It has come again – the call from Perbadanan Putrajaya to revive to Putrajaya Monorail has become an annual event for those who follow public transport in Malaysia.
And, like every year the call is the same – without the monorail Putrajaya will have traffic gridlock. Without the monorail the roads & highways leading to Putrajaya will be congested. Etc. So rather than writing a new response, I thought I would just look back through letters that I have written in the past about the Putrajaya Monorail and simply recycle the reasons.
Here goes: There is no demand for the Putrajaya monorail that buses cannot handle. Repeat: there is no demand for the Putrajaya monorail that buses cannot handle. Repeat: there is no demand for the Putrajaya monorail that buses cannot handle.
PPj says monorail project needs to be revived soon (The Star)
Thursday April 7, 2011
By CHARLES FERNANDEZ
WITHOUT the monorail in place, the road network system in Putrajaya is perpetually congested as evident during the morning and evening peak hours.
Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj) president Tan Sri Samsuddin Osman said the federal administrative capital was planned to rely on public transport as the main means of transportation, of which, the rail-based transport was the backbone.
[TRANSIT: This is another opportunity to use the backbone analogy but once again, Putrajaya does not have a reliable public transport ‘nervous system’ therefore it does not need a ‘backbone’ to ‘protect’ and ‘give structure’ to it.
“PPj aims to revive the monorail project and is pursuing the matter with the Federal Government,” he said, adding that Putrajaya needed the monorail for a number of reasons.
“We have a population of almost 70,000 and more than 40,000 civil servants enter the city to work every day,’’ said Samsuddin.
[TRANSIT: Once again the majority of those people can be accommodated on buses – if the Putrajaya corporation would get its act together.]
Since the project was abandoned, many questioned the existence of a ninth bridge in Precinct 4 although Putrajaya has only eight.
[TRANSIT: How can they question the existence of a 9th Bridge if only 8 exist? Does the 9th bridge appear & disappear?]
Apparently the structure was intended for the monorail project. [TRANSIT: Apparently. The reporter is not sure and has not checked his sources. Again.]
Samsuddin added the provision of the monorail service was very much in line with the Government’s aspiration for Putrajaya to become a pioneer green city in Malaysia.
“The lesser the use of private vehicle, the lesser the carbon emission. With the monorail service, there will be a better control on private vehicles,’’ added Samsuddin.
Described as the missing link in the developing public transport network in Putrajaya, the project has been hanging in the balance since 2004 when it hit a snag due to federal budget constraints.
However, the recent controversy on the Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) system and the extension of the Light Rail Transport (LRT) system, brought to light the importance of a monorail system.
[TRANSIT: Only in Samsuddin’s mind, it seems. Samsuddin, Kuching cannot even get their necessary Bus Rapid Transit system (RM200 million to start) funded by the Federal Government.]
Samsuddin said this would contribute towards attracting visitors, tourists and more importantly, commercial and private investments to make Putrajaya a more vibrant place.
[TRANSIT: Not likely. What will make Putrajaya more vibrant is commercial activity on the streets and a reliable bus system that gets people into the central island without having to drive.]
The network blueprint comprised two monorail lines, 13.2km for Line 1 and 6.8km for Line 2 but only Phase 1 is ready with a 9km track and a 4km underground tunnel with seven stops is.
[TRANSIT: No, nothing is ready actually. The only thing ‘ready’ is the bridge and the tunnel box. There is no concrete rail, no station infrastructure, etc.]
Line 1 was supposed to serve Precinct 9 and 7 crossing the lake to the Core Island (Precincts 4,3,2 and 1) and to the West until Precincts 15 and 14.
Samsuddin added that if the project was in place, Line 1 and Line 2 would be served by 18 and seven stations respectively, with Station Seven in Precinct 4 as an interchange station for the two lines.
“Stations would be strategically located to serve residential areas, Governemnt as well as private offices with intervals of not more than 500 meters,’’ said Samsuddin.
The monorail was also meant to integrate with the Express Rail Link (ERL) service running from KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur to the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang.
Samsuddin said since the population was increasing, the monorail was pertinent in overcoming the traffic congestion during peak hours.
Samsuddin said PPj was optimistic that the project would revived by the Government soon.
[TRANSIT: Don’t bet on it, Samsuddin.]
The issue is Putrajaya is not traffic congestion inside the city. The issue is the number of people who continue to drive to Putrajaya because:
- Malaysians are used to driving and therefore think it is easier to drive and double park.
- The main ways to get to Putrajaya using public transport (like the KLIA Transit or RapidKL E1) are based in KL – but not everyone is located in KL.
- Taxi services in from Putrajaya Sentral are costly (RM9 coupon fare to the Treasury Building) – and then you have to get a taxi back – but there are no taxis cruising the streets.
- Bus services in Putrajaya are considered ‘unavailable’ because the information (routes, schedules) is not communicated to people before they get into their cars and start driving into Putrajaya.
Any attempt at getting people to use the park & ride or use the buses from Putrajaya Sentral will continue to fail as long as people feel that they ‘have to’ drive to Putrajaya because they are not confident in the buses – and just building the monorail will not change this in any way.
Last year TRANSIT stated that the operator of NadiPutra needed to operate buses linking various towns (Sepang, Cyberjaya, Seremban, Kajang, KL, Dengkil) so that people would not need to drive to Putrajaya. This proposal was rejected by the operator, saying that their mandate was Putrajaya and Putrajaya alone.
Last year TRANSIT stated that the operator of NadiPutra needed to get information online and use social networking – that was promised but never delivered.
And as expected, the call to revive the Putrajaya monorail comes once again.
Perhaps new SPAD COO Azhar Ahmad, fresh from his innovative 4-year tenure at RapidPenang, can make a difference here. He could convince NadiPutra to expand their operations to service the entire Langat Valley (rather than just Putrajaya) – allowing them to reach more customers. And most importantly, he could find ways to get customers to use NadiPutra – not by calling for a monorail or LRT, but just making the bus service more reliable & ensuring that existing and potential bus users get the information that they need.