Has work on LRT started? Not so says Prasarana/RapidKL

TRANSIT took note of this article in the Star on Sunday the 20th which surprised and upset us:

Work starts on LRT station
Sunday December 20, 2009
By ROZAID A. RAHMAN

PETALING JAYA: Land clearing work for the main Putra Heights LRT station has started.

A check at the proposed site of the station, which will act as an interchange for commuters using the Kelana Jaya and Ampang lines, showed that the area has been cleared of undergrowth.

Positive response: The proposed site of the LRT station that was recently cleared of undergrowth yesterday. Construction of the extended lines is scheduled to begin in March next year. Image courtesy of The Star.

Construction of the extended LRT lines is scheduled to begin in March next year.At least 90% of the public have responded positively towards the proposal since it was first announced three months ago.

[TRANSIT: Where is the evidence of this? We saw a similar claim by Madam Ong the MCA Kelana Jaya Division Chair, in a recent article. However, RapidKL and Prasarana say that this is not the case. See below]

The proposed extension plan was displayed for a three-month public viewing at the Department of Railways, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Subang Jaya Municipal Council, Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).

The deadline for the public to give feedback on the 34km extension ended on Dec 14.

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (SPNB) communications general manager Ebi Azly Abdullah said some resident associations wanted some of the new routes and stations to be reviewed, but none objected to the extension.

“Overall, the public agreed that we should build this extended line. Some resident associations from Taman Bunga Negara, Subang Alam, Section 2 and 3 of Putra Heights objected, but not against the extension as a whole. They want the route and location of stations at some parts to be reviewed,” he told The Star.

[TRANSIT: But as you know, TRANSIT has objected to the extension of the Kelana Jaya LRT line beyond Subang Jaya KTM station and prefer to see an extension towards Shah Alam, in keeping with the Selangor Structural Plan and Local Plans.]

The Kelana Jaya-Putra Heights extension, estimated to cost about RM6bil to RM7bil, will have 13 stations, starting with Kelana Jaya/Subang Valley, Subang, Subang Jaya, USJ, and Alam Megah before ending at Putra Heights.

The Sri Petaling-Putra Heights line, also with 13 stations, is estimated to cost RM8bil and cuts across Puchong and Kinrara.

[TRANSIT: Estimated by whom? Until we see the feasibility study then we don’t really know]

Ebi said construction would begin early next year and expected to complete by the end of 2012.

“However, this would depend on the changes that need to be made to some routes based on the feedback and suggestions received from local authorities,” he said.

TRANSIT Says:

This article follows an article in the Star on 17th December, entitled LRT plan gets the nod as residents feel it will ease traffic.

In that article, MCA Kelana Jaya Division Chair Ong Chong Swen was quoted as saying that Prasarana had told her they had received 92% positive feedback.

But on 20th December, TRANSIT received an SMS from Prasarana GM of communications Ebi Azly Abdullah, stating that Prasarana had issued no such comments related to the LRT and that all feedback was with the Department of Railways.

In other words, someone is either lying or exagarrating or has access to information that they should not have.

And we do not wish to comment on the political nature of this LRT extension…although TRANSIT is getting increasing feedback and information suggesting that the proposed route is very political indeed.

We would like to thank Ebi for issuing the comments below on behalf of Prasarana / RapidKL. We intend to take him at his word but at the same time, TRANSIT is more and more sure that we need to have some more openness and transparency related to this LRT project.

A .pdf version of the comments below can be found here.

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (467220-U)

20 December 2009

Dear Editor,

Article “Work starts on LRT station”(Sunday Star, N4)

With reference to the above article, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) would like to clarify that the work on the LRT station at Putra Heights, as reported by The Sunday Star dated 20 December 2009, has not commenced.

Construction work will only begin after the full approval has been given by the Government.

Prasarana would also like to inform that all feedback received from the public is being compiled and reviewed by the Department of Railways. As such, the quotes attributed to me in the article, referring to the `feedback from the residents’, is inaccurate and highly misleading.

EBI AZLY ABDULLAH
General Manager, Group Communication
Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad

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24 thoughts on “Has work on LRT started? Not so says Prasarana/RapidKL”

  1. haha…looking at the progress it seems we are not heading anywhere. Today already 25/Feb/2010 and till no info about the lrt extention when will start work. Pasarana @gov GLC is not fufiiling it promised to start work in March 2010. Don’t believe i think it will not start soon as the initial idea mooted since 2006. That why we should call MALAYSIA TAK BOLEH. Compare with Singapore MRT Memang TAK BOLEH FIGHT. Extension works is in progress drastically. Haha so much promote 1Malaysia APA PUN TAKADA….Janji Kosong. thanks to big corruption in MCA,MIC and Umno. The person who join U**O who can get F contractor license will be awarded goverment contract. it has been proven My neighbour M****Y couples now no need work just stay at home and see them changing from Proton car to Mercedes and BMW within 2mths. Ever wonder how they get $$$$ hur……. that why they said Gov support mah. I wonder What happen to MARA Hor…. HaHaha Bankurpt perhaps ?

