KL folk spend 250 million hours a year stuck in jams, metro-level transport planning needed – World Bank


The World Bank’s 12th Malaysia Economic Monitor: Transforming Urban Transport report has revealed a treasure trove of statistics on the state of private and public transport in the country – needless to say, some significant reforms are needed if we are to progress as a nation.

The urban sprawl (nearly 75% of Malaysians live in cities), high reliance on cars (estimated two cars per resident in KL) and inadequate public transport has led to congestion and low public transport usage (only 17%, compared to Singapore’s 62% and Hong Kong’s 89%).

Additionally, the report finds that Greater Kuala Lumpur residents spend a crazy 250 million hours a year stuck in traffic and travel 29 km/h slower on average during morning peak hours, costing 1.1-2.2% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, or a dizzying RM12.7-24.7 billion in losses (including delay costs, fuel wasted and economic cost of emissions), as well as a reduction in subjective well-being.

A number of policies encourage the use of private vehicles at the expense of public transport, and the “comparatively low cost of owning and operating a car in Malaysia” is mentioned. The report adds that MITI’s National Automotive Policy (NAP) supports affordable car ownership and associated vehicle sales, and that tariffs on foreign-made vehicles, the wide availability of affordable car financing and affordable fuel costs all drive private vehicle ownership, leading to over-reliance on the car, congestion and big losses.

While the World Bank lauds the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) for achieving quite a bit in only four to five years – “few public agencies in charge of public transport around the world have developed this level and diversity of capabilities and responsibilities in such a short period of time”, including rail- and road-based mass transit projects and their coordination – it cites the lack of unified planning as a major barrier to efficient urban transport.

Specifically, it suggests Malaysia to carry out transport planning at metropolitan (city) level instead of the current federal (national) level, saying metropolitan-level lead agencies can “oversee integrated planning, maintenance and service delivery of all modes of urban transport.” It also says policies that promote public transport should be aligned with those that discourage car use in congested areas, like London’s congestion charge and Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing (ERP).

RON_95_vs_RON_97_Fuel_Test_Malaysia_ 023

Introducing local taxes on fuel, it says, will result in environmental gains and trim the fiscal deficit by RM10-19 billion, as well as fund transport. “The recent move to scrap fuel subsidies was a win for equity, the environment, and the budget, with the savings helping the government remain on the path of fiscal consolidation,” said World Bank senior country economist for Malaysia Frederico Gil Sander.

“Malaysia can now take the next step and explore additional revenue sources such as gasoline taxes that can also promote and finance public transport and a cleaner environment,” he added.

Introduced in 2009, the Malaysia Economic Monitor is a six-month assessment report of the country’s development by the World Bank, as well as stating future expectations and current policy issues. Read the full report below.

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with Carro.

10% discount when you renew your car insurance

Compare prices between different insurer providers and use the promo code 'PAULTAN10' when you make your payment to save the most on your car insurance renewal compared to other competing services.

Car Insurance

Jonathan James Tan

While most dream of the future, Jonathan Tan dreams of the past, although he's never been there. Fantasises much too often about cruising down Treacher Road (Jalan Sultan Ismail) in a Triumph Stag that actually works, and hopes this stint here will snap him back to present reality.



  • SamShowedMeTheHilux on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    And kimchis being kimchis, the wear and tear on rotten cabbages make Malaysian used kimchis worth less that anywhere on earth

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 22
    • Jimmy on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Traffics are slow.
      Mentality is even slower.
      Mat Sallehs wear bikinis di pantai berenang-renang, to seduce people, and they will go to hell because of that. I makan 40 juta cakes, I pakai pakaian yang paling appropriate semasa semua occasions, tak kira jumpa sesiapa pun, and I confirmed jumpa Amitabha dekat Syurga Buddha.

      1. Is KL the worst city with traffic jam?
      2. Do you see everyone driving Mercedes is Germany?
      3. Do you see a lot of black Africans in Europe?
      4. Do you think orang-orang atasan negara China also have a lot of friends?
      5. Do we always want the best?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 28
      • TerbangkanSayaKeBulan on Jun 18, 2015 at 9:22 am


        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Yellow BOX - ONLY PROBLEM on Jun 18, 2015 at 9:32 am

        Actually ALL jams in KL are caused by the yellow box. Nobody scared of it. So, they go on it and block trafik from the other side. And vice versa.

