Update: The monorail service has been suspended again!
Update: No sooner had the service received the green light to resume operations (not in the rain though) the service has stalled again – when it was operated after a sudden rain shower!
TRANSIT took note of the recent announcement that the Melaka Monorail was permitted to resume operations as it had met almost all of the safety conditions set out by public transport regulator SPAD.
The Melaka Monorail operator Menara Taming Sari Sdn. Bhd. had been told to shut down the service on September 30, for a 30 day period after the latest service disruption that forced passengers to disembark from the train using a ladder.
1. Article: Firm denies using taxi coupons to make ‘easy money’ (NST, 10 August 2011) – Mohd Nasir Mohd Rashid, Exec. Chairman of MESRA Indah Jaya Sdn. Bhd. which operates the taxi coupon system in Johor Baru, has denied allegations that it is making an “RM2 profit from the sale of coupons as alleged” but only “taking a 10 per cent commission to cover our maintenance and management costs.”
3. Article: SPAD to boost Raya road safety (The Malay Mail, 10 August 2011) – SPAD’s first time participating in the annual Balik Kampung / Hari Raya safety campaign, from 14 August – 14 September including investigation & checking of public transport vehicles “round-the-clock”. Unfortunately, we also read this article: Article: Meddling riders a problem, drivers say (The Star, 11 August 2011) in which JPJ director-general Solah Mat Hassan appears to blame passengers for asking questions and pressuring drivers into driving faster.
Express bus passengers should ensure a safe journey by not pressuring their drivers unnecessarily, said Road Transport Department (JPJ) director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan.
He said passenger pressure was a big concern for many drivers who felt pressured to drive faster to reach their destination quickly.
“Some always ask ‘what time will we reach?’ Passengers must not give drivers this unnecessary pressure.
TRANSIT: What nonsense! As if passengers asking “are we there yet?” is the only factor behind our unsafe buses?
TRANSIT notes that the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) will be holding a forum on the use of electric bicycles on Malaysian roads to discuss the views from various parties, vehicle safety aspects, law enforcement, green energy, infrastructure and others.
The forum will be on 26 April 2011.
The public is invited to attend the forum, but seats are limited. Please contact Abdul Rahmat at tel: 03-8924 9316 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and confirm your seat.
Date : 26 April 2011
Time : 8.30am-2.00pm
Venue : Pullman Hotel Putrajaya
Chairperson : Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wong Shaw Voon, Director, Vehicle Safety and Biomechanics Research Centre, MIROS.
1. Article: Lucky escape for 40 passengers (The Star) – Forty passengers of an express bus had a close shave after the bus they were in had the front tire burst, skidded, crashed through the road divider and came to a stop in the opposite lane at the 245th kilometre of the North-South Expressway near the Pedas-Linggi toll plaza.
TRANSIT Says: It could have been worse. We have a lot to learn from near-misses! Imagine if the Transnasional was a double-deck instead of a single deck, and if the bus brushed instead of blasted through the metal guardrail median barrier, the Sani Express incident would repeat by itself. Worse, imagine if there are vehicles coming from the opposite site, and the bus happened to trip over the median, then we would have seen another Simpang Ampat tragedy. Why actions on safety measures are only being considered after fatal accidents occurred – and even then, we only hear news on prosecution of drivers, but not on bus reality check and on safe median barriers.
Tengku Hasmadi said there were pre-trip instructions that drivers had to adhere to under the code. “This includes checking the brake lights, headlights, wipers, and air pressure in bus tyres.” (article on Transnasional buses the safest, thanks to SHE)
Transnasional used to pride itself on being the ‘safest’ operator, but this incident should raise the eyebrows of many on the biggest bus consortium’s credibility.
1. Article: Thumbs-up for Sg Buloh hub (Malay Mail) – A government source revealed the location of the north-bound Integrated Transport Terminal (ITT) in Sungai Buloh, linking the proposed express bus terminal not unsimilar to TBS with the proposed Sg Buloh – Kajang MRT line.
We would like to see amendments to encourage electric vehicles on Malaysian roads, physically separated bus lanes and bicycle lanes, permitting longer, articulated buses for bus-rapid transit (BRT) systems, and a few other amendments that would help to improve the efficiency of public transport.
What amendments would you like to see to improve road transport in Malaysia? Please share them with us.
1) Article: Ong: Rail service to remote areas to be upgraded (The Star) – Minister of Transport Ong Tee Keat comments on plans to upgrade rural rail services especially the double tracking & electrification of rail on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
[TRANSIT: It is a logical and sensible idea, especially since the fully accessible Sentul-Batu Caves extension will be opened soon. The DBKL, temple committee and MPs should ensure the accessibility from the train line up to the temple complex and up to the caves themselves.]
7) Article: End of free train rides for students in NY (The Star) – New York columnist Lim Ai Lee comments on the move to charge fares for public school students using public transport in New York after major funding cuts and layoffs.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those who lost their lives or were injured as a result of this senseless tragedy.
Every time this has happened, and every time we respond to tragedies like this we always hope that it will be the last time. Sadly, the tragedies never seem to end.
Careless driving, poorly designed roads and unsafe buses run by profit-making bus operators are causing carnage on our roads. Our government sits by and lets things continue to happen without positive intervention.
We can only hope that the dissolution of the Ministry of Entrepreneur & Cooperatives Development will be a prelude to the dissolution of the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board – the government agency that has brought the “entrepreneurial” spirit into public transport and failed millions of Malaysian road users and public transport users thorough poor management and inaction.