MRT Update: The only thing that is constant is change

TRANSIT has been reviewing articles that have appeared for the past month regarding changes to the original MMC-Gamuda proposal for MRT lines.

Apparently, the government has adapted some components of the MMC-Gamuda proposal as part of the 6 month study undertaken by MinConsult.

The government will go ahead with the Sg. Buloh-Kajang MRT line because it is the furthest ahead in terms of planning. Similar proposals along this corridor that were made in the past include LRT/MRT from Sg. Buloh to Kajang (Prasarana, 2009), Kota Damansara to Cheras (various Malaysian Government proposals from 2006-2008), and separate lines from KL to Damansara and KL to Cheras (KL Structure Plan).

This corridor is also seen as the most vital new public transport corridor in the Klang Valley because it serves areas that are high density, currently using public transport but have no room to expand the bus system, and tagged for increased growth over time.

The article below explains how the original proposal has been revised by Pemandu and SPAD – with the emphasis on the fast-tracking (pardon the pun) of the Sg. Buloh to Kajang line, and discussing a proposal to have a line linking Kuala Lumpur to Klang.

Changes made to initial MRT proposal (The Star)

This article, posted on the paultan.org blog has some interesting information about the original proposal and compares it to the MinConsult proposal.

KL Mass Rapid Transit system – initial details revealed (paultan.org)

Graphic showing the MMC-Gamuda Proposal for 2 MRT lines and the Minconsult proposal for a single MRT line. Image courtesy of paultan.org.

Click here for a larger version of the image above.

This graphic, from The Star, shows the expected route for the MRT line as well as potential station locations.

Graphic from The Star showing the proposed route and potential station locations. All information is not official until the 3 month public display begins.

Click here for a larger version of the image above.

TRANSIT Says:

The intent of this post is simple – to give readers an idea of how ideas and proposals for the MRT have and will change to take into account various details like land conditions, public feedback, costs, etc.

Aside from our curiousity about how the plans are progressing, there are some details that have caught our attention.

First, we are interested in more technical details of the MRT – how can we help it? We want to ask questions about how many passengers are anticipated, now and in 30 and 50 years projections.

We want to ask about passengers capacity on a per hour, per direction basis – this will help us to know if the capacity is going to be in the range of “LRT” (medium capacity – 15000-25000) or “MRT” (high capacity, 25000-55000).

And we want to know if the plan is to go with wider trains or narrower ones, 1 tunnel or two tunnels, etc.

Second, we are interested in feedback from residents and property owners in the in the Bangsar and TTDI areas – since these areas are relatively affluent, and do not have a lot of road space, but need better public transport, we wonder how the public will react to the proposed MRT.

This article in The Star, TTDI residents against MRT system, gives an idea but it should really say (some) TTDI residents against MRT system. With respect to Bangsar, we wonder if the proposal will go forward with the line through Bangsar and Brickfields (as originally proposed by Prasarana). The updated KL City 2020 Local Plan does not have this segment included and there has already been negative feedback on the idea of an MRT running through Bangsar (along Jalan Ma’arof).

As our readers know, TRANSIT prefers the “direct” route into KL – bypassing KL Sentral – and using an expanded KL Monorail to make the link between the MRT and KL Sentral. The real “hub” for public transport in KL is always going to be the Pasar Seni and Masjid Jamek areas because they are the most pedestrian friendly.

Third, we want to know more about the long term planning for public transport beyond the MRT. Idris Jala talks about links to Klang, which sounds good overall – but we have a decrepit KTM Komuter system and bus system that need fixing and the only way to make those work is serious investment and attention.

Those are our thoughts. What are yours? As always, your feedback is welcomed in the comments space below! Thank you!

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9 thoughts on “MRT Update: The only thing that is constant is change”

  1. Typical NIMBYists. TTDI is the area I stay in KL when I go down, and I can tell you first-hand that the traffic is living hell already.

    The congestion around and in TTDI, especially with regard to the links to the expressways, is simply awful. The Upper PJ area (incl TTDI) desperately needs better public transport; and as most people in this area drive, buses will not ever lure them from their cars, particularly with regard to the upper-middle-class people in TTDI.

    These loud objections are the voices of the selfish minority, and must be drowned out for the greater good of the Upper PJ region.

    Remember: this area is full of people desperate to get out of congestion. The MRT/LRT line will be a godsend. I see no downside; the drivers get better roads, the riders get better service, the property prices should go up, the cronies make millions, and so on and so forth.

    1. Chia

      Thanks for the feedback. There is always a downside, but in this case the downside to the MRT/LRT line is pretty small.

      At the same time, we do not wish to use labels on people or criticize their objections out of hand. There is a difference between typically contrarian people and people who have genuine objections.

      In this case, it does seem that the residents may be concerned that the MRT might follow one of the internal access roads of the LDP – either Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi (1 Utama interchange) or Jalan Leong Yew Koh.

      This is of course quite unlikely as Jalan Damansara is the ideal corridor.

      Anyways, rail services along the Kota Damansara – Cheras corridor has been recognized by all proposals for a complete Klang Valley rail network. The main questions are still the same as before: which areas ought to be served, whether the line should link with the KTM system, and whether the line should link with KL Sentral or not.

      It seems clear that there are a limited number of potential corridors for the MRT/LRT. For example, in Kota Damansara should the line continue to follow Persiaran Mahogani and join Persiaran Surian at Sunway Damansara, or should it join Persiaran Surian at the first interchange.

      Following Persiaran Surian east of Sunway Damansara all the way to Bandar Utama is pretty obvious, but then the question is, should the line be elevated or underground along this stretch.

      At Bandar Utama the question is, should the line be routed east of 1 Utama (along the LDP) down to Jalan Damansara, or west of 1 Utama (which would require it to be underground, especially since See Hoy Chan Holdings has proposed that the station be under Central Park Bandar Utama).

      If this route is chosen, then will See Hoy Chan Holdings offer their lands south of Sri Pentas for the tunnel portal?

      And there, should the line continue down to Damansara Uptown (with possible objections from residents there) then follow the Sprint link east to KL, or cross the LDP and follow Jalan Damansara through TTDI to the Sprint Link.

      Anyways, these are some of the questions – TRANSIT will be examining potential corridors from our perspective and see if we can get some ideas sooner.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  2. Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi or Leong Yew Koh are completely unsuitable for the line. First, the space isn’t enough. Second, it will ruin TTDI.

    I think I’ve posted my route plan before for this area, basically the same as the 07 Fikir Runding proposal, ie having TTDI on a north-south line that runs to Templer via Tmn Jaya, Sec 14 and New Town.

    I would say it should be elevated, to save cost. If any areas want it to be tunneled, they must pay the difference, ie the federal government pays for the elevated line cost, and any extra cost for it to be tunneled must be paid for by whoever wants in underground. (This worked well for BART in SF, but we could end up with a network constantly going up and down.)

    1. @Chia

      Thanks for the feedback. We share similar ideas for the corridor and whether or not it deviates.

      My personal feedback on the issue should be in the mainstream media in the next few days. There will also be comments from TRANSIT.

      You are welcome to do the same. If you need email addresses to send your letters to various media outlets, please let us know.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  3. Unfortunately, I’m right. The recent attained by Malaysia in the ranking of illicit money outflows (USD291 billion++) further proven my points. With that money, all the major cities in Malaysia can build underground systems and buck up their public transports without financial problems at all.

    1. Hi Jeffrey

      Good point – and it is also worth mentioning that we lose at least 1% of the GDP to congestion every year.

      Can you provide a link on the list that you mentioned above? I’m sure many readers would be interested to learn more.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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