Category Archives: Money Better Spent Elsewhere

KiDEx facing legal roadblock with @pjcitycouncil

TRANSIT took note of the following article describing legal issues that will delay the approval of the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway.

Apparently the company that will build the expressway and has received ‘conditional approval’ from the Works Ministry and support from Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, has failed to get approval from the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya…in fact their plans have been rejected 3 times!

In Selangor, legal roadblock may halt controversial highway plan (The Malay Mail Online 7 May 2014)
BY SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL

KiDEx Sdn Bhd may face a major setback in its plan to build its RM2.42 billion super-elevated highway in Selangor as it has not obtained approval from the city’s local council office.

The Malay Mail Online understands that the proposal for the controversial Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX) was rejected on three occasions by the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) as developers had failed to provide sufficient details on the project.

Continue reading KiDEx facing legal roadblock with @pjcitycouncil

What the KiDEx CEO Says

TRANSIT has gone on record with our objections to the Kinrara-Damansara expressway. Our reasoning, expressed here, focuses on the inherent efficiency of public transport as compared to elevated highways as well as the huge social and economic impacts of the highway.

But we always want to give you the opportunity to hear both sides of the story, so we present to you the following:

First, a podcast from BFM Radio in which the CEO comments on public transport. Second, an article in which the KiDEx CEO argues that the projection of 3.9 million cars on Malaysian roads by 2025 makes more highways necessary.

Finally we have comments from the CEO on our page, followed by our response.

Continue reading What the KiDEx CEO Says

This proposed expressway should be Petaling Jaya’s LRT or MRT line!

[Admin; TRANSIT has long objected to the proposed Kinrara Damansara Expressway, as you can see from this draft post which we created 2 years ago]

TRANSIT took note of the proposal to build an elevated expressway through the heart of Petaling Jaya.

TRANSIT opposes the expressway proposal and strongly recommends that the corridor be used to build a north-south rapid transit corridor, likely a monorail or LRT line. We expect that this would cost the same or less than the proposed expressway, occupy less visual space and obviously would not bring pollution on site.

Image showing the alignment of the Kinrara-Damansara expressway, proposed in Budget 2011.

As public transportation this corridor would connect with 4 public transport corridors (either existing/under construction)…the existing KTM Komuter line in PJ Old Town, the Kelana Jaya LRT Line at Taman Jaya, and the LRT extension in Kinrara and the MRT Line, both currently under construction. There is also the proposed Federal Highway Bus Rapid Transit corridor.

This has far greater connection potential than an expressway and will move 10 times as many people.

TRANSIT Says:

We see that cities across the world are in the process of taking down elevated expressways and improving their urban realms…while we in Malaysia are unfortunately looking at building more.

We have an opportunity here to build a lasting legacy for public transportation in Petaling Jaya…let’s not mess this up.

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

ADUNs in Petaling Jaya call for PJ LRT instead of proposed Kinrara Damansara Expressway

Transit took note of the proposal from 4 ADUN in the Selangor State Assembly (representing Petaling Jaya) that the route of the proposed Kinrara Damansara Expressway (a.k.a. “KiDex” or “KIDEX Skyway“) would be better utilized for public transportation.

Image of proposed Rapid Transit (orange) in KiDex corridor (blue)

Continue reading ADUNs in Petaling Jaya call for PJ LRT instead of proposed Kinrara Damansara Expressway

Briton charged RM450 for 10km trip, sparking furore over cheating cabbies (Update #1)

Update: The Minister of Tourism wants to make taxi drivers into tourism ambassadors with “basic communication skills”.

TRANSIT could not let this article pass by without posting it and commenting.

The Minister of Tourism wants to make taxi drivers into tourism ambassadors with “basic communication skills”Unfortunately, we are terribly busy with yesterday’s planned post on the recent interview with SPAD about bus transformation – so once again, we will just post the article and try to get our comments updated as soon as possible.

Briton charged RM450 for 10km trip, sparking furore over cheating cabbies (The Star)

Wednesday February 29, 2012
By P. ARUNA
aruna@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: An English tourist was charged RM450 for a taxi ride from KL Sentral to the Suria KLCC shopping centre, a distance of less than 10km.

The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said the tourist paid the fare before lodging a report against the driver.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said they were investigating and would take action against the taxi driver and the operator.

He said the taxi driver was believed to have threatened the tourist into paying the fee. Continue reading Briton charged RM450 for 10km trip, sparking furore over cheating cabbies (Update #1)

Why is the MPK using the North Klang bus terminal for a night market, instead of a bus terminal? And why hasn’t the Selangor Government stepped in?

