Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd is the largest bus operator in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. As of 2011, it operates 167 routes with 1400 buses covering 980 residential areas with a ridership of about 400,000 per day.
Rapid KL bus routes were previously operated by Intrakota Komposit Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of DRB-Hicom Bhd; and Cityliner Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Park May Bhd. When it took over, there were 179 routes. Since January 2006, Rapid KL has redrawn the entire network.
Rapid Bus is however not the only bus operator in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley. Other bus operators such as Metrobus, Len Seng Omnibus Co Ltd. and Selangor Omnibus Co. Ltd also serve the Klang Valley.
In October 2003, SPNB bought over Intrakota Komposit and its subsidiaries from DRB-Hicom for RM177mil. It also paid RM14mil cash for the 364 buses belonging to Cityliner. The original companies were appointed interim operators.
RapidKL began the first phase of the revamp of its bus network in January 2006 by introducing 15 City Shuttle bus routes which serve major areas in the central business district of Kuala Lumpur. The buses run between four hubs at the edge of the central business district, namely KL Sentral, Titiwangsa, KLCC and Maluri, and Medan Pasar in the city centre. These bus hubs also serve as rail interchanges, with the exception of Medan Pasar, although it is at a walking distance from Masjid Jamek LRT station.
In March 2006, RapidKL revamped the bus network serving Kepong, Selayang, Gombak, Batu Caves, Bandar Sri Damansara and Bandar Manjalara areas which it called Area 2. The areas are now service by four Trunk Routes and 35 Local Shuttle routes when fully implemented. The four trunk routes all begin from the Titiwangsa hub where passengers can change to City Shuttles. At the other end, the trunk routes serve regional hubs where Local Shuttles fan out into the residential suburbs.
On 30 April 2006, the bus network in Area 3 covering Setapak, Ulu Kelang, Wangsa Maju, Keramat, Ampang and Pandan was revamped. Three trunk bus routes serve this area, one from Titiwangsa and two from KLCC while 26 local shuttle routes complete the network for this area.
On 1 July 2006, two express services, four trunk lines and 32 local services were introduced in Area 4. It covers areas including Cheras, Serdang, Kajang, Balakong, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Bandar Baru Bangi.
On 23 September 2006, RapidKL's revamp of the Klang Valley's bus network became complete with the introduction of new routes in Area Five which covers Subang Jaya, USJ, Puchong, and Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang south of the Federal Highway; and Area Six which covers Damansara, Bandar Utama, Kota Damansara and areas of Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang north of the Federal Highway.
On 21 April 2007, sixteen months after the first step of the first revamp, a second major revamp was undertaken on the entire bus network on grounds of feedback from commuters who wanted the buses to ferry them from their housing estates direct to the city centre, that is with less or without much need to change buses in the middle of their journey.
This revamp saw the routes being adjusted (e.g. B112 [Maluri — KL Sentral], formerly 112, now passes by Jalan Hang Tuah/Pudu/Tun Tan Cheng Lock instead of Jalan Maharajalela/Sultan Sulaiman), extended (T40 [Kajang — Maluri], is now U40 and is extended to Pasar Seni LRT), merged (T41 [Serdang Komuter — Maluri] and 414 [Serdang — Bandar Sungai Long] become U41 [Pasar Seni LRT — Bandar Sungai Long]) or discontinued (route 107 ceased operations on that date).
Using RapidKL buses
RapidKL bus operates three types of bus services: City Shuttles (Malay: Perkhidmatan bandar), Trunk Buses (Perkhidmatan utama) and Local Shuttles (Perkhidmatan tempatan). There are also point-to-point Express buses (Perkhidmatan ekspres).
City Shuttles have red destination boards, trunk buses have blue boards, local shuttles have green boards and express services have orange boards.
