TRANSIT took note of this news from Ipoh, where Ipoh City Council is looking to reorganize and improve its focus on public transport services. As is typical we see bluster and calls for enforcement but little about the structural problems within the public transport industry.
TRANSIT took note of the following interesting article, which describes Prasarana refusing to pay compensation to the residents of the Tong Weng Mansion in Brickfields, while agreeing to pay compensation to two other site owners in the area.
The compensation requests are in relation to the KL Monorail expansion project, which will extend the KL Monorail from the Tun Sambanthan station down to MidValley and to Old Klang Road on the other side of the Federal Highway.
Interestingly enough, all three compensation requests are in relation to properties that are illegally occupying government land – a situation that seems to occur more frequently than one might expect.
For 5 years and in fact, many more, the members of TRANSIT have been talking about improving public transportation to bring flexibility to our communities.
We recognize the importance of the car, but unlike others, we recognize that our communities do not have to be totally dependent on the car as our only means of getting around.
That is why we at TRANSIT have continuously called for better, more reliable public transport – buses, trains and LRT – to give the public reliable alternatives.
The problem is that the focus of the government and authorities has been on building more LRT or MRT. Yet they forget that a majority of public transport users get to KL via buses – and the fastest, easiest way to get more people to use public transport is to make buses more reliable, faster, and more efficient.
This would encourage the public to use public transport, rather than attempting to drive into the city – creating unnecessary pressure on our roads, an artificial shortage of parking spaces, and a pointless and wasteful use of precious space in our city centre for the storage of cars.
On December 3rd, 2001, buses & taxis leaving KL on the southbound route through Brickfields began using the contra-flow bus & taxi lane on Jalan Tun Sambanthan.
The bus & taxi lane was actually supposed to begin operations on 20th August 2011 but the start was delayed because of objections from business owners in the area who complained that not having car-parks in front of their shops would somehow cause them to lose business.
Now that operations along the bus & taxi lane have started, business owners are actively protesting.
THE residents and traders of Little India in Brickfields should give the newly-introduced bus and taxi lane system a chance before dismissing it as non-workable, said Federal Territory People’s Progressive Party chairman Datuk A. Chandra-kumanan.
“Whatever rules and policies implemented by the government has been carried out in accordance with the wishes of the people and for it to work you need to give it time,’’ he said.
Chandrakumanan, who made a working visit to Brickfields on Tuesday, said he decided to see for himself what was happening after receiving complaints from the public.
TRANSIT took note of the recent announcement of plans for Penang Hill by PDC, the Penang Hill Development Corporation.
The PDC has been in the news recently because of problems with the recently reopened Penang Hill Railway, as well as complaints about parking access and the size of the newly (slowly?) constructed car park which is being described as a “kancil car park” (as in, only suitable for small cars like the Perodua Kancil).
TRANSIT took note of a very interesting complaint about Touch ‘N’ Go – which has revealed an interesting bit of information about how the Touch ‘N’ Go card works.
As you know, the Touch ‘N’ Go card is “Malaysia’s one-stop card” which can be used for toll-payment at toll-kiosks, payment of public transport at fare gates, payment of parking at certain parking facilities, and payment of admission at certain amusement parks.
You can also use your Touch ‘N’ Go card to make purchases at certain restaurants.
But apparently, if you do not use your Touch ‘N’ Go card at a toll booth for more than a year, that facility will be deactivated – leaving you with a RM5 administrative charge (for each year, then later for each 6-month period).
THE pedestrian walkway and bridge at Jalan Dewan Bahasa and Jalan Hang Tuah which was built to allow pedestrians to cross Jalan Hang Tuah to get to the monorail station and the Hang Tuah LRT station has now become a den for drug addicts and vagrants.
Due to safety concerns, the public has stopped using the bridge due to the presence of these seedy characters who seem to have made the bridge their “home”.
“The people are afraid of using the bridge especially at night. It has now become a sleeping place for vagrants and I have seen drug addicts loitering on the bridge,’’ said Chen Kee Tuck, a resident of Hang Tuah flats.
“There have been many cases of snatch thefts on the bridge. The people are afraid of using it,’’ said the 71-year-old.