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Meanwhile in Ipoh…After a few missteps on public transport Ipoh Council begins a move forward

TRANSIT took note of this news from Ipoh, where Ipoh City Council is looking to reorganize and improve its focus on public transport services. As is typical we see bluster and calls for enforcement but little about the structural problems within the public transport industry.

Ipoh Council to ensure public service vehicles are better organized (The Star, 22 April 2014)
Ipoh Council to ensure public service vehicles are better organised


THE Ipoh City Council has been given the green light to enforce the Land Public Transport Act 2010 to ensure a properly managed public transport system in the city.

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Prasarana deals with neighbours affected by KL Monorail extension project

TRANSIT took note of the following interesting article, which describes Prasarana refusing to pay compensation to the residents of the Tong Weng Mansion in Brickfields, while agreeing to pay compensation to two other site owners in the area.

The compensation requests are in relation to the KL Monorail expansion project, which will extend the KL Monorail from the Tun Sambanthan station down to MidValley and to Old Klang Road on the other side of the Federal Highway.

Interestingly enough, all three compensation requests are in relation to properties that are illegally occupying government land – a situation that seems to occur more frequently than one might expect.

Prasarana rejects appeal for funds (Star-Metro Central)

Monday February 27, 2012

SYARIKAT Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) has rejected an appeal for compensation from residents of Tong Weng Mansion in Brickfields.

The residents had appealed for compensation after a badminton court was fenced off for a monorail extension project.

The residents also used the badminton court, which was on government land, as an area for activities such as gatherings and funeral services.

Residents’ association chairman G.S. Maniam said Prasarana had only paid compensation to two temples that had also illegally occupied government land.

“We know it is not our land but we would like some compensation as the money could be used to build a wall between the project site and the mansion,’’ said Maniam.

So close: The project site, behind the blue hoarding, is located directly behind the apartment building. Image courtesy of The Star.
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Is the proposed pedestrian tunnel between “KL Sentral” (the MRT station) and KL Sentral (the railway and commercial complex) a danger to the public?

TRANSIT took note of an interesting commentary in The Edge business daily about safety risks associated with the proposed pedestrian tunnel connecting the “KL Sentral” MRT Station at Museum Negara with the KL Sentral complex across Jalan Damansara.

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How do we resolve parking and congestion problems in the city centre? By building better alternatives to driving (Update #1)

The worst cities in the world for parking, according to IBM. Image & data courtesy of IBM.

Our original post:

For 5 years and in fact, many more, the members of TRANSIT have been talking about improving public transportation to bring flexibility to our communities.

We recognize the importance of the car, but unlike others, we recognize that our communities do not have to be totally dependent on the car as our only means of getting around.

That is why we at TRANSIT have continuously called for better, more reliable public transport – buses, trains and LRT – to give the public reliable alternatives.

The problem is that the focus of the government and authorities has been on building more LRT or MRT. Yet they forget that a majority of public transport users get to KL via buses – and the fastest, easiest way to get more people to use public transport is to make buses more reliable, faster, and more efficient.

This would encourage the public to use public transport, rather than attempting to drive into the city – creating unnecessary pressure on our roads, an artificial shortage of parking spaces, and a pointless and wasteful use of precious space in our city centre for the storage of cars.

Parking blues in city centre (NST)
24 February 2012
By Bhavani Krishna Iyer

CONVENIENT and affordable parking is welcome in any city and, in this respect, Kuala Lumpur fails us miserably.

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Brickfields on ‘collision course’ because of the new bus & taxi lane?

On December 3rd, 2001, buses & taxis leaving KL on the southbound route through Brickfields began using the contra-flow bus & taxi lane on Jalan Tun Sambanthan.

The bus & taxi lane was actually supposed to begin operations on 20th August 2011 but the start was delayed because of objections from business owners in the area who complained that not having car-parks in front of their shops would somehow cause them to lose business.

Now that operations along the bus & taxi lane have started, business owners are actively protesting.

In addition, there is a lot of confusion over what is happening in the area. While the NST claimed that things were going smoothly for buses & taxis, The Star reported traffic chaos. There have been a number of collisions between motorists and, even more disturbing, a number of collisions between pedestrians and buses! A RapidKL bus driver has been suspended pending an internal investigation related to one crash – the aftermath of which resulted in a hostile crowd and vandalising of the bus.

A Metrobus leads a RapidKL through the new contra-flow bus & taxi lane in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. The lane allows buses to travel southbound on Jalan Tun Sambanthan. Image courtesy of the NST.

Even worse, it appears that some politicians are getting involved, possibly there to stroke frustrations in order to enjoy a more populist appeal before the upcoming election!

As if the congestion & traffic in Brickfields was not bad enough????

Give new system a chance, public urged (The Star – Metro)
Saturday December 10, 2011

THE residents and traders of Little India in Brickfields should give the newly-introduced bus and taxi lane system a chance before dismissing it as non-workable, said Federal Territory People’s Progressive Party chairman Datuk A. Chandra-kumanan.

“Whatever rules and policies implemented by the government has been carried out in accordance with the wishes of the people and for it to work you need to give it time,’’ he said.

Chandrakumanan, who made a working visit to Brickfields on Tuesday, said he decided to see for himself what was happening after receiving complaints from the public.

Showing the way: A DBKL enforcement officer guiding traffic in Brickfields. Photo by RICKY LAI for The Star.
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Has KL reached ‘peak car’ yet? Will we be ready when it happens?

