a study on the public transportation issues in kota kinabalu
A STUDY ON THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
ISSUES IN KOTA KINABALU CITY
THIEN CHEN YAN
PERPU TA; ',".:~
UNIVERSITI ~t.ALAY,)Il\ S
A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA SABAH
UNIVERSITI MALAYSIA SABAH
BORANG PENGESAHAN STATUS TESIS
JUDUL:A STUDY ON THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ISSUES IN
IJAZAH: SARJANA SAINS (PENGURUSAN SEKITARAN)
SESI PENGAJIAN: 2005 - 2006
Saya THIEN CHEN YAN mengaku membenarkan tesis Sarjana ini disimpan di
Perpustakaan Universiti Malaysia Sabah dengan syarat-syarat kegunaan seperti
1. Tesis adalah hakmilik Universiti Malaysia Sabah;
2. Perpustakaan Universiti Malaysia Sabah dibenarkan membuat salinan untuk
tujuan pengajian sahaja;
3. Perpustakaan dibenarkan membuat salinan tesis ini sebagai bahan
pertukaran antara pengajian tinggi;
4. TIDAK TERHAD.
UNIVERSlTI MALAYSIA Sl\B~1.l
(Penulis: THIEN CHEN YAN)
No. 26, Taman Mitzi,
89608, Papar, Sabah
(Penyelia: DR. BONAVENTURE VUN LEONG WAN )
Tarikh: 2 Julai 2007
CATATAN: Tesis dimaksudkan sebagai tesis ijazah Doktor Falsafah dan Sarjana secara
penyelidikan atau disertasi bagi pengajian secara kerja kursus dan penyelidikan atau
Laporan Projek Sarjana Muda (LPSM)
A STUDY ON THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ISSUES
IN KOTA KINABALU CITY
MASTER OF SCIENCE (ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE)
15 May 2007
DR. BONAVENTURE VUN LEONG WAN
I hereby declare that the material in this thesis is my own except for quotations,
excerpts, equations, summaries and references, which have been duly acknowledge.
1 July 2008
Firstly, I would like to thank Dr. Bonaventure Vun Leong Wan, the lecturer of School
of Science and Technology, University Malaysia Sabah willing to be my supervisor of
this dissertation and give me lots of advice to accomplish the work punctually. It's my
honour to work with him and hopefully in the future as well .
Secondly, thanks to the tolerance of my colleagues who privileged me to work
on my dissertation during working hour and also my friends to help on various
Finally, thanks to my family to provide me a comfortable environment to work on
the dissertation and also unlimited supports on mentally and financially.
A STUDY ON THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ISSUES IN KOTA
This study has been carried out to understand the relationship between the
sustainability of Kota Kinabalu city and its public transportation system and also
to propose a reformation plan to enhance the current system as ineffective public
transport system would retard the city from heading towards sustainable
development. Through the study on the current service system, some negative
factors influencing the development and effectiveness of the present public
transportation system have been identified and also found that the ineffective
management is the root of these negatives factors. To overcome these problems,
a suggestion to implement centralized management and vertical supervision to
the current public bus system has been put forward. The central idea of this
proposal is for the government to take over fully the operation and work out the
contract for different routes; contractors have to proceed with a bidding process
before they obtain the right and only one contractor can operate at the specific
route. Through the reformation, the authorities would be able to supervise and
manage the system easier. The proposal also introduces the step to implement
the new system and the way to solve the negative effect after the reformation.
Kajian ini te/ah dija/ankan untuk meninjau perhubungan di antara kemampanan
Bandaraya Kota Kinaba/u dan system pengangkutan awam serta mencadangkan satu
usu/an untuk menambahbaik sistem yang tersedia ada. Ini ada/ah kerana
ketldakcekapan sistem perkhimatan pengangkutan awam akan mempengaruhi
pembangunan mampan Bandaraya Kota Kinaba/u. Me/a/ui kajian in~ beberapa faktor
negatif yang menjejaskan keberkesanan sistem yang tersedia ada te/ah dikena/pasti
dan didapati pengurusan yang tidak efektif merupakan asas kepada factor-faktor
negatlf ini. Untuk menangani masa/ah in~ satu usu/an yang mencadangkan
pengurusan berpusat ada/ah dicadangkan. Ide utama usu/an ini ada/ah di mana
kerajaan mengambi/ a/ih sepenuhnya operasi dan menge/uarkan kontrak untuk
rangkaian ja/an yang berbeza. Kontraktor per/u me/a/ui satu proses tender sebe/um
mereka diberikan kebenaran untuk beroperasi. Me/a/ui reformasi in~ pihak berkuasa
dapat mengawa/se/ia dan mengurus sistem ini dengan /eblh mudah. Usu/an ini juga
mencadangkan /angkah-/angkah untuk memperkena/kan sistem baru ini dan caracara untuk mengatasi kesan negatif se/epas reformasi ini.
