The Express Rail Link from KL Sentral to KLIA2 will commence operations when the airport terminal opens to the public on May 2. There is more good news in store.
The airport’s rail company Express Rail Link (ERL) is allowing 1,000 people to have free trial rides to KLIA2 on Malaysian Airports Holdings Berhad’s KLIA2 Open Day on Sunday. Those interested can register on a first-come first-served basis from tomorrow at http://www.kliaekspres.com.
TRANSIT took note of the following interesting news – the Malacca state government is stepping forward with plans to compensate 10 existing public transport operators in the state with RM7.7 million, with a plan to for state-owned operator Panorama to take over the operations from the private operators on February 1st of this year.
The takeover proposal appears to forestall the warnings from the Malacca Omnibus Operators Association that they would be forced to stop services on February 1st.
MALACCA: Malacca’s ailing omnibus operators will get RM7.7mil in compensation from the state.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam also announced Thursday that the state-owned agency, PMTC, would fully take over the stage bus operations from Feb 1 while the current dilapidated buses used by ten operators would be replaced in stages.
The memorandum of understanding between the state government and Malacca Omnibus operators was signed at Dewan Seri Negeri.
So, the state government is paying RM7.7 million to buy old buses from these bus operators, which they will then turn around and use on the existing public transport routes while the buses are replaced over time.
That basically sounds to us like the process by which Intrakota and later RapidKL were created – pay good public money to buy up near worthless private assets, buy new bus chassis at an inflated cost with a ‘too-short’ timeline, leading to:
contracts for Malaysian bus assemblers;
a need to purchase new buses in a few years;
public complaints about the loss of competition.
Hopefully, the Malacca government and SPAD will have learned from the mistakes made by RapidKL & Prasarana in the past. One wise step to take would be to take the purchase of new buses out of the hands of Panorama Melaka Cultural & Tourism (and the state government) and put the purchase in the hands of national infrastructure company, Prasarana.
Why? Because first of all, Prasarana knows what buses to buy, thanks to their 5 extra years experience in purchasing buses. Second, Prasarana is the national infrastructure company, with the right financial backing to get the buses at a great price. Third, it is best to keep the purchase of buses neutral and focused on the improvements, not potential opportunities.
TRANSIT also believes that the Malacca Government needs to develop a concise and effective public transport plan that builds on the major corridors that need to be served – namely the existing Malacca town buses, Malacca – Ayer Keroh route (including the proposed Malacca Tram), and the intercity services connecting Malacca town to Alor Gajah and Tampin (where it can link to KTM train services including possible future ETS.
From the article, there is more info to come. In the meantime, take a look at the articles after the jump, which detail the situation in Malacca and the way that the plan came together.
Update: This article from the NST describes a smooth transition to the new integrated ticketing system!
TRANSIT took note of the news that LRT – LRT ticketing integration will begin on 28 November 2011.
Of course, the LRT-LRT ticketing integration is not really that big a deal. And unfortunately, customers will not benefit from a reduction in the fares, which still reflect the old system where the STAR & PUTRA line were operated by separate companies and transferring from one LRT to the other required the passenger to pay a new “starting fare” because they were making a “new” trip.
In case you are wondering, the starting fares are:
A person transferring between the Ampang Line and Kelana Jaya line making only a 2-station journey (say, from Psara Seni to Bandaraya via Masjid Jamek) would pay RM2.20 for their fare. RM2.10 would take you from Kelana Jaya to KL Sentral & Pasar Seni, and RM2.30 from Kelana Jaya to Masjid Jamek!
Is that a fair fare?
What fare integration does involve is the construction of a newly designed station arcade at Masjid Jamek as well as the launch of new Ticket Vending Machines that will allow the integration of LRT-LRT fares.
Now, let us have a “TRANSIT moment”, where we look at a significant improvement to public transport and still find a way to complain.
Oh, wait, we already did complain about starting fares above. So let’s “complain” again, by pointing out the fact that the integration of LRT fares has taken more than 7 years to complete. In contrast, when the government of Hong Kong forced the merger of the MTR & KCR railway systems, under the MTR Banner, fare integration was complete in 7 months!
We know public transport is moving forward – we just want to move forward faster, and further and further away from the “bad old days” of the past (like, 2004-2010)
SYARIKAT Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana), the operator of Klang Valley’s two LRT lines, is implementing a full ticketing integration of the RapidKL Kelana Jaya Line and Ampang Line today — two days earlier than its actual schedule.
Update: It is interesting to note that this post is TRANSIT’s 888th published post!
TRANSIT notes that the final draft of the Greater Kuala Lumpur / Klang Valley masterplan has now been posted to the SPAD website under the section about the National Public Transport Masterplan (which, incidentally, should be posted to the SPAD website in December 2011).
TRANSIT took note of this article which announces that the Development of Sg. Besi airbase is moving forward with an invitation for proposals for the Malaysia City development.
