TRANSIT took note of the following article describing changes to bus service in Johor Baru, with a new “no pick up” order for Jalan Wong Ah Fook, diversion of urban stage buses to Larkin Sentral, and a new free shuttle bus connecting the two areas.
JOHOR Baru City Council has come up with a solution to the the problem of traffic congestion in Jalan Wong Ah Fook, which it believes is caused by the long queue of stage buses waiting for passengers.
The council recently announced that effective May 1, all stage buses plying the northwest route, which is basically the Skudai corridor, may only drop off passengers by the road. They will not be allowed to pick up passengers.
TRANSIT took note of this article in the Borneo Post which says that the Gemas-Johor Baharu electrified double tracking project is to be tendered out by year-end, according to the Transport Minister.
For those who do not know, the Gemas-JB electrification & double tracking project is the last stretch in the electrification & double tracking of all mainline rail on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
The other EDT projects are:
EDT for the Klang Valley from Rawang to Seremban, including the Port Klang Railway subdivision;
EDT from Rawang to Ipoh;
EDT from Sentul to Batu Caves;
EDT from Ipoh to Padang Besar;
EDT from Seremban to Gemas;
Completing the Gemas – JB stretch will allow ETS train service from Butterworth down to JB, as well as “commuter” rail service in the Iskandar – JB region of Johor.
1. Article: Essential to have reliable transport system (NST, 30 June 2011) – A commentary and update on plans to improve public transport in JB and the Iskandar region, as well as cross-border connections between JB and Singapore.
[TRANSIT: This article deserves its own post as there are some questionable statements and claims being made. For example, we are wary of the Masteel proposal for a Komuter-type service in the Iskandar Development Region and do not believe it can be implemented in the time-frame mentioned. The writer also mentions a monorail service in Melaka “that runs” and we know that is not accurate either!]
2. Article: CM and reps to cycle to work (The Star. 30 June 2011) – Melaka Chief Minister Mohd. Ali Rustam will bicycle to work on 1 July 2011. The state will also start construction on bicycle lanes near Seri Negeri.
3. Letter: KLIA limo tells on us (The Star, 20 June 2011) – Nori of Kota Damansara compares the quality of taxis & limousine picked up from KLIA and Changi airport.
4. Letter: Improve the ETS ticketing system (The Star, 30 June 2011) – Irate Passenger of Ipoh complaints about being late for an ETS train because of the numbered-paper system at the ETS ticketing office.
[TRANSIT: Er…we can understand that ETS ticketing agents could have acted on their own accord to facilitate the ticket purchase … but how long could it have taken to cycle through all those numbers? How about showing up earlier?]
5. Article: Cabbies rally against Bersih march (The Star, 30 June 2011) – some taxi drivers found the time to complain about the upcoming Bersih 2.0 protest march, claiming that they will lose business (especially from Arab tourists) as a result.
[TRANSIT: If things are so bad in the industry that one day of slow fares would be lethal, they had better get cracking and get as many fares as possible between now and July 9 instead of wasting their time (and opportunity to collect fares) with the rally.]
7. Article: UNDER STUDY (NST, 30 June 2011) – a proposal for a 1-way traffic dispersal system for Brickfields may see buses remain on Jalan Tun Sambanthan in exclusive contra-flow bus lanes, rather than following other vehicles through the 1-way system.
Update: Sultan Ibrahim of Johor explains why he took the initiative to drive the last KTM train out of Singapore!
TRANSIT took note of more articles about the closure of Tg. Pagar railway station (and Bukit Timah – why does everyone forget Bukit Timah) and the effective withdrawal of KTM train service from Singapore.
On 30 June 2011, we invited our readers to share their memories of travel to/from Tg. Pagar and Bukit Timah railway stations.
The last Kuala Lumpur-Singapore train, Ekspres Sinaran, which left KL Sentral at 9am, reached Tanjong Pagar at 6pm, while the last north-bound passenger train, Ekspres Senandung Sutera, departed Tanjong Pagar at 10pm.
TRANSIT took note of this article a few days ago, which states that the proposal for the commuter train for the Iskandar Development Region (south Johor) has not been finalized – and the winning contractor not selected yet.
This comes after recent articles in which the Johor MB was said to have given approval to the proposal from Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn Bhd (MCN). See our comments on that news here.
Not to mention, a few days after it was stated that HSSI had received the contract for Independent Checking Engineer for the MRT project in April – a decision made by the government & overruling Prasarana – despite having already worked on the project since February and also having a prior working relationship with MMC-Gamuda.
In other words, when it comes to public transport-related announcements in Malaysia, do not believe everything you read – and do not take a newspaper article at face value as there is often more to the story.
TRANSIT took note of some more very interesting news from down south, in which the Menteri Besar of Johor Abdul Ghani Othman announced that he had given approval to Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn. Bhd. to construct a commuter rail network for south Johor (the Iskandar Development Region and Johor Baru).
The “proposal” for the rail network was announced earlier this year and mentioned by TRANSIT here. But if you read our post, we clearly stated our expectation that the project be put out to an open and transparent tender.
It appears that this is not the case, and the contract has been awarded directly to Metropolitan Commuter Network, a joint-venture of KUB Malaysia and Masteel.
Update: SPAD CEO Mohd Nor Kamal has responded to the announcement by saying that SPAD has not seen any proposal yet!
TRANSIT took note of a very interesting announcement from down south, where the Chief Executive of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority appeared to announce a 500km MRT project for the region.
Now before any jaws drop down to the floor, stop and think for a minute. MRT is a term that means “mass-rapid transit” meaning, a “rapid transit” service (or combination of “rapid transit” services) that moves a large number (a “mass”) of people.
In other words, in this case “MRT network” could actually mean “Mass(ive) Rapid Transit network” and still be a semi-appropriate use of the term.
KUALA LUMPUR: A plan to build a 500km mass rapid transit (MRT) system has been proposed to improve the connectivity within Iskandar Malaysia, according to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive Ismail Ibrahim.
TRANSIT took note of this article which mentions the plan to build an integrated transport hub in Bandar Seri Alam, Johor, which would include commuter rail, feeder bus and taxi services.
The commuter rail will connect residents of the Eastern Gate of the Iskandar Development Region with JB via the new Kempas Sentral railway hub at Kempas Baru, which is described as being several times bigger than KL Sentral.