Tag Archives: service

Haphazard halts are a sign of haphazard planning and policy and organization and management….and especially leadership.

TRANSIT took note of this article in the Star Metro which reminded us how much more needs to be done to improve public transport organization and management in the Klang Valley.

Haphazard halts (The Star Metro,  29 April 2014)

MORE often than not, public buses in the Klang Valley can be seen stopping to pick up passengers willy-nilly, be it by the roadside, along a flyover or even at the junction of a busy main road.

The lack of a proper bus stop or lay-by, does not seem to faze the drivers and the practise has been going on for years.

However, their actions not only contribute to traffic congestion but also pose a threat to life and limb as passengers scramble to board the bus on a busy road.

Continue reading Haphazard halts are a sign of haphazard planning and policy and organization and management….and especially leadership.


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.


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.


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.

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



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

Move forwards, not backwards to solve our public transport crisis (Update #1)

Update: Azmi Sharom wants you to buzz your rep on the bus issue!

TRANSIT has taken note of the following letters in the newspapers regarding the public transport crisis – suggesting that the crisis could be resolved with the introduction of van services and owner-operated minibuses.

While TRANSIT appreciates the suggestions, and appreciate that vans and minibuses still have a role in our public transport mix, we do not believe that vans and minibuses by themselves are an effective solution for our public transport problems. Unregulated vans & minibuses cannot replace stage buses, have created problems in the past (and will likely create more problems in the future), and do not resolve the fundamental problems in the industry – a lack of organization & leadership.

The articles (in full) and comments from TRANSIT can be found after the jump…

Continue reading Move forwards, not backwards to solve our public transport crisis (Update #1)

Prasarana proposes cooperation and “code share” system for Klang Valley bus operators (Update #1)

Update: The response from bus operators & government is mixed!

Yesterday TRANSIT learned of a proposal from Prasarana, the government-owned “National Infrastructure Company” to introduce a cooperative system between bus operators, where bus operators would share information, operate routes together under “code sharing” agreements, and implement “blue ocean strategy” to rationalize their operations.

We were immediately surprised and intrigued by the possibilities … and wary of the risks.

The public transport industry in Malaysia is in crisis. Part of the reason for this is because there is no holistic understanding within the government and among the public of what public transport is (a public utility), what it does (stimulates and ensures productivity and economic growth), and what it provides (mobility and access).

Malaysia has no National Public Transport Strategy or any form of cohesive public transport strategy except for “build infrastructure” and “subsidize or buy out when necessary.” And we should mention that to many Malaysians both of those “strategies” have the unfortunate subtext of “enrich cronies.”

What makes things worse is that there is no clear interest in improving public transport services or approaching (and appreciating) public transport as a public utility with economic & social benefits. The public does not seem to be aware and the state & local governments did not seem to care.

Until the crisis started, that is.

Now state governments are being forced to take notice and ensure that there are solutions to the problems in the industry. Unfortunately, they do not have the knowledge, experience or the tools to ensure these solutions will work.

SPAD has asked state governments to do whatever they can to resolve the problems in the short term. The Governments of Penang and Negri Sembilan have stepped in with subsidies. Prasarana’s proposal for cooperation might represent an alternative way of doing things – but the big question is, Will private operators want to work with a government-owned asset-owner-cum-operator that receives capital & operational subsidy from the federal government and appears to be actively competing with private operators on any number of routes?

And more importantly, will corporate collaboration work effectively and meet the needs of the public transport users?

More information, articles & comments after the jump!
Continue reading Prasarana proposes cooperation and “code share” system for Klang Valley bus operators (Update #1)

No bus for you, Sebarang Prai (as of 21 November). Watch out, Kedah & Perak. You might be next! (Update #2)

  • Update: TRANSIT has learned that the Penang Government will provide subsidy to CityLiner!
  • Update: TRANSIT has learned that CityLiner bus services will operate until the end of November, and that CityLiner is in talks with the Penang Government to resolve the issues facing their operations in the state!

TRANSIT has learned that Konsortium Transnasional Berhad will stop CityLiner stage bus services in Sebarang Prai on 21 November 2011 – this coming Monday.

We urge public transport users in Sebarang Prai who rely on CityLiner bus routes to make alternative transport plans immediately – so that they are prepared if and when the shut down takes place.

And since SPAD has already been caught flat-footed by the shutdown of CityLiner bus services in Negri Sembilan, as well as the threatened shutdowns in Kedah, problems in Perak, Melaka and Kelantan, and other issues … well, we do not see any solutions coming anytime soon.

The public transport industry has been in pain for  a long time. Sadly, while the government has changed from two ineffective “doctors” (CVLB & Department of Railways) to one unproven “doctor” (SPAD), they have done very little to alleviate the pain.

Sure, this new “doctor” has lots of wonderful plans for the public transport industry, but like many of the young among us, this “doctor” is more interested in the urban lifestyle (KL & the Klang Valley), and in the flashy & fancy solutions (LRT, MRT) rather than the reliable and effective medicine (realistic solutions).

To borrow another analogy, SPAD is pumping the public transport industry full of steroids to make it look big & strong, instead of cutting the fat & improving fitness, to make the industry lean, mean, and healthy.

Ok, enough with the analogies. The article is after the jump:
Continue reading No bus for you, Sebarang Prai (as of 21 November). Watch out, Kedah & Perak. You might be next! (Update #2)

We can’t make this stuff up: Melaka Monorail traps passengers (Update #2)

  • Update: We are certainly confused about the different information from the NST and The Star!
  • Update: SPAD has investigated the service disruption and ordered a 48-hour closure of the Melaka Monorail!

TRANSIT took note of this article in The Star which displays an amazing coincidence combined with a not quite unexpected event.

