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.
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.
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.
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.
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.