KUALA LUMPUR: Prasarana Malaysia Bhd’s commuting app, PULSE, received an upgrade that makes it easier for customers to locate places offering discounts or freebies, along with information on the location of its buses and trains.

An acronym for Planning your Lifestyle Efficiently, PULSE was unveiled in December 2020 to allow users to know the estimated arrival time of buses and trains, along with the location of bus stops, MRT, LRT and monorail stations besides other public transport hubs in the Klang Valley, Penang (under Rapid Penang) and Kuantan (Rapid Kuantan).

Other functions include a fare calculator, push notifications, points of interest and a “contact us” channel.

An upgraded version of PULSE was launched yesterday along with the unveiling of 12 MRT stations under Phase 1 of the Putrajaya MRT line here.

“The increasing complexity of the urban public transport system means that users may have to seek the assistance of a personal navigator,” said Prasarana CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah in his speech yesterday at the launch of phase 1 of the line here.

According to him, new features and functions available on the latest version are improved search results and navigation for “Journey Planner” and “Arrival Time” for better customer experience.

Features of the revamped PULSE include the full bus departure schedule and ETA, improved “Near Me” function (to locate places of interest), an updated service alerts interface, station info and an ecommerce feature starting with a hospitalisation protection plan.

Users who previously installed PULSE need not take any action as the app will be automatically updated as they use it.

Regular users, such as active users of the My50 travel pass, can look forward to the Rewards section, which currently has several dozen participating businesses or brands, which offer special deals to this category of users.

My50 is a travel pass (tied to MyKad as it is for citizens only) that is valid for 30 days and allows the user to have unlimited use of the Rapid Rail and Bus network in the Klang Valley.

The current list of merchants under Rewards include Ocam Artisan, Qadra Kebab, Nasi Kuning Kedah, Laksa Boys, Crumble Eats, Matdon Damansara Damai, Arif Satay Kepong, Zorfie Burger & Western, Takoyaki Papa Ammar, Vivatel Hotel, Jamu Mak Dara, Infinitum Extra Virgin Oil, Syaeera Beauty, Magnetica Perfume, I-Della, Starbucks, Nasi Lemak Saleha, Jetbus and Nyonya Tingkat.

More merchants will be added to the system as and when they come on board. These establishments are typically located near public transport hubs, thus making access to them easy.

However, PULSE currently does not cover anything from the KTM network, the ERL (rail link to KLIA) or buses that are not part of the Rapid network (such as the free GoKL buses currently operated by the Federal Territories Ministry) as it can only have access to data from its own fleet.

It is understood that Prasarana is making attempts to get everyone on board, though it is constrained in terms of funding to maintain a multi-operator app.

Before it was disbanded at the end of 2018, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) launched a beta version of an app called the Journey Planner that attempted to integrate all the buses and trains in the Klang Valley.

However, the full-fledged version of the Journey Planner never saw the light of day as the commission was scrapped by the Pakatan Harapan government after it took over the government in May 2018.

New users can find PULSE from the Google Play Store or from https://apps.apple.com/my/app/pulse-by-prasarana/id1545938705.