BUDGET 2014 WISHLIST: Incentives will help ease traffic congestion, says Prasarana
THE government should consider tax rebates for public transport users in Budget 2014 if it wishes to promote the particular mode of transportation.
Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd group managing director Datuk Shahril Mokhtar yesterday said incentives should be considered, for example, for those who purchase monthly bus or rail passes, both for personal and corporate use.
"This will encourage more people to use public transport and take the congestion off the roads," Shahril said after a handover ceremony of Scania buses to Rapid Penang here.
Present were Prasarana group chairman Tan Sri Ismail Adam, Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Zohari Sulaiman, Rapid Penang chief operating officer Mohd Shukri Abdul Rahman and Scania (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd general manager Idros Puteh.
Shahril was asked to comment on Prasarana's wishlist for the budget, which will be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on October 25.
He called on the federal authorities and Penang government to work together in finding solutions to ease Penang's chronic traffic congestion and suggested a monorail or light rapid transit (LRT) as a solution.
"Putting more buses on the streets of George Town and Seberang Prai will not solve the problem. The Penang government needs to look at long-term solutions," he added, saying that a tram system will not be a viable option if one wants to plan for a public transport system for the next five decades.
"We hope the federal and state governments can look into the possibility of having a monorail or LRT for Penang and Prasarana is well-prepared and equipped to assist in giving consultancy and advisory services," he added.
Meanwhile, Zohari said by the end of this month, 80 new Scania buses will be plying the streets of Penang.
The buses, each costing RM600,000, are part of some 200 buses for Rapid Penang, which are meant to replace in phases some 120 China-made ones that were part of Rapid Penang's original fleet when it began operations in 2007.
Ismail said Prasarana's purchase of the balance 120 buses, which may include 40 double-decker buses, will be carried out via an open tender system and the delivery of the buses will be from August 2014.