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HAB SHAH ALAM (B)2

Case study: How SPAD revamped the Klang Valley bus network

According to Parisign Media , due to a lack of awareness among the general public in Malaysia on the level of connectivity and transportation provided by the transit networks, many do not consider public transportation, including bus transit networks as a viable transport option when moving around the city.

This promoted the Land Public Transport Commission or Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) to execute a major revamp of the bus network system in Klang Valley. The move also serves to optimise the routes, ensure wider coverage and importantly, increase the appeal of public transportation among the locals.

As part of its revamp efforts, SPAD tied up Parisign Marketing & Parisign Media (Parisign Media) in launching the Bus Stop Information Panel (BSIP) campaign. Most recently, the campaign has won Gold for Excellence in Data-driven Marketing at the Marketing Excellence Awards Malaysia 2017.

This post was done in conjunction with Parisign Media.

The problem

The availability of relevant bus services and the conveniences accorded by public transport are only appreciated by regular transit users. For the general public, there is a lack of awareness of the level of connectivity provided by transit networks and with no convenient access to such information. Consequently, they do not consider public transportation, including bus transit networks as a viable transport option.

For the SPAD to increase bus ridership numbers in the Klang Valley, in addition to addressing the above shortcomings, a major revamp of the bus network system would be necessary in order to optimise the routes to ensure wider coverage and increase the appeal of public transportation.

This would be a massive undertaking requiring intense scrutiny of large volumes of data sets, from route data of active bus operators to insights on commuter demands and journey patterns. A lack of comprehensive data also meant that additional groundwork would be needed to gather and compile insights to fill the gaps.

The solution

Committed to achieving this goal, SPAD initiated two major undertakings to address these problems:

The Bus Network Revamp (BNR):

  • To evaluate and consolidate bus routes from all existing bus operators, improving efficiency of the networks
  •  To reorganise, optimise and expand bus routes, closing gaps in coverage and giving more people the option to travel via public transportation
  •  To develop a comprehensive Bus Stop inventory Database for Greater Kuala Lumpur, covering urban, sub-urban and rural areas while accurately surveying and tracking positions of the bus stops.

The Bus Shelter Information Panel (BSIP) Project:

  • To design and develop operator agnostic wayfinding schemes, creating a unified public transport branding
  • To develop and deploy route information panels at all bus stops in the Klang Valley, expanding availability and accessibility of details on transit services

 The Objective

Both programs were developed to achieve several key objectives:

  • To provide convenient access to bus route information in an easily understood format
  • To create a unified public transport branding (i.e. viewing the bus routes offered by various operators as part of a singular public transportation network)
  • To make bus networks an attractive transport option

The ultimate goal of the initiatives were to increase ridership of public transportation, particularly bus networks, and awareness of available routes.

The execution

Parisign Marketing assisted with the BNR project, manually surveying and GPS tagging all bus stops in the Klang Valley covering an area that spans almost 3,000 square kilometers. Coupled with feedback from stakeholders and data from the bus operators, SPAD used the compiled information to reorganise the Klang Valley bus network.

Routes with high demand were expanded, new routes to under-served areas were introduced, and the revamped network would comprise of routes centrally assigned to the bus operators by SPAD. A standardised route designation system was also co-designed by Parisign and implemented for consistency across all bus operators.

All data and information obtained was analysed, formulated and integrated into a schematic content design.

Each design are individually modelled according to bus journey patterns with a total of 6,275 types of schematic design involving 1,271 road names and 3,137 landmarks. Online surveys were conducted for feedback to refine the designs before deployment.

For the BSIP project Parisign Media provided its expertise, from development and design of wayfinding schemes to data driven logistics for installation of the panels across the Klang Valley. By adhering to a meticulously crafted deployment plan and coordination with all stakeholders, the installation went smoothly with minimal hitches or disruption to traffic and commuters.  In total Parisign installed 4,925 BSIP panels in 13 municipalities throughout the Klang Valley, with 1,249 panels in Kuala Lumpur alone.

The results 

Bus ridership went up by 8% to 172.2 million (2016) from 159.4 million in 2015, despite late roll-out of the revamped bus network (Q3 2016) and BSIP panels (November 2016). Follow-up surveys regarding the BSIP panels received positive feedback over the designs, with respondents satisfied with the panels design elements, comprehensive information layout and ease of use.

The revamped bus network also led to improved performance by the bus operators, with bus services operating more efficiently resulting in a 75% reduction in waiting time for commuters.

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