        The ONLY problem is the Yellow Box. Nothing else. London has 20 million population yet trafic moves smoothly albeit slowly.

        Our Trafik cops all got no balls. See car on the yellow box blocking trafic flow from the other side, he smiles at them and in his mind, he is thinking about his nasi lemak and teh tarik.

        In Singapore, people are so scared of the yellow box. That is why traffic flows. Here in Malaysia half the time we are at grid lock. Hon like mad, stress levels shooting high.

        Don’t blame the drivers. Blame the enforcement of the yellow box. Next time you go to KL, look at the yellow box, you will realise, it is the ONLY caus eof jams in KL

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3
        • London traffic is different. London has its own road tax, which separates into 2 : the emission limit in london where besically any car above co2 emission limit is not allowed, and time, which define a time for a vehicle at what time they can enter london, peak or non-peak (day or night, as it is in london). You wish Malaysia government do that? Because I know they will love to squeeze you off your money.

          The only solution for this is efficient public transport. Nothing else.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • @samshowedmethehilux what nonsense are you ranting about here? What has the above article has anything to do with Korean made cars?

      This only shows what a ignorant imbecile you are when commenting. If I were to say you are stupid for not knowing how to even read a simple article written with using simple English, I am pretty sure you will be jumping around foaming in the mouth.

      Unfortunately your intelligent proves otherwise!People like you really embarrasses the Malaysian’s as a whole.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • policeman on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Great info. How long do KL folk spend watching TV?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
  • Gargantia on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Ofcourse stuck in jam… everyday or moment the Ministers car come with Police suddenly stop my car !!!

    Everytime block the road because Ministers busy with meetings(getting meeting allowance rm250 and eating currypup)….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 5
  • kzm (Member) on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Many will not like World Bank Report

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1
    • Of course! According to PR macai logic,
      Malaysia jam is THE WORST in the universe (Indo can go die),
      our car prices is THE HIGHEST in the galaxy (SG can go die),
      fuel price is THE HIGHEST in the solar system (Japan can go die),
      public transport only for Bangla use (Bangla can go die),
      ALL Gov bodies no use must not give praise one (BN can go die),
      MY not for human to live one (MY can go die).

      Buuuuttttt if they takeover, everything will be so cheap you can use one Zimbabwe dollar to pay for your petrol (Zimbabwe can go die).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 43
  • najibmah on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    kenakan cukai keatas minyak? harga kereta kt malaysia murah?..rubbish report..berapa najib bayar u? ni semua tanda2 minyak akan naik…@#$%^

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 15
  • Tychus Finley on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Hell, its about time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  • Chinese have a saying: no jam means that area no ong, so if more jam means more ong. So if we reduce jam means we reduce ong.
    Tableh ini macham!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 20
  • tishaban on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    What I’d like to see is a more accurate comparison rather than a gross number of 250 million hours per year.

    For example this article shows that each commuter in Los Angeles spend 95 hours a year in traffic.


    If we assume that there are 8 million people in greater KL of which 4 million commute, that 250 million hours would translate to roughly 62.5 hours per commuter per year. Apparently in Jakarta each commuter spends 400 hours per year in traffic!

    What I’d like to see is more positive encouragement to spread out people’s commute. For example discounts on tolls if you pass before 7am or discounts on LRT if you go to work etc. I for one fully support the public transport expansion system in KL. It’s been far too long overdue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1
  • seancorr (Member) on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    The average speed shown in my iDrive is 23-26kmh…yep tallies with this report. Always stuck in jams!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6
    • oldies on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      For me, the average speed calculated using total mileage and elapsed time for each fuel-up, has worsen this few months, ranging from 17-23km/h. I wish I can work-from-home (my job nature suits that), but company thought otherwise.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • ben yap on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    if companies can allow malaysians to work from home, we’ll have a better quality of life rather than being stuck in the traffic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1
    • alldisc on Jun 18, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      some companies do allow that. example is BHP (the HQ lah, not the petrol station. how the bangla can work from home?)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • denden on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    this should have been cater for from 20 years ago..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • A must read…


    digest it….and share…

    this might be the answer…..

