In the 1990’s, the government appointed Intrakota Consolidated Sdn Bhd (a unit of DRB Hicom) and Park May Berhad (a unit of Renong Berhad to restructure the fragmented bus operations in the Klang Valley. Towards this effort, both, Intrakota and Park May started to acquire the various bus operators that were in existence then and slowly introduced much-needed improvements over the way buses were run then.
RapidKL buses services 6 key areas of the Klang Valley with a total of 165 routes. It provides 5 types of bus services to the commuter, namely the Tempatan service that carries passengers from the residential areas to the main routes.
The main routes is serviced by the Utama buses which then funnels the passengers into the city hubs where they can then go on to their final destination in the city center using the Bandar service. Ekspres service which, as the name implies, is a non-stop ride from key points around the Klang Valley straight into the city. Finally, under the NKRA Transport initiatives, Bus Express Transit (BET) was introduced in Feb 2010. Under this service, 4 Utama routes are converted to express routes and utilized under capacity highways such as KESAS, Kerinchi – Penchala Link & NPE, to transport passenger during Peak AM & PM to city centre.
Prior to 2006, the bus network in the Klang Valley was based on a line system that carried passengers from major sub-urban areas into the heart of Kuala Lumpur and most of these routes usually ply the major road corridors where the most demand has been identified.
Since then, RapidKL has adopted a network concept based on an integration of the LRT and bus service utilizing a hub and network approach where local pickup shuttles would pick up passengers and feed them into the rail, LRT or bus trunk lines. These then move the passengers into city hubs where city shuttles and rail then transport these passengers to their final destinations in the city.
Among the improvements to the bus service made by RapidKL is to establish a single or uniform brand name with a new network that covers more than 980 residential areas compared to the 638 before it was taken over by Rapid: An increase of 53%.
When Park May and Intrakota were operating, they only served 140 routes between them but under RapidKL, this has increased to 165 routes which is an increase of 19%.
More buses have already been added to the fleet and operation times have been increased to a whopping 18.5 hours (5.30am to 12 midnight).
One of the most well received of the many changes was a service based approach to operations (ie scheduled frequencies) as opposed to a demand based approach.