Haphazard halts are a sign of haphazard planning and policy and organization and management….and especially leadership.

TRANSIT took note of this article in the Star Metro which reminded us how much more needs to be done to improve public transport organization and management in the Klang Valley.

Haphazard halts (The Star Metro,  29 April 2014)

MORE often than not, public buses in the Klang Valley can be seen stopping to pick up passengers willy-nilly, be it by the roadside, along a flyover or even at the junction of a busy main road.

The lack of a proper bus stop or lay-by, does not seem to faze the drivers and the practise has been going on for years.

However, their actions not only contribute to traffic congestion but also pose a threat to life and limb as passengers scramble to board the bus on a busy road.

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Prasarana deals with neighbours affected by KL Monorail extension project

TRANSIT took note of the following interesting article, which describes Prasarana refusing to pay compensation to the residents of the Tong Weng Mansion in Brickfields, while agreeing to pay compensation to two other site owners in the area.

The compensation requests are in relation to the KL Monorail expansion project, which will extend the KL Monorail from the Tun Sambanthan station down to MidValley and to Old Klang Road on the other side of the Federal Highway.

Interestingly enough, all three compensation requests are in relation to properties that are illegally occupying government land – a situation that seems to occur more frequently than one might expect.

Prasarana rejects appeal for funds (Star-Metro Central)

Monday February 27, 2012
By CHARLES FERNANDEZ
metro@thestar.com.my

SYARIKAT Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) has rejected an appeal for compensation from residents of Tong Weng Mansion in Brickfields.

The residents had appealed for compensation after a badminton court was fenced off for a monorail extension project.

The residents also used the badminton court, which was on government land, as an area for activities such as gatherings and funeral services.

Residents’ association chairman G.S. Maniam said Prasarana had only paid compensation to two temples that had also illegally occupied government land.

“We know it is not our land but we would like some compensation as the money could be used to build a wall between the project site and the mansion,’’ said Maniam.

So close: The project site, behind the blue hoarding, is located directly behind the apartment building. Image courtesy of The Star.

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First 2 of 4 car monorail train sets to begin service in August 2014

TRANSIT took note of the announcement from Prasarana that 4 car service on the KL Monorail is expected to begin in August of 2014. All 12 trains are expected to be in service by September 2015.

Video

KL Monorail’s new four-car train to start operation in August (The Star, 9 April 2014)

This comes after the first two trains were delivered by Scomi Rail in Rawang to the depot in Brickfields for testing and commissioning in late January of 2014
New four car monorail trains arrive at depot (The Star, 25 January 2014)

The new 4 carriage trains can carry 430 passengers and will have space for wheelchairs. The monorail stations are being retrofitted with chair lifts (presumably the ones that attach to stairways? Or proper lifts?) and work is expected to be finished soon.

TRANSIT Says:

As you can imagine, we are pleased to see improvements to our public transport services…even incremental ones. The KL Monorail is already a decade old and was horribly over capacity in 2005…so the new carriages are a welcome addition.

Indeed, seeing 4-carriage monorail trains may help raise public confidence that the monorail can be more than just a “toy train” and there may be demand for applications of monorail technology in other cities in the Klang Valley, such as Petaling Jaya in place of the proposed Kinrara Damansara Expressway. TRANSIT has long said that the Sunway BRT line with its RM100 million per km cost, might have been better as a monorail … and could have been extended to connect to the Kelana Jaya LRT Line at Kelana Jaya and the Ampang LRT Line at Puchong.

While the 7 month period of testing and commissioning is a bit of a surprise, we expect that this is also related to the re signalling of the monorail system which will allow for faster train movements.

Overall TRANSIT is pleased but will reserve final judgment until we ride the new trains.

New Ampang Line trains introduced (update 1)

Prasarana and RAPIDKL will be introducing the new Ampang line trains at 3 pm on Thursday, February 27th.

Click on the links below for images of the trains.

http://t.co/1CfbldOlEt

http://t.co/qrpqoeJR9k

Update:

This article by fz.com is one of many with details about the new trains which will begin arrival in Malaysia in September 2014.

The important details:

*50 units of 6-car trains designed and built by CAR Zhuzhou (which also built the “Six Car Set” for KTM Komuter)
*30 of these trains will replace the trains currently used on the Ampang line … which are only entering their 20th year (generally train carriages are expected to last approximately 30 years … Although the measurement is really based on kilometers traveled rather than time in service)
*20 of the trains will be used on the Ampang line extension when it opens in 2016
*The trains will have open gangway allowing passengers to walk between all the cars (as compared to the 3 pairs of cars in the current trains) spreading out the passenger load

Proposed feeder bus routes for the Ampang and Kelana Jaya LRT extensions. Comments welcomed!

TRANSIT took note of the following proposed feeder bus routes for the Ampang and Kelana Jaya LRT extensions. All pictures are courtesy of @TWK90.

Proposed bus routes of RapidKL from stations on the LRT extension

Taken from LRT Extension open day in Sunway Pyramid

Ampang line extension

Kelana Jaya line extension

http://i.imgur.com/nhuar.jpg


TRANSIT Says

We would like to thank @TWK90 for the photos. Check back here for comments on the proposed routes.

Why is the MPK using the North Klang bus terminal for a night market, instead of a bus terminal? And why hasn’t the Selangor Government stepped in?

TRANSIT took note of this interesting and disturbing article about the introduction of a night market at the site of the old North Klang bus terminal, which was closed in late 2007 when Klang Sentral was opened.

The irony, of course, is that the bus area remains closed to buses – despite the fact that most buses that serve Klang town have returned to the North Klang bus terminal area, and Klang residents have called on the MPK to improve amenities and facilities.