The Impacts to the Economy Development
Introduction of Well Developed Public Transport
The Advantages of the Public Bus Service
The Public Bus Service of Kota Kinabalu
The Public Bus of Kota Kinabalu
2.4.2 The Bus Type and Category of Service In Kota Kinabalu City
The Existing Routes and Terminal
2.4.4 The Operators
The Related Agencies and Organization
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
The Study Methodology
On Site Observation
Visit Related Agencies and People
CHAPTER 4: THE STUDY AND DISCUSSION
Public Response to Public Bus
4.2.1 The Result of Survey
4.2.2 The Conclusion of Survey
The Factors Retard the Development of the Current Public Bus
The Congenital Factors
4.3.2 The Human Factors
4.4 The Predicament of Big Transportation Companies
4.5 The Roots Induced the Retarding Factors of Kota Kinabalu Public Bus
Insufficiency of Resources
Lack of Monitoring
4.5.4 The Qualification Verification
4.5.5 The Quality of Operators
A Better Public Bus Service System
Condition for an Effective Public Bus Service System
4.7 The Reformation of the Public Bus Service System
The New Form of Operation
4.7.2 The Function of the Independent Unit
4.7.3 The Contractors
4.7.4 The Organization Structure
4.7.5 The advantages of the Reformation
The Implementation Step of the Reformation
Promotion of Public Transportation System
Car Free Day
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND THE SUGGESTION
5.2 The Suggestions for the Future Study
LIST OF FIGURES
The distribution of the income of a teacher, admin officer and
engineer in of Kota Kinabalu city.
The hypothetical scenario without (Before) and with (After)
public bus on road
The proportion of bus on all routes in Kota Kinabalu city
The proportion of the licensed operators
The flow chart of study
The purpose people take bus
The reason of people refuses to take bus
The aspect people suggest need to be improved
The impression of people to the current public service
The proportion of people's inclination to the service after the
The flow chart of the process to obtain operating permit
The organization structure
The organization structure before and after the reformation
The process of the tracing of incident before and after the
The step to implement the reformation
LIST OF TABLES
The number of vehicle registered in Sabah from 2000 until 2005
The amount of accident occurred in 2005 end 2006 in Kota
Kota Kinabalu city
The color representing the respective bus' category
The amount of buses on respective routes
The list of agencies and people
The statistic data from the questionnaire
The summary of advantages to the respective party
LIST OF PHOTOS
A gas station in Kota Kinabalu
The cars parking at illegal place
The road widening construction causes the losing of green
The map and list of some congested roads and areas in Kota
The private car is very common in Kota Kinabalu city
The public bus terminal of Kota Kinabalu city
The appearances of the T.U.T (right) and P.U.T (left) buses
The buses of small transportation companies
The illegal pull over
The illegal operation
The incompetent personnel
The waiting bus
Disregard on regulation and rules
The examples of provision of information
The appearance of old buses
The disunity on external appearance
The complaint number
Photo 4.10 The vicious challenge from the state car company
LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendi x A
The car registration statistic of year 2004
Appendi x B
The operating conditions and application conditions of
respective service category
The route table
The map of public bus route in Kota Kinabalu city
The PUSPAKOM testing categories and purpose
The rapid population growth in Kota Kinabalu has not only increased the number of
sales of cars, it has also caused severe traffic congestion for the residents of Kota
Kinabalu City over the past few years. The congestion gets worse during peak traffic
hours between 0800 to 1000 and 1700 to 1900 throughout the city's major inbound
or outbound routes. Most of the vehicles on the road are private cars and mostly
occupied with one or two passengers.
Traffic congestion is only one of the negative impacts that could be identified
visually, there are many' other impacts which are invisible. While people get frustrated
for being caught in the middle of traffic jam, it brings inverse impacts to the
environment simultaneously, such as the fuel consumed by the car, the hazardous
emission discharged from the exhaust pipe, the time wasted waiting in the car, the
car installment that has to be paid every month etc. Why do people have to endure
all these? How can people lives improve with a better public transportation system?
Sustainability is the hottest topic among all big and small cities around the world,
and Kota Kinabalu city is no exception. The transportation problem is a crucial factor
to determine the sustainability of every city and also an important criterion to
evaluate its sustainability (Deakin, 2003). Kota Kinabalu city will have difficulties in
achieving better sustainability should the transportation problem be unresolved.
Inevitably, transportation problem is a very common phenomenon that is
encountered by most cities in the world. It is an accumulative proble.m due to various
factors, such as ineffectiveness in the existing roadway system, large volume of
vehicles and poor public transportation system. The transportation problem can
potentially bring many negative impacts, both economical and environmental, to a
city. To mitigate the transportation problems for a better sustainability of the city, an
efficient public transportation is vital. This is because it is the very fund amental
means to overcome the problem; an efficient public transportation system ca n
effectively reduce the number of the vehicles on road and the transportation
problems can be resolved consequently. Among the various public transportations,
public bus is the most common modes of public transportation (Black, 1989).
