Sunday, October 7, 2012
KL cabbies Worst in the World & Go-KL FREE bus service
Is there any truth in it? A reporter from the newspaper posed as a foreign tourist from England to find out if KL cabbies are indeed living up to the ‘worst taxi drivers in the world’ reputation as bestowed upon by LondonCabs.co.uk through a poll. For KL cabbies and the local tourism industry, it is certainly not a favourable thing to top the list for.
Popular website Tripadvisor also warns travellers about KL's errant taxi drivers who “refuse to use the meter, quoting a fare often with the view of ripping you off”.
“This quoted' fare is generally akin to daylight robbery, and sometimes when haggling takes place, it is reciprocated with rude gestures or abusive language ...” adds Tripadvisor.
On Virtualtourist.com, a visitor posted: “I have travelled the world and from Bombay to Boston I can tell you the taxi drivers in KL are the biggest pack of thieving lying dirtbags you will ever come across.”
The above is from the article from the reporter who posed as the foreigner tourist. She found out that out of 11 taxis, only ONE fare almost match Malaysia Taxi Auto Fare's calculations. The asking price was RM10 for a trip from Jalan Tun H S Lee to Pavilion in Bukit Bintang.
If you'd like to know what she found out posing as a foreign tourist, read her article, KL cabbies living up to ‘worst taxi drivers in the world’ reputation.
Recently, some 200 cabbies went on strike at Bukit Bintang outside the Fahrenheit shopping complex during the evening rush hour. Their vehicles were parked right in the middle of the road as they staged their noisy protest. They told reporters that their livelihood was being affected because the Go-KL bus service passed through the most popular destinations. They also complained about alleged harassment by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
What is the Go-KL bus service? On August 31, a new bus service was introduced in Kuala Lumpur specifically in the city centre. The best part of this service is, it is FREE. Anyone, local or tourist, can get on it to take him or her to any destination within the bus route.
A reader who wrote in to The Star said,
Providing free bus services in city centres is a feature that has helped Australia reduce inner city private traffic.
KL is moving its public transportation up a notch and is joining a number of other cities that provide free bus services in the city centres. They include Manchester, Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney. These services make travel in the city convenient for city folks as well as for tourists. The free service also helps reduce transportation expenses subsequently reducing financial burden.
Of course not every taxi driver is in on the ripoff act but enough of them are drawing unwanted international attention that is not helping their profession, neither helping tourism in the country.
It's about time something is done. Go-KL deserves our support.
Information about the Go-KL free bus service:
At present, there are about 15 of the purple buses, equipped with WiFi, serving two routes.
From KLCC, the Green Line follows Jalan Ampang, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Raja Chulan, and into the Golden Triangle.
The Purple Line services the Central Market hub including Bangkok Bank, Masjid Jamek, Ceylon Hill's Junction and Kota Raya.
Both routes overlap at Pavilion, Starhill Gallery, Bukit Bintang, Wisma Boustead and Wisma MPL so passengers can transit.
The frequency of the buses is every five minutes during peak hours and every 15 minutes during non-peak hours.
Operating hours are 6am to 11pm.
For more information, visit the service's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/goklcitybus) or Twitter #GOKL or call the hotline at 1-800-88-7723.
Additionally, all 15 vehicles are disabled-friendly. Besides WiFi-enabled, they are also equipped with security cameras to ensure safety of passengers. GPS is also available onboard and enforcement officers often travel incognito with the passengers.
That's not all. The bus service is also eco-friendly as, according to a report, a sapling will be planted for every cumulative 1,000km travelled to offset the estimated carbon emission of 0.11 metric tonnes. Thinking ahead, the worn-out tyres will be used to create artificial reefs to help restore damaged coral reefs. Source
THE Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has no plans to cease the free GO-KL bus service, following protests from taxi drivers here, NST reported.
Go-KL city bus routes: (Source: NST)
I blew up the earlier image on purpose so that the text could be easily read. Here's the uncluttered version..
When you visit KL next, do try out the Go-KL free bus service. You may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get from one shopping mall or tourist destination to another.
Image source: The Star