KUCHING: Sarawak plans to set up a public transportation committee under its new Transport Ministry to get input from stakeholders for an integrated transport master plan.
State Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin (pic) said the committee would be set up before the end of the year.
“This is for us to get feedback and input from those involved in the transport industry from the division up to state level.
“We need feedback from the grassroots because the transport problems in Kapit division, for example, are not the same as in Kuching,” he told reporters after delivering his maiden winding-up speech in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly on Monday (Nov 11).
The ministry was set up in a minor state Cabinet reshuffle on Aug 22 this year to focus on urban and riverine transportation and traffic management in Sarawak.
Lee said the data collected by the committee would be used for detailed planning and formulation of a master plan for an integrated public transport system in the state.
In line with this, he said the ministry would commission a study next year on the master plan, which would also include riverine transport.
“At the moment, the focus is on road transport. We also need to look into riverine transport, which is still a critical mode of transport in Sarawak’s rural areas,” he said.
Lee also said the ministry would take steps to address traffic congestion in Kuching and other major towns.
Among them is the implementation of an integrated smart traffic light system in Kuching, to be replicated in other towns later.
“The project scope includes installation of traffic lights with a digital countdown,” he said.
In addition, he said a proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) line from Kuching Sentral to the Waterfront will be implemented next year.
The so-called Blue Line project, which involves a dedicated lane for buses, will be undertaken by the ministry and state Public Works Department.