Category Archives: Monorail

Will unilateral approval of KiDEx fracture the Selangor Government?

TRANSIT took note of the increasingly public disagreement within the Selangor Government about the prioritization of the Kinrara-Damansara expressway also known as the KiDEx ” skyway.”

4 ADUNs from Petaling Jaya have already expressed their opposition to the approval of the expressway and called for greater transparency and suggested that the corridor would be better used for public transport. There is a public group of residents expressing their concerns. Azman Ali, a member of the government and a challenger for Menteri Besar, has also expressed his dismay at the project saying that the government was putting the cart before the horse.

In response the Menteri Besar has said that not building the highway would be unfair to the developer.

Continue reading Will unilateral approval of KiDEx fracture the Selangor Government?

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Prasarana deals with neighbours affected by KL Monorail extension project

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.

Prasarana rejects appeal for funds (Star-Metro Central)

Monday February 27, 2012
By CHARLES FERNANDEZ
metro@thestar.com.my

SYARIKAT Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) has rejected an appeal for compensation from residents of Tong Weng Mansion in Brickfields.

The residents had appealed for compensation after a badminton court was fenced off for a monorail extension project.

The residents also used the badminton court, which was on government land, as an area for activities such as gatherings and funeral services.

Residents’ association chairman G.S. Maniam said Prasarana had only paid compensation to two temples that had also illegally occupied government land.

“We know it is not our land but we would like some compensation as the money could be used to build a wall between the project site and the mansion,’’ said Maniam.

So close: The project site, behind the blue hoarding, is located directly behind the apartment building. Image courtesy of The Star.

Continue reading Prasarana deals with neighbours affected by KL Monorail extension project

Selangor Government makes unwise decision to proceed with study of elevated highway through Petaling Jaya

TRANSIT took note of the unfortunate news that the Selangor Government will move ahead with studies for the Kinrara Damansara Expressway, also known as KiDEx or the KiDEx “skyway” (a falsely romanticized name just as false as the pictures on their website)

Selangor approves studies on plan for elevated highway, KiDEx (The Malay Mail, 11 April 2014)

The Selangor state government has approved studies to be conducted on the controversial Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX) project, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said today.

The Selangor mentri besar also said that public hearings will be held once the studies are completed.

The project has come under heavy criticism from residents worried about pollution and the lack of publicly available details.

TRANSIT Says:

Continue reading Selangor Government makes unwise decision to proceed with study of elevated highway through Petaling Jaya

First 2 of 4 car monorail train sets to begin service in August 2014

TRANSIT took note of the announcement from Prasarana that 4 car service on the KL Monorail is expected to begin in August of 2014. All 12 trains are expected to be in service by September 2015.

Video

KL Monorail’s new four-car train to start operation in August (The Star, 9 April 2014)

This comes after the first two trains were delivered by Scomi Rail in Rawang to the depot in Brickfields for testing and commissioning in late January of 2014
New four car monorail trains arrive at depot (The Star, 25 January 2014)

The new 4 carriage trains can carry 430 passengers and will have space for wheelchairs. The monorail stations are being retrofitted with chair lifts (presumably the ones that attach to stairways? Or proper lifts?) and work is expected to be finished soon.

TRANSIT Says:

As you can imagine, we are pleased to see improvements to our public transport services…even incremental ones. The KL Monorail is already a decade old and was horribly over capacity in 2005…so the new carriages are a welcome addition.

Indeed, seeing 4-carriage monorail trains may help raise public confidence that the monorail can be more than just a “toy train” and there may be demand for applications of monorail technology in other cities in the Klang Valley, such as Petaling Jaya in place of the proposed Kinrara Damansara Expressway. TRANSIT has long said that the Sunway BRT line with its RM100 million per km cost, might have been better as a monorail … and could have been extended to connect to the Kelana Jaya LRT Line at Kelana Jaya and the Ampang LRT Line at Puchong.

While the 7 month period of testing and commissioning is a bit of a surprise, we expect that this is also related to the re signalling of the monorail system which will allow for faster train movements.

Overall TRANSIT is pleased but will reserve final judgment until we ride the new trains.

Is this what our new 4-carriage KL Monorail trains will look like? (Update #1 – Can the public decide?)

Update: On request from Prasarana, TRANSIT has been asked to take down this post. We have chosen to take down the image instead, and keep the post in place.