RapidKL has also divided up the Klang Valley into six areas:
- Area One : Kuala Lumpur City Centre (Central Business District)
- Area Two : Kepong, Segambut, Selayang, Batu Caves, Gombak, Jalan Ipoh and Sentul
- Area Three : Setapak, Wangsa Maju, Ulu Klang, Setiawangsa, Keramat, Ampang and Pandan
- Area Four : Cheras, Kajang, Ulu Langat, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Semenyih, Sungai Besi, Seri Kembangan, Serdang and Balakong
- Area Five : Klang, Shah Alam Selatan, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Jalan Klang Lama and Puchong
- Area Six : Shah Alam Utara, Subang, Damansara, Petaling Jaya Utara, Bangsar and Kota Damansara
Route numbers for city shuttles are prefixed by the letter B (for Bandar), e.g. B114. Route numbers for trunk services are prefixed with the letter U (for Utama), e.g. U410. Route numbers for the local shuttle are prefixed by the letter T (for Tempatan), e.g. T323. Route numbers for the express services are prefixed by the letter E (for Ekspres), e.g. E1.
Using the service
RapidKL's new bus system expects users to hop on more than one bus to complete a journey. This is unlike the previous RapidKL bus system and that still in use by other bus operators in the Klang Valley, where most bus services begin in the suburbs, follow a trunk route to the city, then perform a sweep in the city centre before terminating.
Instead, RapidKL's bus users are expected to use a combination of its four types of services to complete journeys. Local Shuttles take users in the suburbs to hubs, usually bus terminals or LRT stations, where users transfer to LRTs or trunk buses to continue their journeys to the city or elsewhere in the Klang Valley. The city centre is served exclusively by City Shuttles.
Effective 1 September 2009, all RapidKL buses will be issued a single journey tickets for their city shuttle (BANDAR), local shuttle (TEMPATAN) & express (EKSPRES) bus routes which replaced the daily unlimited ride tickets. As for trunk shuttle (UTAMA) bus route, the tickets will be issued based on the number of zones covered. For example, if a person travels across three zones on the trunk shuttle (UTAMA) bus route, the bus fare is RM 2.50 for single journey. The ticket must be kept while on board for inspection by RapidKL officials failure of which the ticket must be purchased again if the ticket is lost while on board during the inspection.
Spouse and a total of 4 kids under 15 years old are allowed to accompany the pass holder free on weekends and public holidays.
Detailed schedules of bus services are not published, although headway information and operating hours is publicly available.
- City Shuttle:10 to 20 minutes
- Trunk Line: 15 to 30 minutes
- Local Shuttle: 15 to 30 minutes
- Express: 30 to 60 minutes
There are scheduled services that are not subject to the above headways.
RapidBET - Rapid Bus Express Transit
BET is a system where the buses utilise less congested highways to link heavily populated areas and the city centre. Naturally, by using the highways, travel time is reduced as the highways are less congested than the normal routes. The service will have limited stops and rely on feeder buses and park-n-ride facilities to ensure sufficient ridership. With BET, travel time is expected to be reduced by up to 50 percent on certain BETs.
The routes are:
- BET1 - Section 8 Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya to Pasar Seni via the Penchala Link (normal service as U88)
- BET2 - Bandar Sungai Long, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur to Pasar Seni via the Grand Saga Cheras-Kajang Expressway (normal service as U41)
- BET3 - USJ 8, Subang Mewah, Subang Jaya to Pasar Seni via the New Pantai Expressway (normal service as U63 & U67)
- BET4 - Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam to Pasar Seni via the New Pantai Expressway (normal service as U64)
- BET7 - Sri Nilam Apartment, Ampang to Lebuh Ampang (near Titiwangsa LRT) via Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH) (normal service as U22)
- BET8 - Semenyih Sentral, Kajang to Pasar Seni via the Kajang–Seremban Highway
BET services are only available on weekdays and during the morning and evening peak hours only. For this initial introductory stage, BET will run at 15 to 20-minute intervals during the morning and evening peak hours. Frequency and service periods will be increased at a later stage depending on the demand for each route.
Buses for BET routes are about four to six buses initially and will be reviewed from time to time as the demand grows. BET is more of an enhancement to the current services, whereby the focus is more to shorten the travel time.
Detailed headway information and operating hours is available at RapidKL's website.
As of June 2014, the RapidKL bus fleet consists of 1,400 vehicles.
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