Category Archives: Announcements

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TRANSIT wishes Selamat Hari Pekerja to all Malaysians Workers

TRANSIT wishes to take this opportunity to wish a very Happy International Workers Day & Selamat Hari Pekerja to all the hard working honest people who are a part of our public transport sector.

While we cannot help but cringe every time we hear a “bad news” or “bad apple” story we know that there are many good, honest and caring public transport workers.

We hope too see more effort by planners, management and government agencies to encourage more good behaviour while cracking down on bad behaviour.

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.

New Ampang Line trains introduced (update 1)

Prasarana and RAPIDKL will be introducing the new Ampang line trains at 3 pm on Thursday, February 27th.

Click on the links below for images of the trains.
http://t.co/1CfbldOlEt
http://t.co/qrpqoeJR9k

Update:

This article by fz.com is one of many with details about the new trains which will begin arrival in Malaysia in September 2014.

The important details:

*50 units of 6-car trains designed and built by CAR Zhuzhou (which also built the “Six Car Set” for KTM Komuter)
*30 of these trains will replace the trains currently used on the Ampang line … which are only entering their 20th year (generally train carriages are expected to last approximately 30 years … Although the measurement is really based on kilometers traveled rather than time in service)
*20 of the trains will be used on the Ampang line extension when it opens in 2016
*The trains will have open gangway allowing passengers to walk between all the cars (as compared to the 3 pairs of cars in the current trains) spreading out the passenger load

Proposed feeder bus routes for the Ampang and Kelana Jaya LRT extensions. Comments welcomed!

TRANSIT took note of the following proposed feeder bus routes for the Ampang and Kelana Jaya LRT extensions. All pictures are courtesy of @TWK90.

Proposed bus routes of RapidKL from stations on the LRT extension

Taken from LRT Extension open day in Sunway Pyramid

Ampang line extension

Kelana Jaya line extension

http://i.imgur.com/nhuar.jpg


TRANSIT Says

We would like to thank @TWK90 for the photos. Check back here for comments on the proposed routes.

Transit Network Design course by Jarrett Walker (@HumanTransit) comes to Australia in March…and you should go

TRANSIT has learned that internationally recognized transit planner and author Jarrett Walker, who blogs at HumanTransit.org, will be bringing his Transit Network Design course back to Australia, to Melbourne (March 27-28) and Brisbane (March 31-April 1). The cost of the course is AUD695 and it is worth every cent.

image
Network maps produced at the February 6-7 Transit Network Design course in New York City

The paragraph below, from the course description at http://www.mrcagney.com/events provides some details.

The course is ideal for people who interact with transit planning in their work but don’t necessarily do it themselves — including land use planners, urban designers, developers, traffic engineers, sustainability advocates, transit employees of all kinds, and people who work on transportation or urban policy generally. Advocates who want to be more realistic and effective will also find the course valuable, especially as a companion to Jarrett’s book Human Transit.

That’s us…and many other Malaysians…from public servants working for local government authorities to wakil rakyat and Yang ‘Berkhidmat’ (Ahli DUN & Ahli Parlimen) who bring our views to the government.

This course fills a critical gap in many people’s training. It offers a fun, hands-on way of learning what makes an effective transit network, and what those insights mean for all the related professions. Sadly, few graduate programs teach this material in a compelling interactive format.

And sadly, few people learn about the fundamentals of public transport planning and network design in an holistic and complete way.

On February 6-7, 2014 Muhammad Zulkarnain Hamzah (representing TRANSIT Malaysia) and Moaz Yusuf Ahmad (representing both TRANSIT Malaysia and the Greater Toronto Area MOVE Network) attended the Transit Network Design course in New York City. The 2-day course was an exciting, interactive and challenging event, bringing together transport planners, community advocates, engineers and business people.

The course is described in a number of articles including the notable one below, which also talks about Jarrett Walker’s approach to understand the human side of public transport, based on human values such as freedom and access.

The battle for mass transit’s soul. (Grabar, Henry. Salon.com February 15, 2014)

“Over the past three years, Walker has taught his Interactive Course in Transit Network Design more than a dozen times, in four countries, and its hundreds of graduates are sprinkled across city governments, transit agencies and nonprofits in the U.S. and beyond.”

And most importantly, these graduates are able to see public transport holistically, understanding it as a business, a social service, and an economic tool that promotes important values.