    if we somehow implement it by stages together with electric buses and Tesla’s supercharger and battery swapping technology, we can immensely reduce our carbon footprint…

    the battery holding stations can recharge the swapped batteries via solar and vibrations collected along existing roads….
    netherlands just created special rubber glass with solar cells underneath to collect solar power, the glass roads would able to withstand the weight of lorries …amazing stuff

    theres a youtube video somewhere…they still have free feeder buses to send people to the main terminals…

    also the bicycle storage system is very secured and high tech…
    this encourages people to use bicycle…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
  • Teksi Kangkung on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Come on, this is a already a known fact for so many donkey years…..and after so many many years….

    Just ask any folks working in KL knows this problem. Even blind person can hear the jam, honking, nuisance, etc….

    The question is, what REALLY the Govt gonna do??
    Survey survey, count cars, study, hire experts, meeting, report, eat karipap, report, go oversea study (holiday) trip, report (repeat again. again again…)…


    Fed up already lahhh!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3
    • Then when Gov implement action to make LRT, MRT, BRT, etc uols complain construction lah, more jam lah, nuisance lah, songlap lah, no use lah, so ma fan lah, Bangla only use lah, better go die lah. Then how?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3
  • the driver on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Hello Mr Transport Minister, Malaysian government how long does the Rakyat have to wait until a report like this comes out before any action is done?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8
  • Visitor on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Not just KL/Klang Valley, but other cities in the country have seen roads getting clogged by cars. Cars should mostly be reserved for interstate travel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
  • Stupid_O on Jun 17, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Yamaha Nouvo 135 LC.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • ulkamikup on Jun 17, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Dont talk about environtment laa. If really care about environtment govt shud encourage people buying hyrbid/electric vehicles and at the same time continue with tax free policy for those vehicles. Dont know how much govt pay for this article.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
  • and the best part is most companies “berlumba2” to have offices in KL while their employee suffers from traffic jam….why do we need offices in jam mad kl! there shud give incentives for offices out of KL!! Mad!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • shawal on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      They should also give incentives towards companies that encourages employees to work from home as well

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • shenmue3 but jsrf? on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    I think we need people to work in shifts/ weekends more. Companies should hire those eligible that lives nearby first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • guest on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Some jobs need to be turned into shifts or during weekends. Employers need also to give priority to those who live nearby.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • Sammy on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Interesting stats
    Without traffic jam, maybe we don’t need bangla or Myanmar foreign labour?
    We have enough man hours to build it ourselves…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Tinmilo on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Semua ikut nombor ic…
    Odd number leave house before 7… Even number after 7…
    Nak swap timing tanya jiran.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • gberd on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    as an intelligent human beings should known how to deal with it, tomorrow will be even worst !!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • mr1031 on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    car 300% increase also malaysian buy..ape sangat la kalau minyak naik hage..malaysian kaya woo..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Maybe now is the right time we have 5 or 7 years maximum tenure for car loan..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • zaizaizai on Jun 18, 2015 at 9:37 am

    more parking spaces at public transport = more accessible to public (and please add better security at parking spaces, people nowadays can pay for that too)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • jammed on Jun 18, 2015 at 10:17 am

    thank god tun M moved the govt administratives offices to putrajaya…imagine if all are still in kl! btw, present gov shud encourage/gv incentives to private companies to set up offices outside kl which will ease the current unproductive time wasted being stuck in traffic jam. its hv bad social impact to families too!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • This article with dark background is not the easiest to read?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Unhappy citizen on Jun 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Najib, UMNO cronies, are you listening? No, you’re not. You have police cars breaking up the jam for you. Wei, you are not ambulance or fire truck, why need to speed? Your meeting so important? What’s your meeting about, to end our traffic woes? I don’t think so. You’re probably rushing to fly off for a vacation somewhere with your ‘lavish’ wife of yours.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Add a comment