    1. Hi @Angry

      We are all a bit angry with the way the LRT extension has been planned and the way things are going.

      As for progress, apparently the Minister of Transport will be making an announcement about the LRT before April.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  2. Dear Transit,

    We see what MOT will inform this mth. Last info stated that the GOV will be selective in the extension station/lines but no indication when will start.

    Regards

    1. From what we have been told, work on both lines will start soon as soon as MBPJ and MPSJ approve the development plans.

      However, the MBSA has not accepted the proposal to run the Kelana Jaya line between Putra Heights (MPSJ) and Subang Alam (MBSA).

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  3. Do anybody know why MBSA yet or slow to approve ?
    All of us should ‘push’ MBSA to expedite the approval..
    Shah Alam Datuk Bandar email address is mazalan@mbsa.gov.my – Dato’ Mazalan b Md Nor , Hopefully he is not bureaucratic and unproductive..

    1. “@I’m Mad too”,

      Please note that the LRT project is going ahead, but the last stretch may be delayed. Not only has the MBSA delayed approval but Prasarana may face a challenge raising the remaining 2 billion that they need for the construction costs.

      MBSA has delayed approval because:

      1. the LRT will be as close 6m from some homes in Subang Alam; and

      2. because they would prefer that the LRT follow Persiaran Selangor and service the industrial area before returning to Putra Heights from the south side.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  4. I apologized as I am late in providing my feedback of the LRT extension but is better late than never, furthermore the construction is yet to start. Overall the extension is a good route for short (25km) journey-ship but it slack in the most important medium journey-ship (5-25km) catering the majority of daily ‘home-office’ ridership based on Klang Valley’s demography statistics. The route is good for weekend KL’s shopping, visiting relatives on the opposite site of KL once a month or watching concert or live football once a year.

    The solution can be overcome by having a short 4 km branch-line or shuttle-line starting from STN05, KJ extension station to STN05, Ampang extension, with 4 additional stations below,
    1) SJ Industrial Estate/SS12.
    2) Sunway.
    3) PJS9/LDP Drop & Ride.
    4) Kesas (Park & Ride) before it adjourn / merge with STN05 on Ampang extension line.

    When defining route & stations location, the objective must be clear as to benefit and attract as many potential commuters possible with proven rules in developing successful rapid transit system. In return, it will give Prasarana/Rapid KL better rider-ship and ticket sales! A win-win situation for both people and government.

    Rule One – there is a 60-30-10 design-rule when planning for LRT route & stations. 60% of the stations and route should be locate in populate residential area while remaining 30% in working/business district & 10% on hot leisure/tourist spot. It is noticeable most stations in the current plan are located in residential areas and Sunway which house ten of thousands workers, students, visitors and tourists is missing from the extension proposal. It is understood, the alignment vector, do not call for Sunway station to be built as part of the route but a sub-line will fit this purpose.

    Rule Two is, L/MRT is deem attractive and viable option when it is a fastest, cheapest point to point transit and stations are proximate to their end destinations (work-place/home). This deliberately means – potential commuters will hesitate to use L/MRT if their journey require to under-take another different kind of transportation that are not in par services & quality, i.e. Taking unreliable feeder-bus or expensive taxi. Unless it was on special journey (not day-to-day basis).

    Without this branch-line, moving from one point to another is a big problem. Rule No 2 has been violated. Technically, the current two extension lines are just a “straight line” with both line end (and interchange) at Putra Height or STN 13 to form a “Circle Line”. Huge circle line is not effective in suburban areas compare to city center. A long loop southward (covering about 20 km) mean passenger commute east-west or west-east will have a journey time of more than 25 mins (including changing train at STN13). Worst still for commuter traveling north-east bound, probably takes more than 30mins. What if waiting time & traveling in feeder bus are included? It can further increase to more than 45mins just for single trip vs car of 10 mins using the new SJ-Subang airport road bypass or LDP.

    Reference :-
    East – Kinrara, Puchong,
    West – Subang Jaya, USJ
    North – Kelana Kaya, PJ Utara.
    South – Putra Height, Tmn Bkt Negara.

    Given the many new highways available (as NPE, KESAS, Federal Highway, LDP, SKVE, ELITE etc), these LRT route will hinder potential passenger, which own transport (car, bike) to use LRT when it just takes less than 10-20 mins to drive to the neighborhood township.

    Prasarana will also have a problem in satisfying new fares structure without this branch line. Prasarana will no longer able to use the conventional incremental type of fare based on number of stations travel. This is due to the huge circle route which has increase the distance travel unnecessarily. For example, actual road distance between the heart of Subang Jaya & Puchong using NPE+LDP is only 5 km but with the proposed LRT route, the distance travel up 3 fold to 15km and at the current rate, it will cost RM2.50. With the branch line, getting from Puchong to SJ will only cost RM1.00-1.30 !