TRANSIT Says:

The reason we have maintained the post is simple – we want the public to know that a new livery design has been developed and Prasarana has nearly decided on it – even if we have been asked not to show the design to the public.

We submit to Prasarana that before they decide on the livery, they should make potential designs public and ask the public for feedback. They could even have a design contest like the MyRT design contest – though that might be more for PR than anything else.

What is more important is that they should ask the public what they want from their new monorail trains (better seating, grab bars, in-train information systems, wheelchair seating area, wi-fi, etc) and try to ensure that some of these new features are in place.

Ideally, SCOMI should provide a mock-up of their SUTRA train, fitted to Prasarana’s requested specifications (based, of course, on feedback from the public) so that everyone can see what the new monorail trains will look like.

Our original post continues after the jump. Continue reading Is this what our new 4-carriage KL Monorail trains will look like? (Update #1 – Can the public decide?)

‘Solutions’ to public transport problems focusing on the bus industry, not public transport users

By now everyone should be aware that a major crisis is taking place in the bus industry.

The shut down of CityLiner bus services throughout was the major ‘tipping pint’ in a series of crises [TRANSIT: refer to our “No Bus for You” series of posts] that showed the precarious state of public transport and the bus industry – and made it clear that SPAD has lost the plot by focusing on the MRT project rather than revamping & transforming public transport.

The nation-wide collapse of bus services are continuing, despite the recent announcement that the Malaysian Government has approved an RM400mn fund for public transport operators. Applications for this fund began earlier this week and SPAD intends to release the first Rm100mn as soon as possible.

TRANSIT notes that the government is stepping in with the financial aid to bus operators. We also note that Prasarana-RapidKL have talked about improving cooperation (actually, we should say “starting” cooperation) with private bus operators to reduce wasteful competition on different routes. At the same time, taxi drivers and other bus companies are benefiting from the lack of competition in the Klang area since CityLiner shut down bus services, affecting thousands of public transport users.

However, we need the government, SPAD and Prasarana-RapidKL to acknowledge that their “solutions” are not holistic and not sustainable. The problem is that they are focusing on short-term solutions for the crisis, not long-term solutions that will make public transport work, sustainably and effectively, and most importantly, meet the needs of public transport users.

And this, ladies & gentlemen, is the biggest problem. Everyone talks about fixing public transport but all the solutions that are put forward focus on the bus industry, rather than the public transport service. What’s worse is that the ‘solutions’ still fail to consider the needs of the public transport users.

Read about TRANSIT’s take on the issues and a proposed action plan after the jump! Continue reading ‘Solutions’ to public transport problems focusing on the bus industry, not public transport users

TRANSIT says goodbye to 2011 and wishes everyone a happy 2012

The year 2011 has been quite tumultuous for public transport and indeed, for many people in many places throughout the world.

Specifically to public transport, we in Malaysia have seen a number of major changes. Continue reading TRANSIT says goodbye to 2011 and wishes everyone a happy 2012

Melaka monorail downtime is not a joke

TRANSIT took note of a few interesting articles from down in Malacca, where the Chief Minister appears to be making light of the embarrassing situation with the troublesome monorail.

TRANSIT is disappointed that the CM is not taking the problems of the monorail seriously. His suggestions that tourists are interested in coming to Malacca to see the broken down monorail are insulting and show a lack of respect for taxpayer money, which has been invested into this project.

At the same time, (or should we say, to make things worse) the CM is talking about expanding the monorail to provide service along Jalan Tun Ali in the backside area of Jalan Hang Tuah, the attempted new town centre / institutional zone for the city.

CM sees lighter side of Malacca monorail controversy (The Star)
Tuesday December 13, 2011
By R.S.N. MURALI

MALACCA: Despite the endless glitches that has struck the Malacca Tourist Monorail, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said there is a bright side to the issue.

“I know many quarters have criticised the monorail service due to the glitches but we are optimistic it will gain popularity once the flaws have been rectified.

“It has gained fame thanks to the media reports about the earlier problems,” he said, when officiating at the ground-breaking of the second phase of the service at Jalan Tun Mutahir here yesterday.

[TRANSIT: It has been said that there is no such thing as bad publicity … but that’s not quite true.]

Mohd Ali said the service had malfunctioned 27 times since its launch in October last year.

On the right track: Models posing next to a replica of the new Malacca Tourist Monorail coach that will begin services once the second phase has been completed in February 2013. Image courtesy of The Star.


