| James Kon |
BASED on the findings in the National Master Plan for a Sustainable Land Transportation System For Brunei Darussalam conducted by the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS), a MRT or LRT system is not feasible for the country because of low population density and high price tag of the system.
The conclusion was revealed by Dr Diana Cheong, Chief researcher of CSPS, who is also the principal researcher of the master plan, during an interview yesterday.
“We conducted a cost benefit analysis not only on the cost efficiency but also environment, social and political factors. Based on Wawasan 2035 projection of four to six per cent economic growth and future population growth, it was found that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is more than sufficient to meet the needs of the people.”
Regarding car dependency, insufficient public transportation and traffic congestion, she said, “The backbone of the strategies in the master plan is to improve public transportation through the BRT system which will be supported by park-and-ride facilities. There will be a big public transport interchange.”
She added, “We will not see the end of normal buses. The current bus system will be enhanced and will work as a feeder system for BRT, which is centred around Bandar Seri Begawan. There will be four major BRT lines. We are also looking at demand responsive transport system using taxis.
The master plan took more than a year to complete and was funded by the Brunei Research Council. The master plan was carried out with support of consultants from SQW China Limited and Atkins China Limited.
The new transportation system is designed to meet the country’s transportation needs, economic growth, urbanisation and improve the quality of life. It will also address environmental challenges of transportation.
Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, member of the CSPS Board of Director and Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office, in a speech said, “The purpose of the national land transportation master plan, white paper and related roadmaps, collectively called LTMP study, is to set out a strategic framework and actionable proposals for the development of an integrated, high-quality, rapid, efficient and safe transport network for Brunei Darussalam. In ensuring sustainable, equitable and efficient connectivity and mobility, we hope that the LTMP study will not only address the transportation challenges today but also address the transportation challenges of our future as underlined in the goals of Wawasan 2035.”
Some 80 stakeholders gathered at the forum on National Master Plan For Sustainable Land Transportation System For Brunei Darussalam at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.
The guest of honour was Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Communications.