    Sooner or later, commuters will wary their time and money are not spend effectively…

    Most importantly, Prasarana missed the gold-mine of Sunway!

    Branch-lines in suburban are very important and are so common in all LRT/MRT system worldwide from London to New York, and from Tokyo to Paris. If one look at London’s MRT map, almost half of the 10 major lines do have a various type of branch-line from simple Y shape to a complex pattern (Central, District, Metropolitan, Northern and Piccadilly line). As for interchange stations, is also interesting to see that on each line, there are average of 13 interchange stations out of total 70 total stations per line. Ours’ line have an average of only 2 interchange stations (per line, not included KTM) out of 25 stations. And the only sub-line switching technology use in our LRT system is at Chan Sow Lin station branching out to Ampang and Bukit Jalil. A very sad rail technology advancement.

    Cost wise, building this sub-line will not increase cost unnecessarily. If the cost of building the total 35km cost is RM7 billion, adding 4 km will need additional RM0.79 billion. While the investment come in proportional/linear calculation, the return will be in exponential chart. A small investment but huge returns. Unless this sub-line is build afterwards, the cost will increase tremendously with so many probable wastage. There is always a phase “Do It Right the First Time” in many engineering projects that sound so true. Hopefully MOT, Prasarana can make a last minute ditch or effort to have a sub-line passing through this gold-mine route.

    With the 2 branch lines merging into the main line, one will expect the train waiting time in branch-line is double in the main line (i.e. 5Mins vs 2.5 mins). The same train will than go towards Bukit Jalil and KL.

    Attach is the proposal of the branch-line route map.

    Another problem is the interchange station with KTM at Subang. Today’s Subang station and trains are already ‘sardine-packed’ on peak hours. What would one expect once the Kelana Jaya LRT extension connected? Even if the built a huge multi-storey interchange LRT station, the crowd’s grouse will just getting louder in term of KTM’s train frequency & punctuality. It just completely a different league game. Having a short waiting period of 2-3 mins vs 15-30 mins let-down. Light & speedier train vs heavy & slow train. Standard gauge vs 3rd-world country narrow 1m gauge and of course the rail technology gap in communication, signaling, switching, control system and automation.

    The only solution for this is for the Transport Ministry or the PM himself to initiate a revamp of the integrated rail network in Klang Valley by converting all Klang Valley’s KTM Komuter service to MRT. More stations can be build alongside with a lot more faster and frequent trains. As proven, just an introduction of 4 carriage LRT train, on the same line line has successfully increase passenger by more than 15% in short period of time. What if KTM Komuter double their stations offering? And use MRT trains with 5 mins frequency? Improve accessibility, P&R facilities, better integration? KTMB management do not need MBA to find the answer is “ASTHONASING VIABLE”.

    Upon re-structuring, KTM should focus it’s business in cargo and high-speed Inter City link where there are so much opportunities and room for improvements. Obviously KTM should have a new north-south by-pass route as had been proposed.

    The Ministry should ensure all it’s GLC and agencies – Railways Dept, KTMB, Prasarana, ERL, Rapid KL moving towards a goal of expanding rail networks with new technology, offering high quality and reliable rail services meeting customers’ expectation hence ultimately getting a high % of public-transport ridership. Although we have a dedicated and good PM and Transport Minister, but it is the planner, contractor, operator, service provider that give the government a bad name. They must keep abreast with every customers needs, rail technology and be business-minded. Those bureaucrats, conservatives, vision-less and slow-mover have no place in this business and should be replace outright. Since 2000, the clock of rail advancement has stop clicking in which Tun Mahathir has introduced slew of rails development. And now with several rail projects in pipe-line, we hope the clock will catch up with the real time. We are just 10 years before 2020 but our rail technology, service and quality are 20 years back. As a prove, just download, study and benchmark our LRT network with all the metro/mass transit in the 8 industrialized nation and newly industrialized economy (Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, China). And if you have extra money, see for yourself as seeing is believing! We are not even close to the NIEs !! A good L/MRT system (route & coverage, stations location, sub-line, train technology, integration, services quality) would be more profitable business than the toll highways but sadly there are no private firm that are rich enough and/or experience enough in designing, developing and operating rail transit system in Malaysia. Foreign expertise can be call for rail technology & underground construction but not in designing the route and network as they know nothing about Klang Valley demography and will takes years to understand, collect and digest the data’s.

    Even poorly designed route of previous/current STAR & PUTRA line, run on the backyard of un-used KTMB British colonial track, Sg. Gombak riverbank, TNB power grid, with several ‘ghost-stations’ (Sri Rampai, Abdullah Hukum, Kg Bharu, Dang Wangi etc) turn full crowd and capacity now!! Just deeply imagine, what will the public ridership or crowd be… if a good L/MRT network & system mentioned above are all applied in the Sg Buloh – Cheras MRT line. Opportunities not seized… are opportunities missed! Is very crucial that this new line will not be a same case of ‘cukup syarat’ or ‘melepaskan batuk di tangga’ !