TRANSIT took note of this interesting and disturbing article about the introduction of a night market at the site of the old North Klang bus terminal, which was closed in late 2007 when Klang Sentral was opened.

The irony, of course, is that the bus area remains closed to buses – despite the fact that most buses that serve Klang town have returned to the North Klang bus terminal area, and Klang residents have called on the MPK to improve amenities and facilities.

What makes it worse is that in 4 years, the Selangor government has not stepped in to improve public transport in Klang, reopening the North Klang bus terminal and introducing new services. In addition, SPAD has not stepped in and resolved the issue, despite entreaties from TRANSIT, who recommended to SPAD that solving the Klang Sentral and North Klang bus terminal issues was the best place for them to get started.

The resolution of the North Klang bus terminal issue is going to be a major factor in any improvement to public transport in the west Klang Valley.

Flea market draws flak (The Star)

Saturday February 18, 2012
Story and photos by ELAN PERUMAL
elan@thestar.com.my

THE Klang Municipal Council’s decision to approve the Nadi Kota Uptown flea market at the site of the former North Klang bus terminal has not gone down well with traders in the area.

The North Klang bus terminal remains closed, but buses and passengers still gather on Jalan Pos. Image courtesy of The Star.

They feel that the council’s decision to approve the market which operates from 10pm to 4am daily is not a good idea.

The traders said this was because the bus terminal issue had not been resolved yet after the move to Klang Sentral in Meru four years ago. Continue reading Why is the MPK using the North Klang bus terminal for a night market, instead of a bus terminal? And why hasn’t the Selangor Government stepped in?

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?

Now you know why we will always have traffic congestion in KL – because we widen roads to allow cars to block them!

TRANSIT took note of this absurd piece of news where the KL government will be spending lots of your RM to widen Jalan Ma’rof in Bangsar, in the area between Jalan Bangsar (where the flyover to/from MidValley is) and Jalan Ara (where the Masjid is).

Why is the government widening only this section of the road? Because this is the area where there is a great deal of congestion caused by taxis that queue up to fill-up with Natural Gas at the Petronas station between Jalan Riong & Jalan Tempinis.

Taxis lining up to fill up natural gas at a petrol station in Jalan Maarof, and causing a bottleneck. Pic by Syarafiq Abd Samad, New Straits Times.

The Petronas station in Bangsar is the only NGV facility in the south side of KL, and the daily queues are a source of frustration for residents, neighbours and taxi drivers alike.

But instead of solving the problem by having Petronas build more NGV filling stations – or even a centralized multi-level filling station in the nearby Tenaga Nasional lands, the DBKL government has decided to widen the road so taxis can queue up.

Jalan Maarof in Bangsar to be widened to three lanes to ease congestion (The Star)
Saturday November 26, 2011

By FAZLEENA AZIZ
fazleena@thestar.com.my

KUALA Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail has briefed residents associations and stakeholdwers in Bangsar on the upgrading of Jalan Maarof to ease traffic congestion.

Jalan Maarof will be upgraded from the Jalan Bangsar junction to Jalan Ara near the Masjid Saidina Abu Bakar As Siddiq. Continue reading Now you know why we will always have traffic congestion in KL – because we widen roads to allow cars to block them!

ETP: Masterplan is not just about MRT. TRANSIT: But the MRT is all you seem to be talking about!

TRANSIT took note of a very interesting commentary from Ahmad Suhaili Idrus, the Director of the Urban Public Transport NKRA and Greater Kuala Lumpur / Klang Valley NKEA in response to a letter from TRANSIT’s Advisor Rajiv Rishyakaran, regarding recent comments by Idris Jala that the Klang Valley would be choked by 2020 if the MRT was not built.

Ahmad Suhaili attempted to clarify the situation by saying that the NKEA / NKRA projects related to public transport included improvements to rail and bus services, improved integration, improved infrastructure and expanded services. You can read the full comment below, but first, consider clicking on these links for some background information:

And now, the response from Ahmad Suhaili:

MRT is integrated with LRT, KTM, monorail and bus systems
November 3, 2011 By ETP Malaysia

We refer to the letter ‘Idris Jala is wrong: MRT is not the only solution for Klang Valley’, written by Rajiv Rishyakaran from TRANSIT

Presumably, the writer was referring to Dato’ Sri’s response to a question during the recent ETP Turns One event, in which he said:

“MRT is absolutely in my opinion totally and utterly needed for our city. If we don’t have an MRT I can tell you, by the year 2020 this city will be choked. Continue reading ETP: Masterplan is not just about MRT. TRANSIT: But the MRT is all you seem to be talking about!