The term “Peak oil” refers to the impact of three very significant economic laws, namely:

  • The Law of Increasing Returns to Scale tells us that a company or organization that increases the scale of its operations & activities will reduce average costs and increase revenues and profits;
  • The Law of Increasing Relative Costs tells us that as production increases, costs will increase at a faster and faster rate until costs overwhelm returns;
  • The Law of Diminishing Returns tells us that the availability of a product will decrease and its cost will increase over time as the supply decreases and production costs increase;

Once the ‘economic peak’ is reached the average cost of producing  oil will continue to increase as the availability of oil will continue to decrease and the cost of production of oil will continue to increase.

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Penang Hill Railway Update: new proposals for PHR stations draw ire of bloggers

TRANSIT took note of the recent announcement of plans for Penang Hill by PDC, the Penang Hill Development Corporation.

The PDC has been in the news recently because of problems with the recently reopened Penang Hill Railway, as well as complaints about parking access and the size of the newly (slowly?) constructed car park which is being described as a “kancil car park” (as in, only suitable for small cars like the Perodua Kancil).

This post by Anil Netto, Welcome to Penang Hill Airport Terminal … oops, Railway Station, encapsulates some of the issues that are being held regarding development on Penang Hill.

TRANSIT will update this post with our own comments in a short while.

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Touch ‘n’ Go card facilities go dormant if not used for 1 year – at toll plazas

TRANSIT took note of a very interesting complaint about Touch ‘N’ Go – which has revealed an interesting bit of information about how the Touch ‘N’ Go card works.

As you know, the Touch ‘N’ Go card is “Malaysia’s one-stop card” which can be used for toll-payment at toll-kiosks, payment of public transport at fare gates, payment of parking at certain parking facilities, and payment of admission at certain amusement parks.

You can also use your Touch ‘N’ Go card to make purchases at certain restaurants.

But apparently, if you do not use your Touch ‘N’ Go card at a toll booth for more than a year, that facility will be deactivated – leaving you with a RM5 administrative charge (for each year, then later for each 6-month period).

Card dormant if unused for one year (The Malay Mail)
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

GAN JIN LEE, of Petaling Jaya, has a problem with his Touch ‘n Go card — he is able to use it for public transport but not for paying toll.

Admitting that he has not used the card to pay tolls for about three years, he says it was rejected when he passed through the ELITE highway toll plaza near USJ, Subang on Aug 4.

Upon getting his card checked at the Touch ‘n Go Sdn Bhd branch in Subang Jaya, he was shocked to learn the card has become inactive.

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People stay away from pedestrian bridge due to safety concern. TRANSIT: Surprise, surprise.

TRANSIT took note of this article detailing concerns about a pedestrian flyover near the Hang Tuah LRT & Monorail interchange.

Apparently the flyover has been occupied by vagrants and is unlit at night – discouraging people from using the flyover and instead, risking their safety crossing the street below.

TRANSIT is saddened and disappointed but we can say that we are not shocked at all that this is happening.

People stay away from pedestrian bridge due to safety concern

THE pedestrian walkway and bridge at Jalan Dewan Bahasa and Jalan Hang Tuah which was built to allow pedestrians to cross Jalan Hang Tuah to get to the monorail station and the Hang Tuah LRT station has now become a den for drug addicts and vagrants.

Due to safety concerns, the public has stopped using the bridge due to the presence of these seedy characters who seem to have made the bridge their “home”.

“The people are afraid of using the bridge especially at night. It has now become a sleeping place for vagrants and I have seen drug addicts loitering on the bridge,’’ said Chen Kee Tuck, a resident of Hang Tuah flats.

There have been many cases of snatch thefts on the bridge. The people are afraid of using it,’’ said the 71-year-old.

Danger nearby: Many pedestrians avoid using the bridge as there has been cases of snatch thefts and robberies. Photo by NORAFIFI EHSAN (The Star)
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Updates #99

Updates #99

1. Article: Causeway Link to use Second Link beginning today (NST, 16 August 2011) – Ten additional Causeway Link buses will begin the rounds from Gelang Patah and Bukti Indah to Boon Lay MRT Station in Singapore, Mondays to Fridays, from 5am to 9am and 4pm to 10pm. For more information visit the CausewayLink website. You can also read this article Cross border bus services for shoppers (The Star, 19 August 2011) about new cross-border “shopping bus” services between Singapore and the Johor Premium Outlets.

Lim Han Weng showing the buses’ schedule on the bunting. — Picture by Zain Ahmed NST

2. Article: Strike threat by school bus operators over new policy (The Star, 14 August 2011) – School bus operators in Penang are reported to be planning a strike after Hari Raya to protest a decision to bar buses aged more than 30 years.

3. Article: Commission warns school bus operators against boycott (The Star, 17 August 2011) – The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will take stern action against school bus operators who are rumoured to be planning for a boycott.

4. Letter: Taxis: Check on errant radio cab companies (NST, 15 August 2011) – Azmi Atan of Petaling Jaya comments on taxi-related issues.

5. Articles:

6. Article: More progress on track as rail ridership increases (The Star, 15 August 2011)

7. Artikel: Parking di stesen KTMB Bangi di naik taraf (Utusan Malaysia, 15 Ogos 2011) – parking at KTM Station Bangi will be upgraded.

8. Hotline: Rail problems being looked into, says KTMB (The Malay Mail, 15 August 2011)

9. Article: KTM offers 4,404 additional tickets to East Coast (NST, 16 August 2011)

10. Letter: Stage bus saga (The Malay Mail, 16 August 2011) – YS Chan of KL argues for improvements to stage bus services.

11. Letter: ERL: Travel card not a stored value ticket (NST, 17 August 2011)

12. Artikel: Rayu pondok tunggu bas (Utusan Malaysia, 18 Ogos 2011)

13. Hotline: Duo’s bus woes (The Malay Mail, 19 August 2011) – two more complaints about bus services and an interesting revelation about Metrobus.