    Ir Azmi

  5. Yeah agreed!!! KTMB should has change their management once they forgot to buy the EMU for the Ipoh-KL double-track project in 2007/8. How on earth there is no single employees in KTMB remind their insane Procurement Manager about this??? Is they thinking buying the trains is just like buying ikan in Tesco? No LEAD-TIME involved?? What type of project management is this. Now KTMB is more interested in property business – developing old Railway stations to compete with KL Sentral rather than focusing on it’s core business competing the LRT system! I am fed-up too about their late trains & frequency. Azmi, you are right – they should be under Prasarana as well but I think there is some act & bills to be pass..

    1. @Zamri

      Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, we do not know if the issue with the train procurement was caused by a problem between KTMB, the Ministry of Transport or the Finance Ministry.

      KTM is 100% owned by the Finance Ministry but answerable to the Ministry of Transport. As you could imagine, there would be disputes behind the scenes that we do not know about.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  6. A circle line in the suburbs can allow commuters to travel between suburbs and not having to enter the city to change lines, if it was planned properly. What we are dealing with, however, is not so, unfortunately. Although a lot of people already own a personal transport to be able to get around, a transit system has to be planned with the “have-nots” in mind – the poor, the disabled, the schoolchildren, the elderly. In addition, not every person in a family would have access to a car or a bike if another family member already uses that vehicle.

    Although it is tempting to build a Sunway branch line as it would serve a very important area, we need to step back and look at the big picture: how does it fit into the complete Klang Valley transportation network? However, this leads us to ask: Does a plan for such a network exist? The answer is no, and therein lies our real problem: Everything is built not according to a plan in mind. No one in authority can tell you what lines would be built 5, 10 or 20 years from today. No one knows whether they would be in or out of the rail network. Under such an ad-hoc construction system, what we would get is second rate at best, and this is the result of the follies of current and previous administrations.

    Komuter can improve if the authorities can pay enough attention to it. Don’t blame the planners as they don’t make decisions on what ultimately gets built. Don’t blame the contractors as they are not in the business of serving the community. Don’t blame the operators if no one bothered to take them to task for failing their duties. When you approve a plan, you take responsibility for it. When you hired lousy people for the job, it is a reflection of your own incompetence.

    To want both a fast service and having more stations, I assume that would mean to have express services that allow certain trains to skip some stations.

    I still believe that feeder bus services have a role to play in transit. Relying on rail alone would not give us the coverage that we need to provide a universal service. Even rail transit-oriented cities such as New York and Singapore still find a need for a bus service. In short, building an effective transit community involves the improvement of all modes of transport, be it train, buses, taxis, cycling, or walking.

    1. Ethan

      Thanks for your comments.

      It is interesting to note that, although we look at Singapore as a rail-oriented city, the bus service carry 30% more passengers than the MRT and LRT combined.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  7. You missed my point. I am referring about HUGE Circle line in suburb not merely a Circle line. I am okay if the line from Pusat Bandar Puchong turn right north (instead of left south) to PJS & Sunway before merging with station in SS15 Subang Jaya from KJ Line, while still creating a Circle line. Just make it simple & effective. Save a lots of money too. Most staying in Tmn Bkt Negara, Putra Heights, USJ are working in factory (execs & operators) & own personal transport (at least bike) making LRT almost impossible for daily intake. Furthermore, these areas are surrounding by highways & good roads network, thus quite risky from investment point of views.

    Your 2nd paragraph is quite contradicted. At one point you said “is tempting” but giving yourself an answer “no”. It is wrong to say “no one in authority can tell you what lines would be built 5, 10 or 20 years from today….” as it all come down to proper planning with the proven theory of mass rapid development guide-line mentioned earlier.

    There are no needs to be so defensive about all the problems related to the past & current rail public transportation. When mistakes are made, is better to admit, so we can prevent recurrence in future. Small mistake (integration, 2-carriage train, etc) can easily rectify but big mistake (as route) can never be forgiven.

    The objective are just to maximize public transport usage, in return benefits the owner/investor (government) and the people.

  8. When benchmark public rail vs bus service system in other model country, there are many aspects to look into :

    First, there are many outcome parameters or KRA (key results area) that should be analyst before arriving to conclusion. They are as :-
    i) passengers/ridership – regular
    ii) passengers/ridership – unique
    iii) ticket sales (in $)
    iv) ridership distance travelled
    v) etc.
    For instance, while the bus unique ridership is high, it is much less in the other KRA.

