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Will KTM Komuter get worse before it gets better? (Update #1)

Update #1: The switch to 15 minute peak hour and 30-minute off-peak frequencies has been delayed.

Our last posting on KTM discussed the announcement of the plan by KTMB to purchase 4 used Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains for the KTM Komuter service.

You may also note the plan to purchase 8 new EMU trainsets for the KTM Komuter service, as well as the overhaul of 9 more existing trainsets, announced in the 2010 Budget.

But TRANSIT also notes some bad news. KTM Komuter service is going to get worse before it gets better.

TRANSIT has learned that KTMB is planning to change their KTM Komuter service from an all day, low frequency service to a peak/off peak model.

Instead of waiting 20-40 minutes all day for trains, service frequencies will now be targetted at 15 minutes during peak hours and 30 minutes during off-peak hours.

New KTM Komuter Service Schedule
New KTM Komuter Service (beginning in November) Schedule for peak hours and off-peak hours. Image courtesy of G

This is a sad announcement for KTM Komuter to make, but given the ‘Komuter Krisis’ this was to be expected.

The irony is that back in 2006, KTM Komuter frequencies were actually improving, from the 15 minutes offered in 2005, to 10-12 minute frequencies during daytime hours.

Those days are long-gone. Thanks to a misguided privatization exercise, lack of timely investment from the government, and poor overall management of public transport, the KTM Komuter service is a shadow of its former self.

By the way, there is also a disruption of evening service between Putra and Sentul stations on the Sentul-Pelabuhan Klang line as KTMB finishes the construction of the overhead wiring for the extension to Batu Caves. These disruptions should be over by 31 October.

Service disruptions on the Sentul-Pelabuhan Klang line from October 13-31
Service disruptions on the Sentul-Pelabuhan Klang line from October 13-31. Image courtesy of G

You should also take notice of the following:

  • Notice of the closure of Platform 2 & 3 at Kuala Lumpur station for “upgrading” works.
  • KTM Komuter Fans Facebook page
  • The extension to Batu Caves is almost complete and could start running in 2-3 months – maybe in time for Thaipusam 2010 if KTMB and the contractors work hard at it. A photo of Batu Caves station is below.
Construction of Batu Caves station. Note the 3 tracks and 3 platforms

One reply on “Will KTM Komuter get worse before it gets better? (Update #1)”

I wrote an email to KTMB 2 days ago, seeking clarification on the followings:
1) How do they define peak and off-hours?
2) What does it mean to have 15 min and 30 min frequencies during peak hours?

They came back saying that the plan has been postponed. That is the quality of work done by KTMB.

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