The Melaka Monorail stopped for approximately 20 minutes yesterday, trapping the (British tourist) couple aboard – possibly with 18 other passengers (according to the NST report below):

But according to the original newspaper article about the incident, the incident occurred at exactly 1:11pm. As you know, yesterday was 1 November 2011 – or 1-11-11 – meaning that the fault occurred at 1:11 1-11-11.

Not to mention that the above articles state different information about the incident. The NST says there were 20 passengers aboard and they were removed with a skylift. The Star says there were two passengers aboard (the British couple) and they exited the monorail using a steel ladder (this borne out by the photo).

Monorail traps British duo (The Star)
Wednesday November 2, 2011

Off-track: Anne descending from the monorail using a ladder after the service came to a halt Tuesday. Image courtesy of The Star.

MALACCA: The city’s monorail service came to an abrupt halt at 1.11pm on 1.11.11, trapping two British tourists for about 20 minutes. Continue reading We can’t make this stuff up: Melaka Monorail traps passengers (Update #2)

KTM Update: Another restructuring for KTMB promises to accomplish what earlier restructuring(s) did not

TRANSIT took note of this article which describes plans for another corporate restructuring at KTMB.

It is sad that the Malayan Railway has still not managed to figure out whether it is supposed to be a government agency, corporate entity, or something in between.

TRANSIT remembers earlier corporate restructurings that have happened for KTMB. Well, at least they were started but then they got stalled either because of a lack of government support, an unclear vision, or resistance from workers (among other reasons).

The corporatization of KTM began nearly 2 decades ago but it was never finished. A lack of government funding and deferred maintenance since the corporatization has helped bring KTMB to its knees.

Recently one President of KTMB started an RM1 campaign, promising to take KTMB back to profitability. That campaign died aborning, when the president was quickly replaced (it might have had something to do with his “hybrid” trains).

The most recent KTMB President has talked about restructuring KTMB into a holding company, with various railway service subsidiaries (freight, Komuter, ETS, power systems, maintenance, terminal management, etc). and selling track warrants to other companies interested in providing railway services. He believes that this model will be successful because it has worked in Europe – despite the fact that it has not worked in many European countries and that Malaysia lacks the density that makes railway travel profitable.

We wonder what this latest restructuring will bring for KTMB but we wish to share one important point – KTMB needs to have a clear vision of the kind of transport service provider that it needs to be over the next 10-20 years.

Without that clear vision, this latest restructuring will be as effective as the last ones.

Railway revamp (Star Biz)

Thursday October 27, 2011

PETALING JAYA: KTM Bhd (KTMB) will undergo a two-year corporate restructuring programme to turn around the ailing national rail operator and a consultant will be hired to manage this, according to the Treasury, in its reply to the Auditor-General’s (A-G) report.

The A-G’s report had stated that KTMB posted a loss of RM92.6mil in 2009 compared with RM84.6mil loss in the previous year. Continue reading KTM Update: Another restructuring for KTMB promises to accomplish what earlier restructuring(s) did not

When will we see public transport as a public utility?

We at TRANSIT spent the weekend thinking about public transport and the public perception of public transport. We wondered why Malaysians are still stuck in the mindset that public transport is a service for the poor, which, ironically, must be provided by private companies (which does not really work), with competition to keep prices low (which does not really work) and low government interference & regulation (which does not really work).

On top of that, we would probably not be wrong in assuming that the average Malaysian supports improvements to public transport so that other people can use it … thus freeing the roads for their cars. Unfortunately, that attitude also does not really work.

(Do you sense a theme here???)

You might ask why TRANSIT has become so thoughtful this weekend. You might also ask why we haven’t made posts in such a long time but we will leave that for another post.

What inspired us was this letter by Y.S. Chan of KL which basically complains about the shift of RapidKL’s Cheras-bound bus services from the Klang Bus Stand/Jalan Sultan Mohammed bus terminal (at Pasar Seni LRT station) to the Sinar Kota bus stand.

Y.S.Chan opines that this shift is the result of “arbitary decisions” made by GLCs which are possible thanks to a lack of guidelines. Y.S. Chan also laments that direct competition from RapidKL might be the first step to putting SJ Bus out of business.

And we thought the move was just because the Klang Bus Stand was going to close as of 1 November 2011. Perhaps there is something deeper?

Bus guidelines needed (The Star)
Sunday October 23, 2011

SINCE last Saturday, something new and bizarre is taking place in the streets of Kuala Lumpur – at Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin to be exact.
Continue reading When will we see public transport as a public utility?

New KTM Komuter trains arrive in Port Klang (Update #2)

  • photos of the 6 Car Set trains on KTMB’s Facebook here http://on.fb.me/nZj99G !
  • Updated with an article from Railway Gazette!

TRANSIT took note of this article, announcing that the first of the new 6-carriage Komuter trains has arrived in Malaysia.

One of the cab-cars of the new KTM Komuter 6-carriage set (SCS). Image courtesy of @VehicleExaminer and posted to ktmrailwayfan.com

Click here for a larger view of the image above.

This train is the first of 6 trains which will arrive over the remainder of this year, and will likely be put into service in late December 2011 or early 2012.

TRANSIT was invited to the arrival ceremony but were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts. However, we thank KTMB for the invitation.

KTM gets first batch of electric train coaches from China (The Star)
23 September 2011

PORT KLANG: Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTM) has received the first batch of six electric train coaches from the Transport Ministry.

First batch: Kong (in tie) inspecting one of the electric train coaches in Port Klang Thursday. Image courtesy of The Star.

Its minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the Six-Car-Set (SCS) manufactured by China’s Zhu Zhou Electric Locomotives Co Ltd were shipped from Shanghai Port on Sept 13 and reached Westport at 2am yesterday. Continue reading New KTM Komuter trains arrive in Port Klang (Update #2)