    Second, Singapore (which as big as Klang Valley) has 7 M/LRT line, New York has 25 MRT lines, and we have only 2 L/MRT line. I don’t want to include the 2 lines of KTM komuter as it does not meet the criteria of transit system – running through high density township, fast / rapid frequency & accessible stations. In those country, the MRT is the ‘back-bone’ and the bus services are the ‘rib-bone’ :– short & many. In short, when every township have L/MRT stations, than the bus system can spurs well, not trying to make the bus service as the ‘back-bone’ instead…

    Third, we must accept that bus service has never been to the standard of rail service. Since LRT inception, the public transportation ridership has fall gradually and continuously. Those staying/working nearby the route & stations are taking full advantages & very happy to use LRT, but those stay/work far from LRT are getting inferior and shying away from taking bus services and rather drive their viva or bike to cover their egoness. I myself is a regular user of Srijaya & Mini bus 20-30 years ago but when we have the LRT, I shift to LRT and abandon the than Intrakota bus. I have tried twice on Rapid KL feeder bus on difference occasions, but they are driving me for fancy tour on uncharted direction with all the jams.. I never took city bus since than..

    Fourth, bus services use the same congested road with other vehicle. Using the road subject to heavy traffic, traffic-lights, junctions, bottleneck, slow trucks, accidents scene, toll, etc as wrote by few commentators in Transit previously. So frequent I read complaints about road-transportation. The latest is wrote by MAD MAX, Ampang in StarMetro, The Star, Pg M12, Thursday 20th May under “Filled to the brim”. May I take his excerpt as follows and make it capital case for the actions should be taken : “I found it a bit ironic to read that traffic on the MRR2 exceeds planned capacity by 25 to 50%. I would like to know which road isn’t filled to overflowing in KL, or any other urban area in M’sia for that matter? How about Fed Highway? The NKVE, particularly near the Damansara stretch? The Sprint Highways ? Goodness, it can take me 15mins to clear a 100 meter stretch on the small road outside my office – talk about capacity! The problem of traffic jams and vehicles exceeding planned capacity will never end as long as town planners continue…… and our TRANSPORT POLICY CONTINUES TO ADVOCATE A TOTAL DEPENDENCY ON THE AUTOMOBILE TO GET IN AND OUT OF THESE DEVELOPMENTS. My friend who use the MRR2 has told me of the DIFFICULTY AND LONG WAITS TO TRY AND CATCH THE ONE BUS LINE THAT PLIES FROM TAMAN MELAWATI TO AMPANG. I myself like to take public transport. But when I walk home from the train station (AS IT IS FASTER TO WALK HOME THAN TO WAIT FOR FEEDER BUS), I discover during the 20-mins walk, that less than half of the roads have no sidewalk, and when there is sidewalk, it is an obstacle course of signposts, drain holes and uneven kerbs. …..(the article continues..).

  9. Town planner can plan all they want, but as their role is merely advisory, their plans would remain that unless the politicians and public administrators decide to follow it. As these decision-makers have their respective constituents to please and personal agendas to meet, the best laid plan can often fail to materialise.

    In Malaysia, a lot of planning work are subcontracted out to academicians. Never mind if the plans are not up to standard – the work is done because it is a requirement. Once a development gets approved, developers can as easily disregard the plans and do their own things.

    At this point in time, we can’t be sure if Sunway would be served by a different rail line in the future. If this is the case, then re-routing the current LRT extensions through Sunway would not be the best decision. In fact, TRANSIT has an idea early on of a line from Sunway to KL via Old Klang Road, if I remember correctly.

    In addition, we need to recall our previous concerns about the capacity of the Kelana Jaya LRT extension to serve all the communities that it passes through. If we were to fill up the trains after going through Sunway and Kelana Jaya but leaving the riders at Bangsar waiting, then the re-routing would be a half-baked solution at best. As we can’t be sure how the eventual rail network would be, we are only groping in the dark.

    New York’s subway serves the north-south corridors well, but getting from east to west Manhattan can mean choosing the bus instead. In Singapore, riding the bus is the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient way of getting from Punggol, the terminus of the MRT Northeast Line, to Pasir Ris, a terminus of the MRT East-West Line. And they can do this because their roads are kept within capacity and riders are given information to plan their journeys down to the minute. As such, there are instances where buses can excel above rail, not to say economic factors as well.

  10. Yes, it is no point to talk about town planner, academician ideas in route design as the final approval lies on Prasarana or be it a politician or Minister. So we need to know which department or person in charge in Prasarana that make the final approval. Where is accountability and transparency in the spirit of Pencapaian di utamakan, rakyat di dahulukan? I feel there are possible tendency contractors (Gamuda, IJM, UEM etc) are influencing Prasarana on taking the easiest route as far as construction cost are concerned. Obviously any private company have a single objective for hefty profit margin and they will go all out to manipulate Prasarana on technical & engineering difficulties. Secondly, Prasarana themselves, might reluctant to spend extra money and bureaucratic efforts to acquire expensive strategic land for the stations development along high-density profitable route. At last, the authority will opt for Plan B, Plan C which results in Gred B, Gred C results (inconvenience for public users & public ridership).