The private cars on the road have increased in an alarming speed within Kota
Kinabalu city over recent years. Nowadays it is very common for every household to
own a personal car. This phenomenon is made possible by the government policies
and many other objective factors. Everyone wants to own a car badly, and the main
reason behind it is everyone thinks that it is very inconvenient to travel around Kota
Kinabalu city without a car. This exposes the fact that the public transportation in
Kota Kinabalu city is indeed very inefficient. As mentioned by Davison and Knowles
(2006), the personal freedom offered by the car, which has enhanced personal
mobility for many years has resulted in an unsustainable transport system in UK. This
is because automotive industry is highly consumptive, using many resources and
producing many waste' products. The rise in car ownership has allowed for the
dispersal of amenities and activity sites, which has in turn encouraged even greater
car use so accessibility is much easily available compared to those provided by public
In developing countries, public transportation plays a very crucial role in the
development and the sustainability of their cities; it drives the economic activities,
improves the quality of environment and improves efficiency of the limited resources
(UNCHS, 2001). Some countries, like China, due to their insufficient resources and
large population, their government attach a great importance and develop the public
transportation ceaselessly (Wang et aL, 2006).
1.2 THE IMPORTANCE OF SUSTAINABILITY IN KOTA KINABALU CITY
The Ex-Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi Annan has .pointed out that
the biggest challenge for the people of 21 st century is to achieve sustainable
development (Wang et aI., 2006). Sustainable development is widely defined as the
development of respective regions that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Generally, a
sustainable development city has to consider the three E's simultaneously, the
Economy, Environment and Equity (Deakin, 2003).
In the case of KK City, a two-year Sustainable Urban Developm ent Project was
implemented by Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) and co-sponsored by the Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development in 1999 (DBKK, 2000). Although it was a
short-term project, it proved the government has finally realized the importance of
the sustainability and began to attach importance to the development of sustainability.
TOWARDS BETTER PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
1.3.1 Public Transportation
Along with the increase of the population and the development of the industries, the
city is extending day by day and the interactions between people in the city are more
frequent than the past days; therefore, the public transportation is an important
means to connect the people to each other. The basic purpose to develop the public
transportation is to herp the citizens to make a trip easily and ensure the normal
operation of the fundamental social organizations and their activities. Nevertheless,
the experiences of a number of cities around the world have revealed that the
advantages brought about by an effective public transportation service are not only in
this aspect, it also brings enhancement to the city environment in a quite
Public transport, also called public transit or mass transit, consists of all sharedride transport service systems in which the passengers do not travel in their own
vehicles. While in general it is presumed only as rail and bus services, wider
definitions would include scheduled airline services, ferries, taxicab services and any
system that transports members of the public (www.wikipedia.com. 2005). The
public transportation available in KK city is only public bus and taxi, and the public
bus is more utilized by the public because of its lower cost. Therefore, the public bus
is very important to the public transportation of KK city.
1.3.2 The Coexistence of the Public Transport and Private Car
Beside the public bus service in the city, the existing private cars in Kota Kinabalu city
cannot be neglected and it is impossible to create a zero private car city. In fact,
coexistence of public bus and private car is possible. For instance, people can take
public bus to go and back from work to avoid congestion whereas they could use
their own cars for leisure purposes such as shopping and dating. Through this way,
the number of private cars in the future can be reduced gradually starting from
reducing the utilization of private cars today. The increasing amount of car utilization
within urban centers will create the problem of congestion and hence will become a
threat to economic growth, poor air quality, noise and even global warming.
To study the issues of the existing public bus service in Kota Kinabalu city.
To propose a feasible suggestion to enhance the existing public bus service in
Kota Kinabalu city.
SCOPE OF RESEARCH
This study proposed to study the insufficiency of existing public bus service and
management system in Kota Kinabalu city. These include the appraisal of the existing
management of the operators by related authorities, the service quality provided by
the operators and also the identification of relevant factors or issues that influence
the development and management of public bus service in Kota Kinabalu City.
2.1 THE INFLUENCES OF THE MODERN MOTOR VEHICLE TO THE
Despite the modern transportation that can bring many undeniable conveniences and
enjoyment to the people, it also undeniably brings numerous negative impacts to the
of a city.
accomplishments of conveniences invented by themselves, they are destroying their
own living environment at the same time.
The consequences caused by transport can be either positive or negative. An
example among the positive ones is the improvement in local business, leading to a
better access to goods and services by population thus encouraging the economic
development of the region. On the other hand, the negative aspects can be land
environmental quality and the deterioration of fauna and flora around the city areas.
