Bruneians unhappy with current transport system

February 21, 2015

Only 40 per cent of some 9,000 participants in a public survey said that they were satisfied with Brunei’s current transport system.

Director of Land Transport Department Dr Hj Sufry Hj Ladi revealed this during a recent briefing for members of the Legislative Council regarding the Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) at the Ministry of Communications.

The Transport Attitude Survey – which begun in 2012 – was conducted by the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications.

Information collected from the survey will be used to formulate the LTMP.

The survey showed that while 40 per cent of the participants were happy with transport in Brunei, 27 per cent were not satisfied.

In contrast, more than 70 per cent of the respondents said they were satisfied with the country’s healthcare and education systems.

With regards to public transport, the survey showed that 60 per cent of the participants felt that the cost of public transport was affordable and justified.

Only 28 per cent were happy with the frequency of the buses while 40 per cent were dissatisfied with its reliability.

In light of these findings, Dr Hj Sufry said the strengths of the current public bus transport system are the low fare (BND$1 per trip) and good geographical coverage.

The existing problems that need to be addressed are unreliable service, poor condition, short operation hours (6am to 6pm), limited information and social separation.

With this in mind, Dr Hj Sufry said the LTMP will focus on upgrading the frequency, punctuality, coverage and image of the public transport system to reduce car dependency of the nation.

“The situation right now is unsustainable as there are less people travelling using buses,” he said.

Another concern raised by the director was that 90 per cent of those in Brunei use private vehicles as the primary mode of travel.

This was precarious, he said, because the increased volume of vehicles may affect the number of road accidents.

The survey also revealed that most Bruneians were in favour for the introduction of Light Rail Transits (LRT).

Dr Hj Supry Hj Ladi said several categories were devised to gauge the public’s opinion on suggestions related to transport in Brunei.

The “New mode of transport (MRT, LRT, monorail)” category had the most support of the respondents with 24 per cent.

The second most supported category (20 per cent) was to “Improve the existing mode of public transport – taxis and buses – while the “Road network extension (more lanes)” category got 13 per cent.

The “Improve road safety” category got four per cent.

Categories of: improving facilities for walking/ cycling, better management of school traffic, introduction of intelligent technology (journey time), better road management, integration of transport planning and town planning and improving inter-district travel shared three per cent each.

The remaining percentages were not accounted for as they ammounted to less than one per cent for other categories in the survey.

However in spite of the results, the LTMP will focus its efforts on improving the existing mode of public transports.

Chief researcher of CSPS Dr Diana Cheong said that the decision was based on a cost benefit analysis on cost efficiency, environment, social and political factors.

“Based on the projection of four to six per cent economic growth and future population growth – the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is more than sufficient to meet the needs of the people,” she said.