Sunday, March 19, 2017

Using Public Transport vs Personal Transportation - My Take

I was asked by friends to write about my experience comparing driving and using public transport (including GRAB/UBER). Why? Because since the start of 2017, I've been using the public transport (MRT) a lot as there's a feeder bus in front of my residential area and the MRT was fully operational between Sungai Buloh and Semantan (Bukit Damansara).

With the convenience of the public transport + uber/grab, I don't have to think about traffic congestion (especially during peak hours) and parking cost/spaces at the destination. Do I still drive? Yes, when I need to go pick up my children from school/tuition or when I need to go groceries shopping at the market (as a single dad, I have to be the maid as well). Aside from that, going to meetings in KL is mostly via Public Transport.

Doesn't it take longer time to get to the destination? Of course, but having used the MRT+Feeder Buses for 4 years while I lived and worked in Singapore, I'm used to planning ahead of time if I need to get to my appointments at a certain time. So far, the only time I gotten late to an appointment before was when I drove as I got stuck in a post-rain jam despite leaving my home early.

For now, the MRT only reaches Semantan (Wisma UN) area at the time of this post so I will update this part once they have open up the rest of the route (remind me if I didn't update this post when you stumble upon this)

For this post, The destination of choice was Publika in Solaris Damansara which is 16 km away (from my home according to waze) which usually takes me about 30 - 40 minutes (during non-peak hour) and 1 hour to 1 1/2 by car. Also, this post does not include BIKES as it's cheaper to move around if you are riding a small cub bikes as a full tank of below RM10 can get you far and most malls and offices charges a flat rate for bike parking space.

Public Transport

Duration: 55 min (Per Direction)
Transportation Cost:
Feeder Bus : RM1
MRT : Kota Damansara - Semantan : RM3.20
Feeder Bus : RM1
Total Per Direction: RM5.20
Total For Entire Trip: RM10.40
(I usually don't have to wait long for the Feeder bus as it goes by my area every 15 minutes and I can roughly gauge the timing so I can head out just in time for the bus)

Using UBERX: RM17.42 (Both Direction: RM34.84)
If you to use UBER and have not signed up before, use my invite code: uberzique.

Using GRAB: RM22 (Both Direction: RM44).
If you to use GRAB and have not signed up before, use

The prices for UBER/GRAB are what I got when I request for ride at the time of the screenshot. It also varies depending on surges/peak periods.

I also use a combination of the MRT/LRT with GRAB/UBER as the timing RapidKL bus that goes by my place to the Kelana Jaya LRT Station is not consistent. At some time, I've seen people waiting for an hour before we see the bus in the area and on some occasion, the bus totally bypass the route as they assumed that there's no passenger in that route. I hope the Feeder Bus will remain consistent for my area as the 15 minutes between each bus is just nice. According to the bus driver, they'll still go into the area even if there's zero passenger at the time of their shift.

This is just an estimate based on the taxi calculator website

TAXI: RM16.76 (This is just an estimated fare, we'll round it up to RM17 for easy calculation)
Toll: RM1.80 (You'll have to stand-by small change if you know you are using the toll)
Total Per Direction: RM18.80
Total For Entire Trip: RM37.60

Do request for the Taxi to always use the Meter before you get into the taxi. If you don't want to risk it, use the GrabTaxi app as the payment is paid based on the rate shown on the app and you can immediately lodge a report via the app if there's any issues.

Own Car

Duration: 35 min + 15 min searching for a parking space
Petrol Cost: RM2.65 (estimated)
Toll: RM1.80 (Kota Damansara - Jalan Duta)
Parking: RM4 (I was there for 4 hours) (RM2 for First 2 hours + RM1 every subsequent hours)
Total Per Direction: RM4.45 
Total For Entire Trip: RM12.90 (including RM4 parking charges)

Proton because Support Malaysian Made Products!

Now does it mean that it's better to just drive than to use the Public Transport? Personally, it's a preference. There's no right or wrong. If I know it's easier to go by Public Transport without the hassle of traffic jam then I'll do that. There's times I know I'll be out until late, only then will I drive.

So tell me, do you prefer to use the Public Transport or drive yourself?

Blogs about Dance, Travel and Food, Photography and gadgets that he purchases for work. Am available to do reviews.


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