runs and become successful first and let them apply for premises instead of the home biz where they are operating now (I've seen some). But these kind of biz is kind of a neede at most campuses in Malaysia. I've use some before and also seen similar activity done near the Sabah public uni. My niece used to keep an agent's Kancil at her campus in Bangi. She told me that she utilize the car when not out on rental, clever girl.

The consortiun of bus service in Kuching hinted they want a fare rise. Apparently to finance their new ventures of acquiring new fleets and refurbishment of old ones. They claim that 50% of their fleets are 'old' and need facelift. From my observation, those old ones are not fit to run on our roads. But then, I guess, our society tolerate old vehicles and old drivers. Kuching is well position at the back of the que in term of a modern cities. Even though the city emerged winners in healthy and safe city status, still the public transportation is very poor.

I don't know why we want to keep those too old buses around town. I think the drivers are driving them in pain and discomfort as well as to the commuters, an estimated 20 to 30 thousand peoples daily. May be the consortium make some biz sense into this and invest in new ones, make proper routing and serve the routes with right sized vehicles, though not to imitate the minibus experienced by KL in 1980s. If the service is good may be the number of users will grow and a lot of biz sense will hinge to it.

But again, we go back to other related issues, where is the proper bus station and stops?? Hard question. The bus companies have to wait again. There is no station to call home. We have a regional bus station that is so poor and look like "sabung ayam" makeshift building. At the same time extra modern shophouses and hypermaket are being developed nearby.

I always look forward to a proper public transportation that works well in Kuching. We never know what holds the future, fuel price may go up beyond our reach and cost of holding cars and other vehicles would be unbearable for government service peoples like me. We may switch to the buses, minibus, van or cable car (if Kuching want to use the Genting Resort style of mass transportation from offices in Petra Jaya to city areas). Or else, buy the Kancil made for rent at Unimas. H h

Hope for good public transport.

Bye now.