Most of the project will be used for a mix of commercial and lifestyle amenities. Planners have been invited to participate in a pre-qualification & competition with information at http://www.bandarmalaysiacompetition.com/
TRANSIT took note of this article which describes plans for another corporate restructuring at KTMB.
It is sad that the Malayan Railway has still not managed to figure out whether it is supposed to be a government agency, corporate entity, or something in between.
TRANSIT remembers earlier corporate restructurings that have happened for KTMB. Well, at least they were started but then they got stalled either because of a lack of government support, an unclear vision, or resistance from workers (among other reasons).
The corporatization of KTM began nearly 2 decades ago but it was never finished. A lack of government funding and deferred maintenance since the corporatization has helped bring KTMB to its knees.
Recently one President of KTMB started an RM1 campaign, promising to take KTMB back to profitability. That campaign died aborning, when the president was quickly replaced (it might have had something to do with his “hybrid” trains).
The most recent KTMB President has talked about restructuring KTMB into a holding company, with various railway service subsidiaries (freight, Komuter, ETS, power systems, maintenance, terminal management, etc). and selling track warrants to other companies interested in providing railway services. He believes that this model will be successful because it has worked in Europe – despite the fact that it has not worked in many European countries and that Malaysia lacks the density that makes railway travel profitable.
We wonder what this latest restructuring will bring for KTMB but we wish to share one important point – KTMB needs to have a clear vision of the kind of transport service provider that it needs to be over the next 10-20 years.
Without that clear vision, this latest restructuring will be as effective as the last ones.
Thursday October 27, 2011
By SHARIDAN M. ALI
PETALING JAYA: KTM Bhd (KTMB) will undergo a two-year corporate restructuring programme to turn around the ailing national rail operator and a consultant will be hired to manage this, according to the Treasury, in its reply to the Auditor-General’s (A-G) report.
The A-G’s report had stated that KTMB posted a loss of RM92.6mil in 2009 compared with RM84.6mil loss in the previous year.
TRANSIT took note of this very interesting piece of news – that the Klang Bus Stand (Pasaramakota) will be closed as of 1 November 2011. Most of the intra-city bus services from Klang Bus Stand will be moved to Pudu Sentral (formerly Puduraya), while the RapidKL bus services will move to the “Jalan Sultan Mohammed bus stand” just north of Klang Bus Stand.
The closure of the terminal is to facilitate works for the proposed Pasar Seni MRT station which would be located partly under the site of the Klang bus stand. Of course, TRANSIT has to wonder … with many people still talking about relocating the line from under Jalan Sultan, not to mention that we have not heard of any development order for the MRT, is this closure of Klang Bus Stand just jumping the gun?
And most importantly, how will it affect commuters who are already facing significant problems with traffic congestion & inconvenient bus service?
BEGINNING its operation in the 70s to serve the transportation needs of Klang Valley travellers, the Pasarama Kota or better known as the Klang Bus Stand in Kuala Lumpur will be closed from Nov 1 to make way for the construction of the MY Rapid Transit (MRT) project.
All bus services operating from inside the bus terminal will cease operations after the departure for their last trip on Oct 31 and begin operating from new designated locations the following day.
One bus company [TRANSIT: RapidKL, presumably?] operating from Jalan Sultan outside Pasarama Kota will also relocate its operations.
All passengers heading to Klang, Port Klang and Banting will have to board their buses at Pudu Sentral (formerly known as Puduraya) beginning Nov 1, after the relocation.
PORT KLANG: Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTM) has received the first batch of six electric train coaches from the Transport Ministry.
Its minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the Six-Car-Set (SCS) manufactured by China’s Zhu Zhou Electric Locomotives Co Ltd were shipped from Shanghai Port on Sept 13 and reached Westport at 2am yesterday.
TRANSIT took note that KTMB has set up a display at KL Sentral station showcasing the design of the new KTM Komuter train sets, the first of which will arrive on September 25 of this year. The new trains will be branded as “MyKomuter” which is … ok, we won’t comment. Let’s just say that the name is not a surprise (and neither are the 1Malaysia logos on the train).
For some time, TRANSIT has been following proposals for a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Kuching.
The early proposal for a BRT system was called the Kuching City Area Transit (CAT, of course) and would have had a number of lines running through the Kuching town area as well as to the north side of the river. The proposals for Kuching CAT seemed to emphasize loops around different parts of Kuching City.
Click here for a larger version of the image above.
The most recent proposal is to have a Kuching BRT system that focuses on service on major road corridors. Rather than loops, this proposal focuses on building up demand in certain corridors.
Both proposals have been given strong support by Sarawak Urban Development Minister Abang Johari Openg, who has been wondering why it is taking so long to get approval from the federal government for a project that only costs RM200 million.
The bus rapid transit proposal also received support from a recent summit on public transport for Kuching. You can see TRANSIT’s comments here, which we will also re-iterate below.
Most recently, TRANSIT has noted an image posted in a forum on Kuching Public Transport that shows a “Kuching Transit” bus service. Is it official or someone’s fantasy drawing? We don’t know yet….