Wednesday, May 23, 2012

City planners eye more public transport users by 2017

KUALA LUMPUR (May 22, 2012): The government and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) aim to more than quadruple the number of daily commuters using public transport in Kuala Lumpur, to two million by 2017, from about 480,000 in 2010.
Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said this would entail expanding current rail lines with additional coaches, adding bus lanes and instituting 'park and ride' facilities at rail stations.
"The government also has plans to improve existing bus lanes by installing barriers to separate them from the part of the road used by automobiles," he said when opening the Second National Conference on Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley themed 'Towards A World Class Sustainable City' here today.
In addition, he said the federal government was undergoing a detailed study for a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
He shared the sentiments of Rio de Janeiro's mayor Eduardo Paes who had said that cities of the future had to be environment-friendly.
"This is why, one of our Greater KL/Klang Valley initiative is to increase shaded areas in the city by planting more trees and introducing more open parks by collaborating with the private sector," said Raja Nong Chik, adding that Kuala Lumpur should not merely be about skyscrapers.
The minister said that holistic city planning often suffered from a sector-by-sector approach across competing jurisdictions.
"Across the major categories, we must look beyond air quality and carbon emissions, going all the way through energy consumption, land use and buildings, transport, waste, water sanitation and environmental governance to ensure that Kuala Lumpur is on the right path to a greener future," he said.
He further stressed that policymakers must not fail to see the city as a single entity.
At a press conference later, Raja Nong Chik urged the Selangor Goverment to give attention to water-related projects in the state.
Often, the approval of development projects were postponed because of water problems, thus affecting the Greater KL Plan, he noted. – Bernama
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