With the presence of H1N1 and renewed efforts by the Ministry of Health to remind people to keep themselves clean and prevent disease, TRANSIT took a survey of the RapidKL LRT system.
We really have to ask, what is that black stuff stuck in the grooves of the hand straps of the Kelana Jaya line trains?
And now for something completely disgusting ….
TRANSIT also takes note of 3 letters sent by patrons of RapidKL who suffered skin infection or allergy after sitting on seats in RapidKL’s Kelana Jaya line trains – the same source of those wonderfully cruddy porous rubber straps shown above.
- 26 August 2009 – Scarred by train seat infection (The Sun)
- 27 August 2009 – Disinfect train seats (The Sun)
- 27 August 2009 – The bugs got me too (The Sun)
It may just be that the cause of the reported infections was a single passenger who was careless about their own personal hygiene. It could be an allergic reaction to a person’s sweat or insects/mites residing in the crevices of the train seats.
However, the onus is on RapidKL to maintain cleanliness and for this reason, TRANSIT calls upon RapidKL to do the following:
- Initiate a proper audit of cleanliness on RapidKL trains;
- Replace all porous rubber hand straps with plastic straps;
- Introduce antibacterial paint/surface coatings on grab bars;
- Introduce an independent inspection program that checks bacteria levels on seats, handstraps, ticket vending machines and other surfaces on a regular basis;
- Make the results of those inspections public;
TRANSIT also reminds patrons to:
- Maintain hygienic practices by avoiding contact with surfaces-use handkerchiefs or tissues if you must touch grab bars/straps, etc.;
- Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer gel, especially after touching surfaces;
- Wear appropriate clothing or use a handkerchief to cover seats – avoid skin to seat contact if possible;
- Take adequate precautions such as wearing a mask if you are displaying symptoms of allergies, infections or influenza-like illness.