PETALING JAYA: Public transport, including e-hailing services, must be improved before any attempt is made to reduce the availability of parking space.
First, transport consultant Y. S. Chan said public transport should be focused on the needs of commuters.
“They choose whichever is convenient and affordable. They will choose public transport if driving is a chore and finding a parking space is a challenge or too costly,” he told theSun.
He was commenting on a proposal by Transport Minister Anthony Loke that housing developers be allowed to dispense with complementary parking lots in their projects to not only lower the cost of the property but also to encourage the use of public transport.
He claimed using public transport could help people reduce their cost of living by as much as RM200 a month.
He said the government had also launched a RM500 million public transport fund to get commuters to use buses and trains by enhancing public transport-related infrastructure and to help finance the purchase of public transport vehicles such as taxis and buses.
Loke said if there was an efficient public transport nearby, developers would not have to provide car park lots.
Chan described the suggestion as “superfluous”. He pointed out that those who chose to reside in transit oriented developments (TODs) might not need their own cars because public transport was within easy reach.
“These are self-contained townships that offer a wide range of public transport facilities.”
On the other hand, those from other areas who need to drive to the nearest train or bus station would end up parking their vehicles near or in the TODs.
He said Loke’s suggestion was “just a solution to a small part of a big problem”. “It will help developers but will also create a big mess around TODs when a large number of cars are parked outside the condominiums.
Chan said commuters should be encouraged, not forced, to use public transport.
He noted public transport in Kuala Lumpur had been boosted not just by trains but by e-hailing services as well, thereby making it more convenient for commuters.
“Those who choose not to drive will not be stranded if taxis are not available as in the past but it was all right to introduce restricted zones.”