2.1.1 The Impact to the Environment
Along with the increase of the number of motor vehicles, the negative impacts
brought by the motor vehicles have become a major pollutant source to the
environment and has influenced the sustainability of the city. The environmental
pollutions and depleting resources are major negative impacts to the environment.
The Environment Pollution
The environmental pollutions due to the motor vehicles can be various; the air
pollutions and noise pollutions are the major pollution caused by the motor vehicle
(Wark et aL, 1998).
The motor vehicle is one of the biggest non-point pollutant sources of the city. The
major pollutant of air pollution is the gaseous pollutants; these pollutants are the
substances in gaseous forms or as particulates matter discharge to the atmosphere
through human activities that can bring harm and impacts to human and
environment (Brennen et ai, 2005). Motor vehicles are the major sources of gaseous
pollutants in the urban area; the gaseous pollutant has complex components and
contains thousand of chemical
substances. The general
discharged by the motor vehicle include particulate pollution, Hydrocarbons, carbon
monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx) (Brennen et ai, 2005).
The influences of noise pollution from the transportation to the human body are in
various aspects. The noise pollution does not cause death; it contributes little to the
physical illness but clearly causes psychological stress (Black, 1989).
The Resources Depletion Problems
The development of motor vehicle has accelerated the depletion of limited resources
in the environment.
Non Renewable Fuel
Crude oil is the most precious non-renewable fuel resources . The price of crude oil is
rocketing nowadays; the political factor is one of the main factors, but the
fundamental factor is that everyone knows that the exploitation of oil cannot last
forever. It will definitely be exhausted one day. Motor vehicles need a great portion of
motor oil, along with the fast development of the car industry and the increase of the
demand on vehicles, this trend brings a driving demand on the crude oil. The
increase of demand on oil becomes an austere challenge to the provision and safety
of energy (Wright & Nebel, 2002).
Photo 2.1: A gas station in Kota Kinabalu.
The construction of roads, parking area and other basic facilities would bring
pressure to the land resources. The vehicles need roads to connect every destination
and the construction of roads has to occupy land. In the old times, the roads usually
have two lanes, but due to the development of the society, the traffic flow increases
rapidly and two lanes have to become four lanes. Parking area for cars in the city is a
very severe problem today and the car parks in Kota Kinabalu city are seriously
overloaded. Photo 2.2 shows that people park their cars at illegal place due to
insufficient parking place. Although people try to mitigate the parking area through
multi-floor car parks, the demand is more than provision. More and more car parks
have to be built in the city to satisfy the demand and thus putting more stress on the
available green areas around the city area .
Photo 2.2: The cars park at illegal place.
Losing of Green Plant
Similar to the depletion of land resources, plants need land to grow and the plants
are very important to the air quality; more greenbelts make better air quality. Due to
the constructions of roads, parking areas and other basic facilities for vehicles, the
plants are losing their habitat. Photo 2.3 shows that a construction site on the major
road of Kota Kinabalu city, the purpose is to widen the existing road to mitigate the
congestion and thus the land and habitat for plants are loss.
Photo 2.3: The road widening construction causes the losing of green plant.
The motor vehicle is made of variety of materials, such as metal, rubber, textile and
many toxic chemical components. People need to consume in abundance of these
materials every year and this causes some non-renewable resources such as metal to
be depl eting seriously. Moreover, the exploitation of those materials also causes
negative impacts to the environment simultaneously.
2.1.2 Impact to the Economy Development
The Traffic Congestion
The congestion in Kota Kinabalu city happens every working day at the same time at
the same place. Photo 2.4 is the map and list of some congested roads or areas in
Kota Kinabalu city during rush hours (morning and evening) and Table 2.1 is the
table of the number of vehicle registered in Sabah from 2000 until 2005:
Table 2.1: The number of vehicle registered in Sabah from 2000 until 2005.
Source: JPJ Kota Kinabalu (2006)
Photo 2.4: The map and list of some congested roads and areas in Kota Kinabalu city:
1. Center of Kota Kinabalu city
2. Mat Salleh road and Tunku Abdul Rahman road
3. Putatan road and Kepayan road
4. Tuaran road (Likas area)
5. Tuaran road and Damai Road
6. Bunga Ulam Raja road and Bundusan road.
The roads highlighted on the respective emphasized areas in Photo 2.4 are the
major congested areas, and there are still much small congestions around the Kota
Kinabalu city, such as the junctions without traffic light and roundabout areas.
Through Table 2.1 and Photo 2.4 have clearly showed that the number of cars is
increasing from year to year which is the main factor that induces the congestion .
Private cars in Sabah increase constantly every year. According to the data from JPJ,
there are 609, 911 motor vehicles registered and on the road in Sabah, the
respective numbers are 338,916 private cars, 113,460 motorcycles and 13,347
commercial vehicles (JPJ, 2005). Further reference to the car registration statistic of
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