    Is just an old case how the MOT blindly listened and approved Taylor Woodrow route plan when they built the STAR LRT on Sg Gombak riverbank instead of Malaysia’s Bond Street / Oxford street – Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman! ..and later continue the brainless approval of north extension to lowly density surrounding in Sentul (only few low cost flats & temple are available at that time) instead of extending it to Jalan Ipoh and to Segambut… (than why not built another extension line to Masjid Negara or Lutheran Zion church?) It is only after, DBKL rush to approve some apartment/condominium project nearby the 2 Sentul stations.. Crazy backward development!! Is a case of a blind-man rob by a con-man. Why bail-out or taking over companies when they have even failed in planning stage in the first place?

    When PUTRA formed for the 2nd LRT line, Renong, developer cum contractor, has proposed to build them elevated but it was Dr Mahathir’s wisdom and interference, the line was been built underground with some good strategic stations and access (i.e Masjid Jamek, KLCC, Ampang Park). In engineering, there is nothing impossible and expensive! Malaysia Boleh! Prasarana should stick to this rule.

    Back to our discussion about the extension and future LRT route. Why should built another separate line from Sunway to KL (12-15km) and costs another billions of ringgit if it can be done now at less than a billion ringgit with a branch-line (4-5km)? From Sunway, using branch line through Kelana Jaya line will only takes 25 mins to central KL. Is still faster & much cheaper than driving through Federal highway. There are so many other parts of Klang Valley that desperately need the LRT from Sri Kembangan to Selayang so I am pretty sure, that idea, will be keep in Prasarana’s safety box for decades. To Prasarana, its all about the initial investment – what is the lowest cost they can spent to build new LRT coverage without thinking the best route or ticket sales in exchange..”Sekadar cukup makan mentaliti”.

    To be frank, I and many others will be very happy if there is a line covering Kuchai, Jln Klang Lama as this areas is so crowded both residential and office but there is alternate way by building a shorter and cheaper LRT/monorail inner circle line linking important spot from Bdr Sri Permaisuri (interchange with Ampang line) > Tmn Desa > Tmn Gembira, > Tmn Overseas Union > Jln Klang Lama > Templer (KTM interchange) > PJ Old Town > PJ State > Tmn Jaya (KJ LRT interchange) > Jln Semangat > Jln University > and end at Sec 16/ Phileo Dmnsara (interchange with Cheras-Sg Buloh LRT). Than, everybody can choose to enter KL from it’s fastest or favorite’s position. 🙂 Feeder bus will support well in this case.

    In your 4th paragraph, a situation of full train once it reach Bangsar or even Asia Jaya station is a sure case to be, with all new faces of Subang Jaya & Shah Alam folks.. pushing and squeezing each others to give room for the agitated ‘seniors’… Probably by than Prasarana caught distraught again to find a new LRT route as the stations & line is not designed for 6-carriage train. OMG! That’s why there need to be a revise master plan / blueprint of LRT/MRT/Monorel networks of Klang Valley by 2020 for public displays so we all are not groping in the dark. Construction can be in stages.

    Transitmy, can you help forward all our related concerns to the authorities..

    1. Azmi

      Thank you for the comments!

      TRANSIT has always pointed out that all stakeholders have to be sitting at the table and sharing and reviewing the plans – rather than coming up with their own individual plans and leaving it to be sorted out later.

      But in order to have this working, we need a proper “organizing authority” for public transport – either run by DBKL directly, or a combined working group that includes DBKL, the Federal Territories Ministry, Selangor Government, Prasarana, and other stakeholders.

      If we do not create this organizing authority we will get much of the same – new infrastructure but no integrated planning.

      It is interesting that you mentioned the construction of the STAR LRT along the Gombak riverside instead of under Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman – we at TRANSIT certainly have wondered many times about what public transport might be like if the LRT/MRT lines had been built in the ideal, high density locations, namely:

      • under Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (along with Jalan Ipoh and Jalan Pahang)
      • Under Lebuh Ampang & Jalan Ampang all the way out to Ampang Jaya

      One of our observations is that, perhaps there was a concern at the time that building LRT/MRT under these routes would affect the existing market for bus services (these are the two busiest roads & bus route corridors in KL). On top of that, the construction cost and disruption might have been factored in.

      But we still believe that underground in the centre of KL, with a major interchange at Kuala Lumpur station/Pasar Seni, would be in the best interest of public transport planning in KL.

      As for your proposals, Id like to invite you to write a report and share it with us – we would be happy to post it to our website and share it with the relevant authorities.

      Do note that, although Prasarana does not give much economic data (in terms of details like potential passenger numbers, cost per km of construction & operations, etc), we at TRANSIT do like to have numbers – so do your best to provide as much economic data as possible.

