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Since it started in May 14 last year, the free bus service provided by the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) is receiving positive response, The Malay Mail reports. In addition, a survey notes that the service has even converted motorists into commuters.

The survey, conducted back in September 14 and 18 by the council’s Urban Transportation division, found that one-fifth or 19% out of a sample of 400 participants, previously drove their cars or rode motorcycles. Since the service started, the busses shuttle an average of 9,000 passengers each day. The survey details that 86% of passengers are students and low-income earners.

Lee Suet Sen, MBPJ councillor said of the survey, “this is very positive news to us in MBPJ as one of the main objective for the PJ Free Bus (initiative) is to create awareness of public transport usage and further improve the mobility of PJ residents in the city.” This, in addition to reducing traffic congestion and lowering transportation costs for residents.

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Lee however said that the service could still be improved, particularly in terms of decreasing waiting time. “Currently, 45% of them wait for less than 15 minutes and 47% waited for 16 to 30 minutes,” Lee said, adding “our target is 15 minutes of waiting time. To improve this requires an increased number of buses, of which MBPJ has already included in its 2016 budget.”

On top of that, Lee, who is also the city’s Master Transportation Plan Committee chairman is calling for a review of current and future bus stops so as to ascertain accessibility within a 400-metre radius. In that, Lee also encouraged more to use the free bus service as the survival and success of it depends on those who could switch from their own vehicles to public transportation.