Updates #61 (more bites on Melaka’s ‘snail-pace’ Monorail and Cheras’ new Shopping Haven!)

Updates #61

1. Article: Commuters want bus service to ply their area (The Star) – Teluk Intan residents are looking for a revival of bus service in Lower Perak.

TRANSIT: Perhaps someone should tell them there is no money to support a decent bus service because KL needs an MRT network.

2. Letter to Editor: Loyal commuter hopes KTM will be more considerate (Sinar Harian) – A loyal user of Seremban-Sg Buloh KTM Komuter service wrote on his frustrations over more than half-an-hour wait for a train to arrive, and for the significantly increased journey period spent per trip, which he squarely blamed on the introduction of the ETS Service from KL to Ipoh. The male writer wanted KTM to not only look at the women-only coach designation, but to improve capacity to combat overcrowding.

TRANSIT: We wonder what happened to the Alor Gajah-Batu Gajah bypass proposal, which should solve the problem of managing freight-commuter services. Now, we have the ETS (another hi-tech name for the typical Commuter EMU service), together with freight, diesel intercity and KTM Komuter. And in the GTP Roadmap, the government is looking for 5 minutes headway for KTM Komuter in the near future. Brouhaha!

Perhaps someone should tell the writer there is no need to support the existing Komuter service because, what he really need is a futuristic MRT service.

3. Article: City walkways right on schedule (The Star) – An update on the construction of walkways in KL linking areas of the city to various LRT stations.

4. Article: Dept debunks Paris-based report on Malaysian road deaths (The Star) – The Road Safety Department has criticized the Sept 15 report published on Sept 15 by the International Transport Forum (ITF), (which ranked Malaysia as having the highest road deaths at 23.8 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants last year) as being based on a very limited and selective sample. The embarrassing document can be downloaded here.

TRANSIT: Apparently, the problem is that the report sampled developed countries that have good public transport – which, according to Road Safety Department Director Suret Singh, is a major reason why road deaths there are so low!!!! We at TRANSIT always knew that investment in public transport was an investment in road safety – but Thank You Suret Singh for making our point for us.

Oh, and apparently it is not fair to compare Malaysia to developed OECD countries (with good public transport) and instead, we should be compared against less-developed countries (presumably, those without good public transport).

5. Article: Monorail service lifts state’s status (NST) – The Melaka monorail was quoted to be a ‘milestone’ by the Chief Minister ‘in terms of developing a first class public transportation system’. And yet, the same ‘world-class’ monorail was reported by BERNAMA to go kaput four hours after the launch, and that the RM16 million monorail was only meant for tourists, and that the coaches take half an hour to complete the one and only short 1.6km route. Hey, that’s even slower than walking!

This single-track monorail hardly makes for world class public transport. Definitely, more cost-effective solutions are needed for Melaka's mass transit needs, and hopefully the Chief Minister will stop rambling on trams and aerorails, and focus on real solutions like pedestrian walkways, community shuttles and Bus Rapid Transit. (Image courtesy of The Star)

A video of the monorail being tested can be found here.

TRANSIT: Oh boy, will the joke end here? On top of the monorail hullabaloo, the Chief Minister even boasted that the state had successfully attained the developed status accorded by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Get real, dude (I mean, YAB Dato Sri…), the third-world bus crash that needlessly killed 13 people happened within your jurisdictional borders. And our Road Safety guy just now mentioned that it’s unfair to lump Malaysian road deaths with that of OECDs. We can’t have both world class public transport and 3rd world bus crash at the same time, can we?

6. Article: Nearby residents demand special privileges in lieu of Bandar Tasik Selatan terminal (Sinar Harian) – Residents of Kg Malaysia Raya, whose houses were a stone throw away from the nearly operational Bandar Tasik Selatan Integrated Transport Terminal were pushing the operator of the terminal to confer them special privileges to reap profits from any new retail opportunities that will be set up inside the terminal. The residents, under the village’s UMNO branch leader, said the terminal will emit visual and air pollution, and cast doubt on Federal Territory Minister Raja Nong Chik’s previous assurance they will be given priority in any resulting business opportunities.

TRANSIT: It is important for health, safety and environment standards be upheld for any transit facilities prior to the construction phase. Nonetheless, we have seen the same pattern with KL Sentral, where comfortable and proper linkages between the terminal with the surrounding buildings which have long existed around the terminal was non-existent.

From the photo taken in May 2010, it seems that there is no visible effort in connecting the terminal with the nearby residents of Kg Malaysia Raya (TRANSIT Archive)

The residents should have been consulted way before the blueprint of the terminal was being drafted, that the high commuter throughput within the terminal will benefit the residents through new commercial developments (which will increase rental income to committee of land owners), via establishment of a proper Transit-Oriented Development framework (pedestrian paths, community vans and minibuses connecting the entire village with the terminal). Instead, our politicians had give the impression that the new ITT will end up just like Puduraya where retailers thrive at the expense of the commuters. The public and the authorities should be focusing on the terminal’s function as facilitator for transit interchange users, not as another shopping mall … and definitely not focusing on how they can get their “special privileges” as quickly as possible!

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4 thoughts on “Updates #61 (more bites on Melaka’s ‘snail-pace’ Monorail and Cheras’ new Shopping Haven!)”

  1. I cant see much updates in TRANSIT recently. I really hope TRANSIT can act as a much aggressive NGO by organizing public tallks, forums, etc.

  2. Hi Saktish. Thanks for the note. We hope that readers and the public, as much as they enjoy the sarcasm we throw to those responsible in setting up our public transport right, will take the same responsibility in emailing us updates and comments, and in volunteering practical efforts that can be done to highlight our political masters to do the right thing.

    Zul for TRANSIT

  3. dude, the melaka monorail for now is just the 1st phase. its actually more tourist oriented rather than transport oriented. its a melaka river sightseeing monorail.

    1. Hi @Jimmyc

      Fair enough – but a project should be finished on time and ideally, cost as much as it was budgeted for – and a public transport project should be able to make some money to at least cover the operating costs.

      Do you think this Melaka River sightseeing monorail is doing all of that?

      If not, then it deserves the attention of the DUN Melaka, TRANSIT, and the rakyat as well.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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