LRT Update: Kelana Jaya LRT extension ’80 per cent approved’ – nearly 2 years later

TRANSIT took note of some recent articles on the LRT extension projects which state that the local governments have more or less agreed to the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT extensions.

However, TRANSIT notes that some of the issues regarding the LRT extension routes continue to crop up – either they were not properly resolved, or certain people are just not happy with the resolution.

As always, TRANSIT reminds our readers that there are many sides to every story. In this case, look for at least 4 sides.

You can also see an image of the print version of the article in The Star scanned here.

TRANSIT Says:

OK, once again we see the same new spun different ways just by looking at the headline.

To TRANSIT the big issue has always been the method of public consultation for public transport projects, and the laws behind them. We have seen that a strong push for an LRT extension may not result in actual results because in the rush to “get started” people’s views are ignored.

Back in September 2009, when the public display period began, Idrose Mohamed (the MD of Prasarana at the time) said that the LRT extensions could start as early as spring 2010. We admired his enthusiasm and did not wish to correct him, but we thought at the time that such a quick start was unlikely. And now here we are nearly 2 years later and only the most basic LRT works have started and there are issues that still have not been resolved.

TRANSIT Says:

First of all, do you notice how the same “news” can be spun just by the editor’s choice of headline? It keeps on happening, so we had to bring it up again.

Ok, to be fair to the residents, they are not against the LRT extension but rather the location of proposed station 05 on the Ampang LRT extension. Their comments run the gamut of suggestions from what can be called NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard)-ism to reasonable questions:

  • “An LRT station will contribute to traffic congestion as well as health and safety problems, such as noise and air pollution.
  • “Since the station does not have a carpark, we foresee cars parking along the road.
  • “Imagine people parking their cars here and taking the LRT to watch the football match in Bukit Jalil,” she said.
  • “We are also worried that criminal activities might increase.”
  • cautioned against a drop in property value once the station, which could be 10-storey tall was built.
  • “There will be illegal hawkers and if not maintained properly, the station will be littered with rubbish and illegal banners,” she said.
  • asked if there is a need for  “so many stations in Bandar Kinrara?” as “The distance between Station 05 and Station 04 in Bandar Kinrara 2 is only 800m.”

Are their complaints (above) NIMBYism or feedback? We invite you to decide (and please, share your comments in the Comments section below!)

But please consider this: Nearly 2 years from the date that the public display begin, the issues with the LRT extensions have not been resolved. The residents of BK3 do not appear to be asking for much, just that the LRT be shifted into the middle of the road median and stations be combined.

In contrast, when some residents of Taman Tun Dr. Ismail objected to the location of the proposed TTDI station as well as two stations at Section 16 & Section 17, the issue was resolved within 1 month of the end of the public display.

In other words, the public display begin in mid-February and ended in mid-May 2011, and by the end of June the location of the TTDI station had been moved down to a site near the Caltex petrol station, while the Section 16 & 17 stations were combined into a single station.

TRANSIT’s big question is this: Why is there a difference here in the public consultation & feedback that is taking place for the MRT project and the LRT extension projects? After all, they are being handled by the same government agencies (SPAD & Prasarana). We think that this seemingly-inconsistent approach to public consultation is just another one of those little things that turns people away from public transport.

Now, perhaps we do not know the whole story – but we do know that public consultation & feedback are important – and so is consistency & fair treatment.

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5 thoughts on “LRT Update: Kelana Jaya LRT extension ’80 per cent approved’ – nearly 2 years later”

  1. Can’t agree more. Without public consultation, how is the government (which DSNR claimed no longer feels “government knows the best”) going to know what is needed, what is urgently needed and what is mildly needed by the people, the end users as well as financier of costly transportation network?

    Since it costs a few bombs, might as well do it right. You see how late remedies cost much more, yet cannot be as perfect, in the case of Masjid Jamek nearby stations integration. No matter how much we are willing to spend, we cannot create a Cross-Platform Interchange (Reversed Twisted Configuration) ala City Hall and Raffles Place in Temasek. And who suffer in the end? You and me, the non-politicians.

    So, Singapore I heard spent much time to look through the bus passengers travel pattern data for the past ten years prior to the construction of their first MRT line. And how long did SPAD the MRT promoter take? A quarter of a year right? Do we collect passenger travel pattern data at all? Why do they think more people from Kinrara prefer to travel to Putra Heights, instead of the Sunway or Equine Park? An interchange of two lines at the furthest end, what logic is that?

    But before all the discussion of alignment, station location, park and ride, hourly feeder bus routes, station designs, platform length, rolling stocks, driver-driven or drones, underground or elevated, along road shoulder or median, the first question to be asked should be, who says the best way to connect Putra Heights to Bukit Jalil is by LRT?

    Why not bus? Is this route served by any existing bus at all? Nope, all buses from Puchong goes to KL via Jalan Puchong and Old Klang Road. Habis how did they know this is the commuting route preferred ? Simply because the current LRT ends in Sri Petaling? (It’s not Sri Petaling, categorically speaking, just like LRT’s Kelana Jaya is far away from Kelana Jaya…)

    Why not Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) ? Is BRT really as inefficient as they claimed in the MRT proposal? Actually I tend to agree BRT will move fewer passenger per hour per direction (PPHPD) than MRT. You know why? Don’t think SPAD is stupid. They are smart indeed. They have taken into consideration Malaysian general public’s indifference to respect bus lanes, and our authorities’ complacency in enforcing bus lane regulations. BRT will be just another bus looking elegant for the first two years, if ever built at all.

    Why not Trams, Monorails, Trolley Buses etc? Perhaps no cronies have thought its procurement and construction profitable yet?

    Convince us that LRT is the best option for this route, and how many cars can be removed from roads in the vicinity as a result, else I would never be fooled by any PR exercise put up by the promoters.

  2. I have a few questions in mind :
    a) Can we just take the opinion of the affected residents? They are not professional nor they are expert the field of MRT. The issues or concern they raised is very emotionally driven or very subjective.
    b) Is Evidence based practise applied here? Meaning, is there any unbiased research / studies conducted to verify the residents claims? How sure are we that the same thing (In refer to existing lines) may or may not happen to this new MRT lines?
    c) the statement say “is only 800 m between 2 station.. Can or would elderly prefer to walk more than 500 m to the nearest station? how about the disable? how about the others younger user, do they prefer to walk far to a station ? taxi to station ? Using taxi to nearest station is costly. bus? can we rely on bus to take us to nearest station?
    if i use my “subjectivity”, i don;’t see this is a problem to residents for stations that distance by 800m but is about cost. May be it can be consider for future expansion like in Seoul.they are building more and more stations on existing lines apart extending lines. . i have heard some malaysian who travelled in Overseas, they are very pleased that the few subways station is nearby, within walking distance.
    d) Would our MRT as efficient and developed like in Seoul subways in future? is this not possible( because the money involved…), how that we can hoped with this MRT we will have in future we can increased pecentage of public transport usage in KL as high as other countries?

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