      Do note that the current construction cost for 1km of LRT is approximately RM250million, while 1km of Monorail is approximately RM100 million. Also, note that an individual LRT station needs approximately 10,000 people to pass through it every day in order to be financially viable. Of course, the busy stations in the town centres will cross-subsidize the stations with lower traffic in suburban areas.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  11. A Notice

    To
    Staff of
    Ministry of Finance
    Ministry of Transport
    Moaz, etc, etc
    Thank you, Thank you
    For all your kind concerns

    I just wish The Line
    When building it was included
    With Chon Pung’s presence
    In mind
    My mind
    Our minds
    But nobody ever approached
    Him to let known that
    His house would be
    Passed by The Line itself

    Before Chon Pung comes home
    On the 14th of June 2010
    And really gives me wonders
    As I won’t know
    How much he can help
    I just want to thank you all
    For all the concerns

    Always a thankful sister with hopes
    Quiting

  12. Dear Government/Parties/Organization/Embassies/Press

    THE LAST CALL TO STOP THE KELANA-SUBANG LINE

    I am writing this to ask for my last call to halt if not delay the Kelana-Subang Line to at least until the next General Election.

    I was “made to sleep” and as with unexpected reasons, I am now “awaken”. Therefore, I am doing my utmost ability to prevent TAMAN BAHAGIA STATION, my living area from being getting more congested not only for as now but the coming future.

    The Taman Bahagia Station has harbored many other more transport facilities such as bus and taxi services causing the illegal parkings of commuters/passengers, a convenient getaway road to highways and other residential areas and now a landmark to drop down tourists by the Genting buses (which I think will add up more trips especially during festive seasons or public holidays).

    I have suggested a bus service on a large scale reaching every corner to suit the city’s needs as mentioned in TRANSIT website and explained that the phase of developments is different from advanced or advancing countries of its historical background and population increment. I even give CURITIBA in Brazil as an example to follow. The city represents the most advanced bus system in the world with a population of 1.8 million which is a rough figure for KL vicinity’s population. Please look at the website for further details.

    There is just nothing that can compensate the kindness, tolerance and timidity of the residents of Taman Bahagia Station that led and contributed significantly to the developments of KL vicinity if not the whole country of what it is today. Without the success of having the station being built here, the Line should be deemed to be a likely failure as I understand that the authorities cannot find a better solution for low compensation.

    So, I am now asking you a little favor to defer if not stop the Line from going on as also to reasons that it has been found out that transportation as such is much more needed in other highly middle and lower income densely populated areas.

    The suggessted large scale bus service is easy to implement immediately and should give ample time in replanning the LRT lines.

    It is easy to sit back and brain stormed your mind and give your fullest thoughts of the appropriate connections of the Line but it is no easy matter to be victims to the damages of one of the responsible connections of the Kelana-Subang Line. And there is no means of support for legal actions. Although I still think there is a solution to resolve the matter. Only thing it takes time.

    So, may I end by saying that I am begging you to reconsider the extensions. You won’t regret as you should regret building this badly planned and designed Taman Bahagia Station at this junction.
    It only takes some time off from the plans for the time being.

    Thank you for your heartfelt sympathy.

    Sincerely
    SAM

    note: This mesage was emailed to the aboved
    named persons as at 2 July 2010. Thank you.

  13. The letter that was posted to The High Commission of Singapore:

    2nd July 2010

    The Secretary
    High Commission of Singapore
    209 Jalan Tun Razak
    50400 Kuala Lumpur

    Dear Secretary,

    I am writing as a Malaysian who has close ties with Singapore, especially with the family that owes Singapore Furniture in Geylang. The boss is my uncle and my cousins and I have been in contact ever since we were children.

    And I am sure we are not the only families that have closed relationships or links between Malaysia and Singapore in either countries.

    It is also well known that many wealth seeking Malaysians migrated and found themselves jobs there since independence until now. Thus, Malaysia has been offering a continous labour supply.

    If you don’t mind me saying, Singapore cultures represent if not borrow most of Malaysian cultures such as in foods, linguistic structures, artistic crafts, etc. As a matter of fact, you are even having an available Malaysia market to support your Singapore supply of products.

    So, I just don’t understand why do you want to get rid of The Tanjung Pagar Station? How hard has the station distracted you?

    Here is a poem I wrote recently at a public website:

    It Is No Pretence

    It is no pretence
    That the heartbeat
    Of Malaysia in Singapore
    Is KTM Tanjung Pagar

    Aunties, Uncles
    Pachiks, Machiks
    Adik-adik
    Love riding it
    All the way
    Down south
    Of Singapore tip

    If I’m Singapore
    I would just let
    Let it be as –
    A symbol of
    Historical relationships

    But what to do
    People who make money
    Don’t see it
    That way

    They feel money
    More than they feel
    Warm of spiritual
    Hearts

    Thus, I am sure you know Malaysia pretty well. As even her public radio and television channels have been received by you and not vice-versa all this while.
    And for reasons beyond my understanding I just wonder if it is so that is how you have made your prominence so deeply felt in the country knowing that you are geographically and demograhically small compared to Malaysia.

