Malaysians complain they spend more time in traffic now than a year ago, says Ford survey

By CARSIFU | 17 May 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: From frustration with gridlock to distress over rising costs, to a sense of optimism about an improving daily commute, a new survey commissioned by Ford Motor Company reveals a wide range of perceptions around the state of the commute in the Asia Pacific.

Malaysian daily commuters were the second most likely to report an increase in the cost of their commute compared to a year earlier – at 75%, behind only Hong Kong – with rising fuel prices the most commonly cited reason. A majority of Malaysian respondents said they spend more time in traffic than they did a year earlier, and more than one in five said their commute was the worst part of the day.

On the other end of the spectrum, Vietnamese respondents were the most likely to say their commute had improved over the last year, followed by commuters in India and Indonesia. The three countries also topped the podium for the most people who said they like their commute. In Taiwan and South Korea, more than half of respondents reported no change in the quality of their commute.

Gridlock RHD

The online survey was conducted by GlobalWebIndex for Ford. A total of 12,619 consumers were surveyed across 12 markets with around 1,000 respondents from each. Besides Malaysia, the other markets are Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Everywhere in the world, people face unique transportation issues that arelocal in nature, and the results of this survey echoed that reality,” said John Larsen, director, Ford Smart Mobility, Ford Asia Pacific. “These challenges are what motivate Ford Smart Mobility, which aims to tackle global issues and provide local solutions that make a daily difference to people all over the world.”

Ford Smart Mobility is the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. This includes everything from Ford’s in-car connectivity solution, SYNC, to the 30 global mobility experiments that have already been undertaken to gain insight into changing consumer transportation habits and preferences.

Thumbs down
Although 30% of Malaysian commuters said their commute was getting better, 37% said it was getting worse, and 33% didn’t notice a change one way or another. But a majority agreed on the amount of time spent sitting in traffic: 55% said they spent more time in gridlock than a year ago, while 17% noted a decline and 27% said it was about the same.

“At Ford,we strive to offer drivers solutions that make their commute safer and more enjoyable. For instance, our Ranger, Everest, S-MAX, Mondeo and Focus feature our latest SYNC 2 voice-activated connectivity system, meaning drivers can enjoy entertainment and stay connected during their commute, without taking their hands off the wheel. Meanwhile, safety features likeActive City Stop and Blind Spot Information System, offer Malaysians extra peace of mind as they go about their daily commute,” said Ford Malaysia sales and marketing director Veemala Rethinasamy.

Crowded public transport

Malaysians were the second most likely to report increased commuting costs, at 75%, behind Hong Kong (76%). Respondents overwhelmingly attributed the rise to fuel prices (59%) and price increases for public transportation and toll roads (50%).Some said that increased use of taxis (4%), taxi-hailing mobile apps (5%) and car sharing services (6%) instead of less-expensive options also played a role.

Almost a quarter of daily commuters said the commute is the worst part of their day (22%), while 33% simply called it inconvenient. But not everyone reported dissatisfaction with their daily commute – 36% called it “not bad” and 10% even said they enjoy it.