1. Article: Peak-hour wait time on Kelana Jaya Line LRT reduced by 28% (The Star) – Prasarana has increased the frequency of trains on the Kelana Jaya line during the morning peak hours to 2 minutes and 37 seconds (or 197 seconds).
TRANSIT: Good for Prasarana- now let’s look into coupling the 2-carriage trains into 4-carriage units and reducing the frequency to below 2 minutes / 160 seconds – which is where it should be!
(For those who are wondering, the “claim to fame” of Bombardier’s Advanced Rapid Transit technology as well as most “LRT” projects that are really “mini-metro” is that they have higher frequency to make up for their lower capacity as compared to MRT – but the truth is that many MRT lines have very high frequencies – Toronto, for example, runs at 180 seconds (2 minutes, 2o seconds)
2. Letter: Bad driving habits and inaction are main causes (The Star) – Very Concerned German of Melaka comments on the sorry state of the bus industry and the recent Genting bus crash.
3. Letter: Review bus drivers’ wages (The Star) – T.K. Chua of KL comments on the issues within the bus industry related to training and wages.
4. Letters: Road safety: The onus is on bus operators (NST) – A collection of letters about the recent Genting bus crash and safety. Lionel Perera of Port Dickson proposes the following:
- Establish a written policy requiring drivers and motorcyclists to undergo safe driving practices, proper use of vehicle safety features and mandatory refresher courses; (TRANSIT: We do have the new Safety, Health and Environment – SHE – Code – which does not do all of the above.)
- Conduct background checks on prospective drivers before they are hired, particularly with regard to driving licences and drug offences; (TRANSIT: Bus operators face a shortage of well-trained workers – hence they claim they are forced to employ any drivers they can get.)
- Ensure that drivers in their employ comply with designated speed limits on roads and other traffic regulations; (TRANSIT: We believe plans for speed limiters/monitors are being drawn up)
- Ensure and establish written procedures in respect of proper maintenance of all vehicles owned by the employers; (TRANSIT: Bus operators, the government and bus builders should cooperate in developing these guides)
- Establish schedules that allow drivers to obey speed limits and limit their hours of service according to regulations. Do not permit workers to drive while fatigued. Pay them fair and decent wages. (TRANSIT: Changing the status of bus drivers from “independent entrepreneurs” to “trained employees” would be a good place to start)
- Work towards the right behavioural and attitudinal change and develop a road safety culture.
Also in the letter, Lee Lam Thye (representing the Malaysian Road Safety Council) proposes a safety checklist for buses.
Finally, K.G. Nair of Seremban urges action by companies and the public to weed out dangerous drivers and bad companies.
5. Letter: Suggestions to improve electric train service (The Star) – Yang of Sg. Buloh shares suggestions on how to improve KTMB’s ETS trains.
6. Article: Taiwanese touch at monorail station (The Star) – the KL Monorail IMBI station has received a new “facelift” thanks to the new sponsorship by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau leading up to the 100-year anniversary of the Republic of China. There is also a Taiwan ad on one of the monorail trains, as seen below:
7. Letter: Medan Kidd in a sorry state (NST) – Aloysius Pereira comments on the poor state of the Medan Kidd bus terminal, arguing that it should be taken care of even though inter-city services are to shift to the terminal at Meru.
8. Letter: Brickfields – no comfort in unfinished job (NST) – T. Uthayakumar complains that the walkway from KL Sentral to Brickfields is still unfinished.
9. Hotline: Bus driver reprimanded for not being more safety-conscious (Malay Mail) – Ang of KL complained about a bus driver who let her board a packed bus in a dangerous manner, then opened a door while she was standing and reading in the front door area, hitting her. The response from RapidKL was that they reprimanded the driver.
TRANSIT: See what happens when you don’t have clear, consistent procedures for the benefit of driver and passenger alike?