    If not as if I am speaking from a co-stated nation, then I rather be saying that I am speaking from a very close neighbour. That I wish you to consider the discontinuation of the railway tracks to Tanjung Pagar.

    I feel it should not be stripped off it status as an entity that still bears significant meanings and sentiments of Malaysians. As once my Singaporean cousin had said it, “What is it doing here?!”. I was wondering why and how the seemingly hatreds on her arisen. To add more how would you react to being punched and slapped by a Singaporean who knew I was from Malaysia and just wanted to joke with him by unknowingly landing an empty paper file on his chest?
    It had given me the pyshic fears in my mind forever and often wondered would similar hatreds had arisen if I was Singaporean? And I wondered so many times what exacly had I done wrong to anger him. I was just a new worker then.

    Lastly, I hope you can see what I have been trying to tell you and hopefully give a liitle thought to the question of not moving the Tanjung Pagar train station elsewhere or cease its operations there.

    Thank you

    With hopes and sincerely

    K.T Sam

    c.c Tun Dr Mahathir, former Prime Minister of Malaysia
    (who I feel has the understaning of the matter)

    Director, KTMB, Dayabumi, Kuala Lumpur

    Directeor, Mimistry of Transport, Putrajaya

  14. On behalf of the Sepang community we wish to comment on the current extension of Ampang LRT link that passes through Kg Sri Aman to Putra Heights. We are sad to know that they have forgotten the community over at Sepang. FYI, here we have Taman Mas Sepang, Taman Putra Prima, Taman Puchong Tekali, Taman Saujana Putra & Taman Putra Impiana. All these are new residential areas forming a big growing township with population of more than 40,000 people.

    We wonder why can’t they (Prasarana, DoR) just make a detour of the route, instead of passing through the Malay Kampong Sri Aman, but passes these highly populated areas? Why Kg Sri Aman where the access road to this Kg is terrible (very small Kg road that can barely provide enough space for two cars to pass each other?). Also the population here is small and thus ridership is small. I was also told that the kampong area is prone to flooding due to its bad drainage. Why build a station 11 here? I can’t think of any reason accept that Prasarana & MoR has not done they study well, or is it because of political reasons?

    I was also made to understand that the Kg people has objected to the link and Prasarana was not able to provide justification and data in term of ridership, EIA, Social impact and Traffic impact when asked during the MTES session with YAB MB Selangor. They have in fact suggested the link to pass through the Sepang area wish we totally agree. Even Kg people are better thinking people than the Prasarana & MoR people can do!

    From my observation Prasarana has not done any thorough study of this route. Why waste the tax-payers money of RM17 billion when the community do not get the benefit they should be getting? We being in this area of Sepang would hope MoR, Prasarana and the Kerajaan Pakatan & MB Selangor to look into this matter seriously. The daily route out of Puchong is terrible with lots of traffic jams everywhere and we residence of Sepang would be very great full if the MB of Selangor would hear our voices and make appropriate decision by diverting the route off Kg Sri Aman to our areas in Sepang. Thank you.

    1. Askm Abu Bakar

      Thank you for your comments and observations regarding the LRT extension proposal.

      We do not know if there is economic and financial justification to extend the LRT to Sepang. Frankly, the community would probably be better served by a good system of buses linking to the ERL and the KTM Komuter system now, as well as buses linking to the LRT terminals at Putra Heights.

      Frankly, why should your community wait for an unlikely LRT extension in order to benefit from public transport? Instead of demanding LRT, residents should demand a reliable bus system of Prasarana and RapidKL or Nadi Putra.

      The primary objection to the LRT extension in the Kampong area stems mostly from the plan to build a depot for the Ampang and Kelana Jaya lines – basically this will cut the kampong in two pieces.

      TRANSIT has always believed that the folks from Puchong need a direct rapid transit link to KL, rather than this link which will travel through Kinrara, Bandar Tun Razak and Pudu first.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  15. Dear Moaz,
    Thank you very much for your respond. The idea is because Prasarana has planned to but the line that passes through the kampong area. Our residential area is just next to the kampong. Why pass through the kampong when it can just make a slight detour (about 2 km) and it can go through our highly populated area? Don’t you think that is more economical & practical? Thank you.

    1. Hi Abu Bakar

      Thanks for your comment. It is an interesting suggestion and could be brought up to Prasarana.

      Just to note, the cost of LRT construction is RM250 million per km. The presence of the depot and the integrated station might justify the cost of the 2km between Puchong & Putra Heights.

      You would have to provide a strong argument to Prasarana in favour of an extension to Sepang.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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