| James Kon |
BRUNEI Darussalam can expect major improvements in its land transport system in line with the country’s Vision 2035 following the completion of a masterplan, which seeks to address the current and future needs of the system.
The National Masterplan for a Sustainable Land Transportation System was unveiled yesterday at a national forum organised by the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS).
In a keynote address at the forum, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, the Minister of Communications, disclosed some the worrying facts about the system, including the people’s excessive dependency on private cars, which the masterplan aims to address.
“There are 216,000 licensed vehicles in Brunei Darussalam and 1,400 private vehicles are registered every month with a nine per cent annual growth rate. The total length of roads in the country is 3,167 km. In terms of public transport, there are 105 public buses, 456 school buses and 45 taxis.”
He voiced his concern over the sustainability of public bus services and reiterated the need for the bus operators to form a consortium.
“This is my main concern. In developed cities like London and Singapore, there is only one bus operator in the city to cater to millions of people. In Brunei-Muara District, we have around 60,000 people but there are five bus operators serving the people. How sustainable is this?,” the minister asked.
The situation has resulted in congestion along Brunei’s roads, he said.
The absence of trust in the public transport has led to the spiralling demand for private vehicles, he said.