One Small Win And A Big Loss For Malaysia's Public Transportation System

Our little achievement comes with a heavy price.

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GOOD NEWS! Kuala Lumpur's public transportation system has been named as the fourth most affordable in the world

GoEuro said Kuala Lumpur was among 60 cities ranked in the Urban Transit Price Index, which took several factors into account. The Urban Transit Price Index is an in-depth comparison of urban transport prices in 60 cities across the world as part of the GoEuro Price Index series.

Journey-planning platform GoEuro ranked Malaysia out of 60 cities according to distance, time and taxes. On average, a taxi ride in KL would cost RM12.09.

Image via is a travel metasearch engine which allows users to compare the price and journey time of air, rail and bus travel options in a single search. The poll took into account factors including distance, time and taxes, GoEuro gathered all data from official provider sites.

The taxi data was calculated based on the cost of a 10km ride; for Uber* the average cost of all available services in the city for an equivalent journey, and for public transport the cost of a single ticket.

On average in Kuala Lumpur, a public transport ticket costs US$0.74 (RM2.43) per ride, a taxi journey US$3.68 per 10km (RM12.09) and an Uber journey US$5.05 per 10km.

This sounds like a great win for our public transportation system, right? But before you rejoice...

Malaysia's transportation systems has also been reported as the seventh most dangerous for women

Thomson Reuters Foundation has named Malaysia's transit system as the seventh most dangerous for women

Image via Thomson Reuters Foundation

Alarming findings related to women's safety have come to light with the release of a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey that looks at harassment on public transportation systems in the world's largest cities.

On the other spectrum, New York, Tokyo And Beijing has the safest transport systems

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The Thomson Reuters Foundation surveyed 6,555 women in different cultures and asked them six questions about the risks, trust, and safety they feel when travelling in local public transportation

In total, 6,555 women and experts were surveyed. Results are based on the respondents' answers as well as surveys of experts in women's rights, gender equality, urban planning and gender-friendly urban spaces in each of the cities.

The foundation says the survey was conducted in many different cultures, and allowed respondents to judge what constituted harassment in their own society. Women were asked six questions relating to: how safe they felt traveling alone at night; the risk of being verbally harassed by men; the risk of being groped or subjected to other forms of physical harassment; trust that other passengers would assist a woman being physically or verbally abused; and trust in authorities to investigate reports of sexual harassment or violence.

The is what Malaysian women answered:

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Although Malaysia has women-only sections on its trains, experts say it is only a short-term remedy for women's safety

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Women-only sections on public transport are now also found in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Delhi, Cairo and Manila. However, gender and city planning experts have raised concerns over whether women-only transport is effective. Julie Babinard, senior transport specialist from the World Bank, says they're a short term fix and not a panacea for harassment of women.

"The emerging interest in several countries on women-only initiatives should be seen as an opportunity for improving security in cities but not as a silver bullet for dealing with gender-based violence in transportation and urban settings," Babinard told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Women-only initiatives are not likely to provide long-term solutions as they only segregate by gender and provide a short-term remedy instead of addressing more fundamental issues."

Although experts remain critical of single-sex transport, most women favored the idea, according to the survey.

This survey is important as studies has shown a connection between safe transport and female economic empowerment, and their ability to work and study

The survey, conducted online by pollster YouGov and with the Thomson Reuters Foundation's own investigation with specialists in each city, was released on Wednesday as studies repeatedly show a link between safe transport and women's economic empowerment and ability to work and study.

Mary Crass, head of policy at the International Transport Forum, an OECD think-tank, said it was worrying that women were scared to use public transport in some major cities and the poll highlighted the need for more action.

"When there is not frequent, reliable, accessible transport, this can affect women and anyone's ability to access opportunity and notably employment in urban areas, which can make a big difference for women in particular," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "(Women) tend to be more reliant on public transport ... particularly in low income or middle-income countries, in emerging economies."

Cases of taxi crimes in Malaysia:

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