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Everyone knows that pilots train with flight simulators, but here’s a less known bus simulator that Rapid Bus has introduced to enhance the skills of its RapidPenang bus drivers. The training programme will also include a dynamic bus simulator at the company’s Bus Academy in Nibong Tebal, The Sun reports.

Rapid Bus’ headquarters in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, was the first to house the dynamic simulator in Malaysia and South-East Asia.

“The installation of the two static and one dynamic simulators are the company’s efforts to create highly skilled bus captains and world class personnel for the industry. The incorporation of the bus simulator training will undoubtedly elevate further the status and profile of Rapid Penang Bus Academy here and Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd as a whole,” said Prasarana group MD Azmi Abdul Aziz.

“It is dynamic and equipped with graphic displays of actual bus routes, complete with moving objects and obstacles to test the efficiency of the bus captain with the actual environment,” he added. Forty trainers are involved in the three-month training programme.

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Also present at the launch ceremony was state Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, who said that RapidPenang bus ridership has increased over the past years. “There were a total of 28 million passengers in 2013, and the number increased to 30 million last year. The number has increased by 78% since 2008.”

Meanwhile, Prasarana will study the suitability of introducing double-decker buses in Penang after the implementation of its services in KL this September. Azmi said that Prasarana is currently analysing the 46 RapidPenang bus routes before making a decision. “The study will commence later this year to identify locations which have high density of passengers and demand from consumers,” he told reporters.

RapidKL will be including around 40 double-decker buses into its Klang Valley service in September, and close to 90 drivers are currently being trained to handle the 4.2 metre tall machines.

Built by Alexander Dennis of the UK, the Enviro500 diesel buses will have 83 seats and standing room for 25 people, as well as a screen showing how many free seats there are on the upper deck. It is capable of carrying 50 more people than RapidKL’s current single-level buses. Costing RM1.4 million each, the double-deckers are disabled-friendly and fitted with security cameras.