How peddlers and retailers pose unnecessary barrier to transit

TRANSIT has many times addressed the issue of overcrowding and discomfort at public transport facilities. Unsolicited advice on broadband speed or anti-dandruff technology are among the few last thing fast paced commuters would want to encounter in their rush to their workplace or home. Take for instance, the photos below, taken during last Friday’s evening rush hour at the Kelana Jaya and Sri Petaling lines’ entrance points of the Masjid Jamek station.

Spot the presence of beggar, celcom agent, currypuff seller and parked motorbikes blocking half of the entrance area in front of Masjid Jamek LRT station entrance for Ampang/Sri Petaling's northbound platform. (TRANSIT photo)

TRANSIT understands that the Masjid Jamek station is in the midst of serious renovation by Prasarana, and that once the station is fully renovated, commuters can enjoy smooth transfer between the Kelana Jaya line and Sri Petaling/Ampang line platforms. But we wonder why there is no enforcement by RapidKL’s Polis Bantuan during peak hours, especially considering the volume of pedestrian traffic that crosses these critical access points (which have been made narrower due to the present renovation project).

Prasarana should consider to charge this blue-haired Heads and Shoulders 'anime' mascot for directly adding unnecessary seconds to the commuting hours (cumulatively reducing the workforce's productivity) and indirectly producing loads of garbage (increasing operational cost). (TRANSIT photo)

While unsolicited activities may happen without the consent of the transit facilities’ managements, TRANSIT observes the many obstructions and obstacles to commuters’ movements in and around many LRT and monorail stations.

Due to overemphasis on retail, bland transit navigation signs are subdued by a blend of catchier and colorful advertisements, and tourists may mistake KL Sentral for Central Market. At the entrances of Pasar Seni LRT and Bukit Bintang monorail stations, bakery and fruit stalls munch much of pedestrian space. (TRANSIT Photos)

Certainly, the management of these facilities must be held accountable to the stakeholders (users) as to what their objective really is. Are they looking to provide accessibility and comfort to transit users, or are they focusing more on retail and advertising revenues.

There should be a balance, and in between effectiveness and efficiency there lies a sweet spot where transit facility operators should aim for.

Usually transit facility managements are frequently out of touch with their stakeholders’ (commuters’) needs, as compared to their shareholders’ needs. Constant user survey might be helpful, and feedback systems utilizing touch screen electronic stands can be erected at strategic points.

Scorecards for Commuter-friendly Transit Facility

  1. Smooth Movements of Commuters
  2. Information Availability and Ease of Use
  3. Interconnectivity
  4. Creature Comforts (toilets, prayer/diaper rooms, etc)

Scorecards for Sustainable Transit Facility

  1. Operational cost per square feet (reduce energy costs using green building materials, better air flow, etc)
  2. Retail and advertising revenue per square feet (ensure these do not encroach commuter’s ‘breathing space’ and travel comfort zones)
  3. Percentage of solved helpdesk inquiries and prompt announcements
  4. Service uptime and punctuality
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