“I don’t like to talk about right answers,”
“There are optimal answers for different sets of values.”
Walker is a transit purist. His mantra, “frequency is freedom,” sums up a philosophy that prizes efficiency and utility as a system’s best qualities. “Much of the public discussion of transit is about externalities (emissions, economic outcomes, fun, ‘look and feel,’ and so on) while strikingly little is about helping people to get where they’re going, or to access more of the city easily,”

And we at TRANSIT can hardly disagree. Living as we do in Malaysia with a constant lack of useful information about public transport, combined with the weak service and lack of availability, we ache for a transit system that offers the public reasonable access … abundant access being beyond our greatest dreams.

The concept of Abundant Access is illustrated below at a lecture by Jarrett Walker in Toronto in January 2014:

image
The principles of Abundant Access as illustrated by Jarrett Walker

TRANSIT Says:

We strongly recommend Jarrett Walker’s Transit Network Design course to industry professionals, wakil rakyat and community advocates. As we do not know when Malaysians will be able to attend the Transit Network Design course in Malaysia (or Singapore, or Thailand for that matter) we can only suggest that those who are interested take this opportunity to attend the courses in Australia while they are available. To everyone who is interested but not able to attend we highly recommend Jarrett Walker’s book, Human Transit:
HOW CLEARER THINKING ABOUT PUBLIC TRANSIT CAN ENRICH OUR COMMUNITIES AND OUR LIVES by Island Press
as well as Jarrett’s blog HumanTransit.org. Jarrett Walker uses the Twitter handle @humantransit

Prasarana, UTHM collaborate to nurture rail industry professionals – but what about public transport industry professionals?

TRANSIT took note of this interesting article about collaboration between Prasarana and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) to develop more rail industry professionals.

Prasarana, UTHM collaborate to nurture rail industry professionals (The Borneo Post)

31 January 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in an effort to create professionals in the rail industry and improve the quality of Malaysia’s public transportation system.

Prasarana group managing director Datuk Shahril Mokhtar said that under the MoU, UTHM would introduce a new Masters in Railway Engineering course this year where qualified staff of Prasarana’s rail division will have preference in gaining entry to the university.

“This we believe will open a new era in pursuance of excellence in education and further uplift the standard of Malaysia’s railway industry specifically, and public transportation in general,” he told reporters after the signing here.

Shahril inked the MoU for Prasarana while UTHM was represented by its vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin.

Elaborating, Shahril said the strategic collaboration with institutions of higher learning was part of Prasarana’s initiatives towards enhancing the quality of its staff, describing them as the company’s key assets in the realisation of its Go Forward Plan (GFP) targets.

“Today also marked a new beginning in Prasarana’s emphasis on development of human capital and staff resourcefulness as we continue rigorous efforts to pursue the agenda of our GFP, which has entered its second year,” he said.

Shahril said that through the programme, Prasarana aimed to inculcate values like innovative thinking, operational excellence and enhanced efficiency among its staff. — Bernama

TRANSIT Says:

As you can imagine, we at TRANSIT are always pleased to hear of initiatives to improve the skills & knowledge & capability of the Malaysian rail industry, towards improving railway engineering and creating a new generation of professional railway engineers.

But a public transport industry cannot be built by railway engineers and civil engineers alone. There is also a need for professional public transport planners, regulators, and experts in the organization and management of public transport services, public transport information relay, communications, asset management, and a thousand other jobs that make for an effective public transport system.

So while we are certainly pleased about the initiative to build up Malaysia’s rail industry, we also need to take steps to develop Malaysia’s public transport industry.

Perhaps it will be SPAD who takes the lead there. But mark what TRANSIT says – someone has to do this job because without this, we will never truly improve public transport in Malaysia.

Penang expands car-free Sundays in George Town

TRANSIT took note of this article announcing the expansion of car-free Sundays in the central business district of George Town.

This initiative of the Penang Government and MPPP will likely be well-received by most residents of the area as well as visitors.

We hope to see more people using public transportation to get to the Central Business District to enjoy the car-free spaces in a carefree manner.

Ban’s on every Sunday (The Star)
Saturday December 10, 2011
>By KIATISAK CHUA

DRIVERS and motorcyclists heading towards George Town’s Central Business District on Sunday from now onwards should take note that certain stretches of roads will be cordoned off from 7am to 5pm in conjunction with ‘Car Free Day’.

