Brunei to Overhaul Land Transport Systemsqwcgadmin
21st October 2014
BRUNEI will overhaul its land transport system under a new master plan that promises a more integrated, rapid and efficient transport network.
The Land Transport Master Plan sets out to reduce car dependency by improving public transport, including a bus rapid transit system with four major lines operating across the Brunei-Muara district.
A taxi franchise system will also be introduced to replace and increase the number of taxis in the Sultanate.
The master plan was a result of a two-year study by the think tank Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS).
Unveiling the plans to about 80 people at a CSPS forum yesterday, the Minister of Communications said four strategies will be implemented to address land transport challenges.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said the master plan will reduce car dependency, keep traffic moving, achieve a sustainable society and strengthen governance.
“Also in the pipeline is the establishment of the Land Transport Authority, which will further promote the development of the land transport sector in a regulated and sustainable manner,” said the minister.
In a presentation at the forum, four consultants of the CSPS study proposed the removal of fuel subsidies in Brunei as their research suggests such a move would increase public transport ridership by 20 per cent.
However, they stressed that it was a proposal and that the recommendation was not part of the master plan as it was a “sensitive topic”.
The research team set up under CSPS consisted of consultants from SQW China Limited and Atkins International including Gary Ho, Jonathan Spears, Cameron MacDonald and Franki Li who presented an overview of the master plan.
The consultants explained that car dependency would be reduced through better connection for alternative modes of transport and better public transport services.
The master plan also includes improved parking, road and traffic management that will optimise the use of existing roads while increasing the road capacity to keep traffic moving.
Furthermore, the consultants said there are targets to build 140km of new roads and reach 60 per cent of trips taking less than 30 minutes, doubling the current 29 per cent.
In maintaining and achieving a sustainable society, the master plan would give incentives for low emission vehicles, hold green travel awareness campaigns and increase green vehicle technology.
The master plan would also reduce the number of road fatalities or severely injured by 50 per cent and reduce child casualties and injuries by 60 per cent, the consultants added.
An improved water transport system is also expected with improved docking locations and a national school bus system that ensures the safety of schoolchildren.
The consultants said several new government bodies would also be formed to strengthen governance including a Department of Parking and a new executive agency called the Transport for Brunei Authority.
Meanwhile, Hj Md Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Md Yunos, a member of the CSPS Board of Directors, said the master plan was based on the needs of Vision 2035 to provide a sustainable land transportation system as the country is currently facing challenges such as car dependency, congestion, traffic pollution and road safety.
“Without policy action, these problems will result in increasingly negative consequences: raising costs for individuals, government, communities and investors, damaging future economic growth, undermining social inclusion and reducing the quality of life for Bruneians as well as those who visit and do business in the country,” he said.
Source: The Brunei Times