Stress-free rides for just RM1 at PJ and Subang Jaya
SINCE the launch of Kumpool, passenger J. Marian has had more time for leisure activities.
The new on-demand ridesharing service to anywhere in Petaling Jaya Sections 1-19 for just RM1 each way was launched earlier this month.
“Before this service became available, I had to wait up to an hour for a bus from my house in Jalan Templer to PJ Old Town because buses rarely came,” said Marian, who is in her 50s.
“If I wanted to go to Asia Jaya LRT station, I would have to change buses at PJ New Town, which would mean more waiting time.
“The Kumpool service can take me directly to my destination.
“His pick-up location is also closer to my home.
“In the past, I had to walk 150 meters more to catch a bus,” she added.
For Amaan Khan, 32, who hops in the van at Centerstage in Section 13 to drive to Phileo Damansara 2, cutting costs is a big factor.
“Booking an e-hail ride for one wouldn’t have cost me less than RM12.
“Since I can do so much with the extra savings, I will use this transport service every day,” the Sri Lankan said.
In addition to saving time and money, those who use Kumpool enjoy hassle-free journeys to congested traffic areas and waste no time looking for a parking space, said Kumpool manager Goh Chun Hean.
Kumpool is a subsidiary of Causeway Link, a public bus company based in Johor Baru.
Goh, 33, was named head of the new subsidiary last June.
The van ride service requires passengers to book rides through an app. Payments can be made in cash or via e-wallet.
“Unlike public buses, which take a fixed route which are usually the main national roads and follow a timetable whether or not there are passengers, our formula of van-hailing consists of reacting only when there is a demand.
“Otherwise, the vehicle remains stationary. During this time, the driver can go and take his tea break if he wishes,” he said.
Goh added that bypassing stops without passengers not only helped reduce fuel costs and reduced driver stress, but also allowed vehicles to reach passengers in a timely manner.
Built in-house by the company’s own technology development team, the Kumpool app is essentially routing software that uses a reservation algorithm to group passengers into a vehicle, based on their pick-up points and destination.
The real work is determining the locations of the approximately 130 stops at Petaling Jaya.
“A four-person team, including two from Kumpool and two from the Bukit Gasing Assembly Office, first identified the locations from Google maps.
“Our goal was to ensure that stops would be within 100m of residential areas.
“We also wanted to make sure that commercial areas were included.
“Afterwards, we went to the field to study the feasibility of the stops.
“The team included (Bukit Gasing assembler) Rajiv Rishyakaran, who ensured the vehicle could safely stop for passenger pick-up and drop-off.
“It took us three months to complete the study,” Goh said.
With each stop no more than 500m apart, he said the secret to maintaining efficiency as a provider of first and last mile transport solutions was to limit coverage to a maximum radius of 7km and 200 stops in one area.
Currently, two vans are driving around the Petaling Jaya area.
The vehicles are rented from ES Travel, the travel agency that also serves the van-sharing business in the Subang Jaya area, which started in December last year.
Popular with students and families, the Subang Jaya service will introduce its fourth van by the end of this week.
To promote the service in Petaling Jaya, the state assembly office offered free rides to the first 10,000 passengers.