What makes it worse is that in 4 years, the Selangor government has not stepped in to improve public transport in Klang, reopening the North Klang bus terminal and introducing new services. In addition, SPAD has not stepped in and resolved the issue, despite entreaties from TRANSIT, who recommended to SPAD that solving the Klang Sentral and North Klang bus terminal issues was the best place for them to get started.

The resolution of the North Klang bus terminal issue is going to be a major factor in any improvement to public transport in the west Klang Valley.

Flea market draws flak (The Star)

Saturday February 18, 2012
Story and photos by ELAN PERUMAL
elan@thestar.com.my

THE Klang Municipal Council’s decision to approve the Nadi Kota Uptown flea market at the site of the former North Klang bus terminal has not gone down well with traders in the area.

The North Klang bus terminal remains closed, but buses and passengers still gather on Jalan Pos. Image courtesy of The Star.

They feel that the council’s decision to approve the market which operates from 10pm to 4am daily is not a good idea.

The traders said this was because the bus terminal issue had not been resolved yet after the move to Klang Sentral in Meru four years ago. Continue reading

3-day LRT extension programme open day at Sunway Pyramid this weekend

TRANSIT took note of this interesting article which discusses the Open Day that Prasarana is holding to share information about the LRT Extension Programme Open Day which will inform the public about the Ampang & Kelana Jaya LRT extension plans.

300 lucky visitors to get free MyRapid cards at three-day LEP Open Day (The Star)
February 9, 2012
By ISABELLE LAI
isabellelai@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Three hundred lucky visitors will receive free MyRapid cards during the Klang Valley’s LRT Line Extension Project (LEP) Open Day this weekend.

LEP project and asset owner, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, will be giving out 10 cards hourly at its booth, totalling 100 cards daily from Feb 10 to 12.

Prasarana group managing director Datuk Shahril Mokhtar said the MyRapid cards, currently used by commuters taking the Kelana Jaya and Ampang lines, would be given out as a gesture to thank its customers for supporting the LEP. Continue reading

Additional public transport services for Thaipusam

TRANSIT took note of the following information about additional public transport services for Thaipusam.

KTMB will be adding KTM Komuter train services to Batu Caves station, while RapidKL will be adding additional bus services.

For more information, please click on the links below:

What is RapidBRT, how will it work, and when is it coming to the Klang Valley?

TRANSIT took note of this interesting photo of a sign in one of our LRT trains – advertising improvements to RapidKL bus services.

To the top of the photo, we see an advertisement for RapidBET Route #3, which connects Subang Mewah to Pasar Seni, Kuala Lumpur. And down in the right hand corner, the message “RapidBRT Akan Datang! Coming Soon!”

RapidBRT & RapidBET advertisement. Image courtesy of @TWK90

But what exactly is RapidBRT?

Well, we know that BRT stands for Bus Rapid Transit – a “rapid transit” system of public transport using buses as the vehicle technology. In TRANSIT’s view the term “rapid transit” can encompass any type of public transport operating in a Category “A” or Category “B” right-of-way.
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Malacca government steps forward on public transport with RM7.7mil compensation and takeover plan. Will they learn from RapidKL? (Update #1)

Update #1: Updated with more letters & articles

TRANSIT took note of the following interesting news – the Malacca state government is stepping forward with plans to compensate 10 existing public transport operators in the state with RM7.7 million, with a plan to for state-owned operator Panorama to take over the operations from the private operators on February 1st of this year.

New Panorama Melaka midi-bus. Image courtesy of Jom Naik Bas!

The takeover proposal appears to forestall the warnings from the Malacca Omnibus Operators Association that they would be forced to stop services on February 1st.

Malacca to give RM7.7mil compensation to ailing omnibus operators (The Star)

26 January 2012

MALACCA: Malacca’s ailing omnibus operators will get RM7.7mil in compensation from the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam also announced Thursday that the state-owned agency, PMTC, would fully take over the stage bus operations from Feb 1 while the current dilapidated buses used by ten operators would be replaced in stages.

The memorandum of understanding between the state government and Malacca Omnibus operators was signed at Dewan Seri Negeri.

TRANSIT Says:

So, the state government is paying RM7.7 million to buy old buses from these bus operators, which they will then turn around and use on the existing public transport routes while the buses are replaced over time.

That basically sounds to us like the process by which Intrakota and later RapidKL were created – pay good public money to buy up near worthless private assets, buy new bus chassis at an inflated cost with a ‘too-short’ timeline, leading to:

  • contracts for Malaysian bus assemblers;
  • a need to purchase new buses in a few years;
  • public complaints about the loss of competition.

Hopefully, the Malacca government and SPAD will have learned from the mistakes made by RapidKL & Prasarana in the past. One wise step to take would be to take the purchase of new buses out of the hands of Panorama Melaka Cultural & Tourism (and the state government) and put the purchase in the hands of national infrastructure company, Prasarana.

Why? Because first of all, Prasarana knows what buses to buy, thanks to their 5 extra years experience in purchasing buses. Second, Prasarana is the national infrastructure company, with the right financial backing to get the buses at a great price. Third, it is best to keep the purchase of buses neutral and focused on the improvements, not potential opportunities.

TRANSIT also believes that the Malacca Government needs to develop a concise and effective public transport plan that builds on the major corridors that need to be served – namely the existing Malacca town buses, Malacca – Ayer Keroh route (including the proposed Malacca Tram), and the intercity services connecting Malacca town to Alor Gajah and Tampin (where it can link to KTM train services including possible future ETS.

From the article, there is more info to come. In the meantime, take a look at the articles after the jump, which detail the situation in Malacca and the way that the plan came together.
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