The affected roads are parts of Beach Street, Bishop Street, Church Street, and the whole of Church Street Ghaut which runs from Weld Quay to Beach Street. Continue reading Penang expands car-free Sundays in George Town

LRT-LRT ticketing integration begins today, 28 November 2011 (Update #1)

Update: This article from the NST describes a smooth transition to the new integrated ticketing system!

TRANSIT took note of the news that LRT – LRT ticketing integration will begin on 28 November 2011.

Of course, the LRT-LRT ticketing integration is not really that big a deal. And unfortunately, customers will not benefit from a reduction in the fares, which still reflect the old system where the STAR & PUTRA line were operated by separate companies and transferring from one LRT to the other required the passenger to pay a new “starting fare” because they were making a “new” trip.

In case you are wondering, the starting fares are:

Kelana Jaya Line – RM0.70 or RM1.00 (for the underground sections)
Ampang/Sri Petaling Line – RM0.70, RM1.00 and RM1.20.
KL Monorail – RM1.20
KTM Komuter – RM1.00

A person transferring between the Ampang Line and Kelana Jaya line making only a 2-station journey (say, from Psara Seni to Bandaraya via Masjid Jamek) would pay RM2.20 for their fare. RM2.10 would take you from Kelana Jaya to KL Sentral & Pasar Seni, and RM2.30 from Kelana Jaya to Masjid Jamek!

Is that a fair fare?

What fare integration does involve is the construction of a newly designed station arcade at Masjid Jamek as well as the launch of new Ticket Vending Machines that will allow the integration of LRT-LRT fares.

Now, let us have a “TRANSIT moment”, where we look at a significant improvement to public transport and still find a way to complain.

Oh, wait, we already did complain about starting fares above. So let’s “complain” again, by pointing out the fact that the integration of LRT fares has taken more than 7 years to complete. In contrast, when the government of Hong Kong forced the merger of the MTR & KCR railway systems, under the MTR Banner, fare integration was complete in 7 months!

We know public transport is moving forward – we just want to move forward faster, and further and further away from the “bad old days” of the past (like, 2004-2010)

Full integration of LRT ticketing system from today (NST)
28 November 2011

SYARIKAT Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana), the operator of Klang Valley’s two LRT lines, is implementing a full ticketing integration of the RapidKL Kelana Jaya Line and Ampang Line today — two days earlier than its actual schedule. Continue reading LRT-LRT ticketing integration begins today, 28 November 2011 (Update #1)

No bus for you, Seremban and surrounding area! (Update #4)

TRANSIT woke up to more and more bad news with bus service! Thousands of commuters living around Seremban are affected as local bus services are shut down.

Going nowhere: Bus drivers and employees of the consortium sitting at their depot in Oakland near Seremban 2 after services to several areas were terminated yesterday. Image courtesy of The Star.
More buses than usual lying idle at the depot now that services have been greatly reduced in Negri Sembilan. Image courtesy of The Star.

The biggest surprise – the buses shown in the photos above are “CityLiner” branded buses – and the CityLiner brand is used by various subsidiary companies of Konsortium Transnasional Berhad – Malaysia’s largest (and probably most complicated – see corporate structure here) public transport consortium and owner of well known public transport brands Transnasional, Nice and Plusliner.

The item below is quoted from the KTB website.

Cityliner – Negeri Sembilan Operations

Just like the two regions above, this region is an operations merger of four subsidiary companies under Jelebu Holdings Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary (83.2%) company of Park May Berhad that operates in Western part of Negeri Sembilan with two other subsidiary companies of KKMB, i.e. Starise Sdn Bhd and the stage bus outfit of Syarikat Rembau Tampin Sdn Bhd that operates the Eastern part of Negeri Sembilan. A Regional Manager was appointed to lead one integrated team to focus on the profitability of running the entire stage bus operations in Negeri Sembilan. The resulted merger has a capacity of running approximately 215 permits/buses. Besides running ordinary routes in housing areas and on main roads of Negeri Sembilan, the Cityliner buses here also serve the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) from Seremban, Nilai and Banting.

Now, we are really not happy. We could understand if a small bit-player was forced into stopping service because of continuous loss-making operations. But this is the largest public transport consortium in the country! Can they not find a way to keep services running?

In any case, read the articles. We will provide links to the various articles and comments after the jump.
Continue reading No bus for you, Seremban and surrounding area! (Update #4)