1. Article: Pedestrian bridge near Sungai Besi LRT station ready for use (The Star, 21 May 2011)
2. Article: KLIA Ekspres value fares for the holidays (NST) – Express Rail Link (ERL) is offering its Group Saver and Family Package for families and friends travelling on KLIA Ekspres. More information at www.KLIAekpres.com.
[TRANSIT: The CEO of ERL Sdn. Bhd. also notes that the ERL has a 99.7% on-time performance rating.]
3. Article: Stray dog brought Penang hill train service to a halt (The Star, 17 May 2011) – A stray dog has been blamed for the 26-hour breakdown of the Penang Hill train service on May 3 according to Penang ang Hill Corporation (PHC) general manager Datuk Lee Kah Choon.
Lee said the dog hit a sensitive component of the coach – the power collector, which collects electricity from the track to power the air-conditioner, computer and door systems.
4. Letter: Penang tourism: Standard fare for all the best solution
(NST, 17 May 2011) – James Justice, a regular visitor to Penang, argues that having separate fares for foreigners on the Penang Hill Railway will actually discourage tourism.
5. Letter: Bus driver not rude for not stopping (The Star, 16 May 2011) – “Don’t blame others” of Kuala Lumpur argues that passengers should not expect the bus to stop for them if they chase after it, as bus drivers have a schedule to keep. This letter is in response to a complaint from a public transport user that he was nearly hit by a bus (while trying to catch it).
6. Article: Traders at Puduraya Terminal question rationale for 500% service charge increase (The Star, 17 May 2011) – Puduraya Terminal Tenants and Traders Association chairman Sabarudin Ab Razak, 57, said they used to pay RM713 for rental and RM387.50 for service charge before the terminal was renovated.
“Now, the rental has been reduced to RM365 but the service charge increased to RM2,482,” said Sabarudin, who has been trading at the terminal for more than 30 years.
[TRANSIT: You have to wonder about the rationale for decreasing the rental cost but increasing the service charge by that much!]
7. Article: Siemens enters LRT fray (The Star, 14 May 2011) – German engineering group, Siemens will be participating in the tender for the systems package (resignalling works) for the Ampang Line (including the LRT extension). The tender closed on 16 May 2011.
Besides Siemens, some of the big names that may be pitting for a slice of Malaysia’s transport system includes Bombardier, Colas, Thales, Invensys, Samsung, Daewoo and Ansaldo. Alstom, the existing signaling supplier, however, seems to be rather quiet.
8. Article: Survey shows nearly 8 in 10 Singapore public transport commuters dissatisfied (The Malaysian Insider, 16 May 2011) – Singapore ranked 18th in a survey of 23 cities on public and private transport journey experiences according to the inaugural Journey Experience Index by business research and consulting firm Frost and Sullivan.
Singapore scored 54.5 points, below the global benchmark of 61. Those travelling on public transport indicated a higher level of discontent: Out of 740 public transport commuters and 674 private transport commuters polled here, 77.5 per cent and 57 per cent respectively were dissatisfied with their journey experience.
… One reason Singapore did not do better in the index could be the relatively high percentage of journeys made on public transport, as cities with higher car usage tended to record greater satisfaction in the overall journey experience, said Mr Vivek Vaidya, Frost’s Asia-Pacific vice-president of its automotive and transportation practice.
[TRANSIT: Wow, if Singaporeans are so dissatisfied with their public transport system (often lauded as one of the world’s best) then what hope is there for Malaysia? Actually, the truth is that these surveys & rankings are literally a “dime a dozen” and Singaporeans probably get one of the best public transport experiences in the world.
So why aren’t they satisfied? It probably has more to do with the service experience (public transport is busy, Singaporeans are busy, etc) and having to change buses & trains regularly. Singapore will probably see improved satisfaction with the completion of the City Circle MRT line as well as the Downtown Line and future planned expansions and extensions. There are also plans to expand bus lanes and improve bus service in the Republic, as well as possible expansion of the “LRT” people-mover system.
Oh and in case you are wondering, Kuala Lumpur with 61 points ranked 14th of the cities surveyed, and 3rd among Asian cities.]
9. Article: Higher chance for RTS link to Kempas (The Star, 17 May 2011) – Iskandar-Johor’s Rapid Transit System (RTS) will most likely use Kempas Sentral (a newly planned development around an upgraded Kempas railway station) as the main hub, rather than JB Sentral because there is more space for a larger railway yard. As for the link between JB & Singapore, it appears that the future Singapore Thompson Line will “face Johor” but the actual link is not clear.Is