MRT Update: Did you submit your feedback on MRT Line 1?


Important Notes:

  1. Look for an update of this post in the next few days with our submission to SPAD and the Minister of Transport;
  2. If you are using the online form at kvmrt.com.my, may we suggest that you post your feedback below in our comments section;
  3. If you are emailing your submission, send it directly to feedback@kvmrt.com.my. You may also wish to send copies directly to SPAD’s CEO, Mohd Nor Ismal Kamal (mnkamal@spad.gov.my) and the Minister of Transport Kong Cho Ha (menteri@mot.gov.my);
  4. If you choose to mail your feedback in or deliver it personally, make sure that you print 2 copies (at least) – one for them to stamp and verify receipt. Other copies can be shared with the Minister of Transport and your local councillor and Wakil Rakyat (if you live in an area directly affected by the Sg. Buloh – Kajang Line proposal).

ANNOUNCEMENT

TRANSIT wishes to remind everyone that the public display for the railways scheme for the proposed Sg. Buloh – Kajang railway line (described as MRT Line 1) will be coming to a close soon. The final date for submissions of feedback & objections is 14 May 2011.

All persons who believe they will be affected by the alignment of the railways scheme, including a decrease in their enjoyment of their property, should give their feedback to the regulator, the Land Public Transport Authority (SPAD) on the railways scheme.

The regulator will take the feedback into account, revising the proposal if necessary. The regulator will then brief the Minister of Transport, who will make a final decision on the proposed railway scheme (alignment).

At least, that is what Malaysia’s Akta Pengangkutan Awam Darat (Land Transport Act, Part IV says about the whole concept of public consultation.

Please note that general feedback on the MRT (the concept, the network) is was not really important under the Railways Act 1991. It is only slightly more important under the PAD Act. For example, Section 83 (2) (f) requires a submission to include “the proposed integration with other existing and proposed railways” – but do you think that will be a stumbling block? Section 83 (2) (i) requires a “description of proposed related, peripheral, or ancillary activities to be undertaken in connection with the provision of railway services.” That could include a feeder bus plan, for example, or a plan for hawker stalls near a station, or advertising on the guideway pillars. Not very specific, is it?

Over the past year TRANSIT has collected hundreds of articles with information, feedback, talking points etc. on the MRT. But under Malaysian law, none of that really matters. All that really matters is specific feedback on a specific railway alignment during the 3 months public display period.

So do not worry. This is not your “last chance to provide feedback on the MRT” as stated by Pemandu’s blog. You actually never had any chance. You could give feedback to SPAD but there is nothing that specifically requires them to listen unless you are directly affected by the railway alignment.

So if you are concerned that the MRT project (either the MRT in general or the Sg. Buloh-Kajang Line in particular) may not be justified by existing public transport demand, or you are concerned about the unsolicited nature of the proposal, or the “appointment” of MMC-Gamuda as Project Delivery Partner and HSSI as “Independent” Checking Engineer – or you just think the projected costs of the MRT is too high – don’t expect your comments to be given much attention.

If you feel that you cannot properly comment on an MRT network when you have only seen one line  (and therefore do not know about planned interchanges, synergies, whole network impacts, property value impacts, etc. – don’t expect SPAD to say much.  They probably don’t know much more than you already do.

If you want to know about the feeder bus plans, you can assume that they will be taken care of. In the meantime remember that this is a “railway” scheme that is being discussed, not a bus plan.

If you feel that there are other modes of public transport that would move as many people as the MRT but spread out over a wider area of the Klang Valley (thus encouraging more people to use public transport) that’s all very nice.

You just need to understand that this is a public display for a railway alignment, not a public consultation to discuss plans & gather ideas from the public.

That’s the way things are done in Malaysia (as we have often been told).

Now… if by chance you happen to support the concept of MRT (in general) then by all means send your comments to SPAD so they can be lumped in with all the “supporting” comments (general and specific) and held up against the “specific” comments against certain parts of the Sg. Buloh – Kajang alignment.

That way, the feedback will sound overwhelmingly positive – say, a “thumb’s up” in favour of the MRT project (in general) and the Sg. Buloh – Kajang line (in particular) – even if it really isn’t.

What does TRANSIT say, with all this? It’s simple, really.

MRT is generally a good thing. Public transport is generally a good thing. But the way that public transport is planned and implemented in Malaysia – and the way that the public is “informed” (rather than consulted) and the way companies are “chosen” … really leaves a sour taste for us.

Sure, we will have the MRT line and perhaps 2 more lines. Just like we had multiple LRT lines (3 of them, interestingly enough – as the monorail is referred to as LRT Sistem 3). But sadly we will never see real improvements in public transport until we update our out-of-date laws, educate & motivate our wakil rakyat and government servants, and get the public involved with real public consultation, not public briefings and public display.

Look for an update of this post with our submission to SPAD and the Minister of Transport. In the meantime, please share your submission and comments with us.

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One thought on “MRT Update: Did you submit your feedback on MRT Line 1?”

  1. Please consider the following logical improvement suggestions for the MRT 1 project, in particular for the Curve – Damansara Heights stretch of that project.

    ———————————————————————-

    1. Combine the Curve and One Utama stations into one station inbetween the two malls, with aircon walkbridges linking both sides. This saves huge building cost, reduces polution, may increase speed of train network, reduces traffic jams during construction, less land acquisition etc etc. And at a distance of less than 1000 meters apart both the planned stations are simply too near to eachother to justify. Note further that citizens would initially balk at walking several hundred meters but that with the right environment (aircon etc) this will eventually not be a problem, as is evident in countries like Singapore.

    2. Combine TTDI and Section 17 stations into one station inbetween, somewhere at the edge of Section 17, nearer to the commercial zone of Glomac Damansara and TTDI Plaza. It is a big question in the first place why there is a station proposed at the “Section 17” location – almost in the middle of nowhere and actually far from housing or commercial areas. And do the affluent TTDI residents really need or want their TTDI station so close to their homes and shops? Does the government want to save building cost, reduce polution, increase speed of train network, reduce traffic jams during construction, less land acquisition etc etc? And again, at a distance of less than 1000 meters apart both the planned stations are unnecessarily near to eachother.

    3. Combine the Pusat Bandar Damansara and Semantan stations into one station inbetween the two commercial office areas, with aircon walkbridges (or tunnels) linking both sides. Same advantages as mentioned above but in this even higher traffic area it is even more imperative to reduce all congestion possible. Also the planned stations are situated just too close to eachother to justify.

    So 6 stations could be reduced to 3. Thereby resolving most of the major complaints from residents in these areas and offering a host of other advantages. Best of all, this sensible reduction saves many billions of ringgits of Rakyat money.

    At the same time, it should also be considered to go underground along this stretch – just the stations or even including track. Go underground at an earlier location than planned, for instance before Pusat Bandar Damansara or even just before TTDI. It may not instantly seem important but we ought better realize that the most successful cities on the planet have preserved the aesthetics of their urban landscape by building metros underground. And the still very green stretch between the Curve and Damansara Heights is currently one of the most attractive in Kuala Lumpur. With property valuations in these areas at a justified high level. Which is only good for the city and for the residents who worked hard to live there.

    The money needed for going underground at an earlier location could obviously come from the savings through station reduction. But even station reduction without going underground would already be a great improvement of MRT 1.

    ———————————————————————-

    Lets hope for a leaner, greener and more economical MRT. Thank you.

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