TRANSIT notes this interesting article on 11 April:
Japan donates coaches (The Star) or Japan offers 15 used coaches to KTMB for free (feed from Bernama, NST)
KUALA LUMPUR: Fifteen train coaches offered free by the Japanese government will be used on the KTM inter-city route by September. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said the used coaches would arrive before June and put into use within three months.
“The coaches are still in good condition, they have been certified by Japanese and local experts,” he told reporters at a press conference after a meet-the-people programme in Pandan Perdana yesterday morning.
He added that the dimensions of the coaches, which have a lifespan of 15 years, would need to be slightly modified for local use.
Ong also said that the ministry might consider extending the operation time of the Rapid Bus Expressway Transit (RapidBET) system.
Under the system, buses utilise less congested highways to link heavily populated areas and the city centre during peak hours.
“We know it is gaining momentum.
“In the next month or so, we are looking into the possibility of extending it further,” he said, adding that the ministry might even consider running it all day in certain areas.
The ministry, said Ong, would be focusing on “park and ride” facilities and multi-modal terminals – which connect multiple public transport services from April onwards.
The announcement of the 15 free coaches (JR Blue Train model, picture coming soon) was a complete surprise for us.
Now, we do not wish to look a ‘gift train’ in the mouth, but remember that very famous saying: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch!”
As for the article about the expansion of RapidBET (which, curiously, only appeared in the Star) we would be happy to see an expansion of the BET service into something that meets the needs of many, many more passengers instead of the few hundred that benefit today.