“We almost made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for encountering countless breakdowns,” he quipped.

Continue reading Melaka monorail downtime is not a joke

Monorail extension to Jalan Klang Lama – will it help or hurt existing monorail service?

TRANSIT has taken note of the Malaysian government’s plans to expand KL Monorail service by introducing 4-carriage trains with greater capacity, as well as extending the KL Monorail service to Taman Gembira along Jalan Klang Lama.

Malaysian monorail builder Scomi Rail has been given the contract to provide the 12 new 4-carriage trains, which will be a variation on Scomi’s SUTRA model. More information about the SUTRA can be found in this article or at the Scomi Rail website. Check out this video showing the actual SUTRA train operating on the test track at the Rawang facility.

The cab of a Scomi SUTRA train mockup, at the launching ceremony in November 2007. Image courtesy of Star Biz.
cross-section, side and interior views of a Scomi SUTRA monorail.

According to the various reports in the Malaysian media, the KL Monorail is already 35% over capacity. More interestingly, the different articles (thank you Scomi for collecting them into News flashes 1, 2 & 3) have different numbers about the capacity of the new monorail carriages compared to the older ones. One says that the older carriages can carry 98 passengers and the new carriages will have a capacity for 128 passengers – and then claims that this is an almost 40% increase – which it is not

Do the math: 128 / 98  x 100 = 130 … meaning the increase is much closer to 30%.

And just to make things more confusing, another article claimed numbers of 107 / 135 (old & new carriages respectively).

So we have to wonder where the media are getting their sources and why Scomi would allow different numbers to be made public about their product.

Even more upsetting is the claim that with the new 4-carriage trains the line will have a carrying capacity of 6400 passengers per hour per direction. If we extrapolate back we would assume that line capacity with the 2-carriage trains are in the range of 3,000-3,200 passengers per hour per direction.

These are strikingly poor line capacity numbers that are more in range with a middle-capacity Bus Rapid Transit system or a tram/streetcar! And the monorail cost us 40 million USD per km!

Monorails have a place in our public transport plan, but a line-capacity of 3,000-3,200 (or even 6,400) passengers per hour per direction is a shockingly low number that does not fully explore the potential of the monorail as a public transport technology – or a solution for Kuala Lumpur.

Anyways, the article about the monorail extension is below. You can also see a jpeg. image of the article’s cover and inside page. The inside page also includes this slightly inaccurate graphic, outlining the various routes planned under the Urban Rail Development Plan.  We really wonder when certain organizations within the Malaysian media (and they know who they are) will improve on their fact-checking and publish accurate stories and information – rather than unclear stories & speculative information as they do now.

Monorail extension to Jalan Klang Lama (NST)

7 December 2011

By NURADZIMMAH DAIM
KUALA LUMPUR
streets@nstp.com.my
Land Public Transport Commission proposes that the Monorail service extends to Taman Gembira

A 2-carriage KL Monorail train passes below the KL Tower. Image courtesy of the NST.

A PROPOSAL has been made to extend the KL Monorail services from its Tun Sambanthan station to Taman Gembira in Jalan Klang Lama. Continue reading Monorail extension to Jalan Klang Lama – will it help or hurt existing monorail service?

Brickfields on ‘collision course’ because of the new bus & taxi lane?

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.

In addition, there is a lot of confusion over what is happening in the area. While the NST claimed that things were going smoothly for buses & taxis, The Star reported traffic chaos. There have been a number of collisions between motorists and, even more disturbing, a number of collisions between pedestrians and buses! A RapidKL bus driver has been suspended pending an internal investigation related to one crash – the aftermath of which resulted in a hostile crowd and vandalising of the bus.

A Metrobus leads a RapidKL through the new contra-flow bus & taxi lane in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. The lane allows buses to travel southbound on Jalan Tun Sambanthan. Image courtesy of the NST.

Even worse, it appears that some politicians are getting involved, possibly there to stroke frustrations in order to enjoy a more populist appeal before the upcoming election!

As if the congestion & traffic in Brickfields was not bad enough????

Give new system a chance, public urged (The Star – Metro)
Saturday December 10, 2011
By BAVANI M
bavanim@thestar.com.my

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.

Showing the way: A DBKL enforcement officer guiding traffic in Brickfields. Photo by RICKY LAI for The Star.

Continue reading Brickfields on ‘collision course’ because of the new bus & taxi lane?