Source of news: The Star Online dated 19-06-2015

Driven to improve & Rapid Mobility in Penang.

The Rapid Bus Academy in Nibong Tebal has installed state-of-the-art simulators complete with bumpy motions and challenges for problem solving in a move to upgrade the skills of its bus captains. IN an effort to further improve the skills of its bus captains in Penang, Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd has added the use of state-of-the-art bus simulators to its training programme at its Bus Academy in Nibong Tebal.

The Prasarana Malaysia Bhd subsidiary, which operates the Rapid Penang bus service, is now on par with the academy at the Rapid Bus headquarters in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

The KL academy is mentioned in the Malaysia Book of Records as the first bus operator to have such a simulator in Southeast Asia.

Prasarana Group managing director Azmi Abdul Aziz said the new set-up was a major step for Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd and Rapid Penang to provide a world-class transport service to its commuters.

"The installation of the two static and one dynamic simulators is the company's effort to create highly skilled bus captains.

"The incorporation of the bus simulator training will elevate the status and profile of Rapid Penang Bus Academy and Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd as a whole," he said in his speech when launching the simulators at the academy on Tuesday.

The dynamic simulators will provide actual bus routes used by Rapid Penang buses. They are also equipped with realistic motion graphics and movements such as jerks and thrusts that a driver would experience when driving an actual bus.

Difficult situations such as malfunctions are also inserted into the simulators for the captains to solve. Upon completing the programme, successful recruits will be awarded with the Malaysia Skills Certificate.

Also present at the ceremony were state Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow and Pulau Tikus assemblyman Yap Soo Huey.

Chow in his speech said the ridership of Rapid Penang buses had increased over the years, adding that there were about 28 million passengers in 2013 and the number increased to 30 million last year.

Later, the group toured the academy and tested the bus simulator, guided by an instructor.Rapid Penang also unveiled its Rapid Mobility Service, a disabled-friendly van service within the Penang island. Passengers can book the service by calling 04-2381313.