Commentary on Selangor Government’s 5-Prong Plan

TRANSIT came across this article which provides more details about the Selangor State Government’s 5-Prong Plan to improve the economy, described here earlier this week.

RM 20 billion to clean up Klang River

Written by Yong Min Wei
Monday, 09 March 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor government has embarked on an ambitious plan to implement a RM20 billion clean-up and rehabilitation of the Klang River towards creating a catalyst for economic development in the state.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said the project that could stretch over a decade was to enhance real-estate development along the river and land reserves, adding that the river itself could in the future be used for an alternative public transportation system for the people and goods.

TRANSIT says:
We are concerned that the idea of using the river for transportation is unrealistic, except possibly to serve the needs of tourists and leisure travelers.

The Selangor state executive council had last Wednesday announced a economic stimulus package for the state that identified five major areas that were paramount to its economic development.

The state said the five major areas were expected to create an investment of above RM50 billion and more than 150,000 jobs.

They include the cleaning and rehabilitation of the Klang River, expanding the transportation system, upgrading and replacing of water assets, urban renewal activities, and revival of abandoned housing projects.

Touching on the expansion of transportation, Khalid who is also Ijok assemblyman, said the state planned to reduce the 90:10 private to public transportation ratio to 50:50 in the future.

He said public transportation in Selangor must be adequate and as such it planned to have a “one-hour public transportation model” which would see people going to any part of the state within an hour.

Khalid wants the light-rail transit (LRT) system linked to Klang and Kajang as well as well as to have LRT access to northern parts of Selangor to as far as Kuala Kubu Baru.

“A consolidated public transportation system would enable the population in the state to be spread well away from the city centre and enhance the quality of life of Selangorians,” he said, noting that Kuala Lumpur would not have bear the agony of traffic congestion should the system be successful.

Khalid said the state also aimed to expand its existing transportation systems to serve more areas in Selangor in a concerted manner, ensuring more buses and taxis were connected to central railway hubs.

“We have to collaborate with the LRT and bus operators, and I think they will be interested as there is supply,” he added.

He added that it was also looking towards working with the federal government to propose a state-level bus system to coordinate with existing transport providers.

TRANSIT says:

The idea of extending the LRT to Klang, Kajang, and Kuala Kubu Baru comes out of the existing Selangor State Structural Plan. TRANSIT has already advised the state government that this document is in need of serious revision and should be updated before being used as the base of any public transport plan.

TRANSIT does not believe that the extension of the LRT is, in itself a bad idea. However, the State Government should be concentrating on improving the existing bus services and KTM Komuter service before throwing money at the LRT.

It is clear that KTM Komuter and bus services have a far higher cost-recovery ratio than LRT. In addition, the cost-efficiency of LRT is far lower than MRT or other forms of Rapid-Transit.

If the government wants to build rapid transit in Selangor they should do it the right way.

Trains themselves must be far larger (8-12 carriage LRT trains or 6-9 carriage Komuter trains) in order to accommodate the growing demand. Because of the constraint on the size of the LRT (small station size on the existing lines) it is far better to expand the KTM Komuter system, which has far more room for growth built in.

Note: for more information about the advantages of the KTM Komuter service over LRT, please see “KTM Komuter, the Way to Go”, a commentary written by Moaz Yusuf Ahmad.

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