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KTM Update: Another restructuring for KTMB promises to accomplish what earlier restructuring(s) did not

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.

Railway revamp (Star Biz)

Thursday October 27, 2011

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.

Comments on Government Comments on Planning Commuter Train (EMU) Complaints - KTM Information KTM Komuter (Klang Valley) News & Events Safety, Health and Environment Transit Facilities Transit Infrastructure

KTM Update: Improved facilities at Komuter stations will help deal with long waits.

TRANSIT took note of this interesting article in which KTMB has announced plans to improve the facilities at KTM Komuter stations, to help commuters deal with the unacceptable wait times that are plaguing the system.

Now, this is something that TRANSIT had been talking about for some time – and ironically, it took a few years to get the plans in place. And probably even more ironic is that by the time everything is done and taken care of, there will be another 20-30 Komuter trains operating – so the facilities may end up going unused.

But in the meantime – let’s learn more about the plans.

KTMB to add new features for wait time and security (The Star)
19 September

KUALA LUMPUR: Plans are in the pipeline for Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) to upgrade its train stations with more facilities to enhance convenience for passengers.

KTMB will also be implementing features to improve commuters’ security in its stations.

KTMB corporate communications senior manager Mohd Fazil Ismail said KTMB would introduce features such as WiFi, fans, LCD screens and mobile phone chargers that would keep commuters occupied during train arrival intervals.

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KTMB Update: New Komuter trains to be called “MyKomuter”

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).

Now, TRANSIT has already shared some photos of the new Komuter trains – so we will only provide a link to the most recent photos and share a few important ones with you in our post.

A picture showing the seating layout for the new Komuter trains. Note the end carriages have only side facing seats, while the interior carriages have a mixture. Image courtesy of @TWK90

Click here for a larger version of the image above.

For one thing, it seems that there may be some confusion over the layout of the seats in the trains. So for the record:

  • The 2 “end” carriages do not have front/back facing seats – they only have side-facing seats
  • The 4 “inside” carriages have a mix of front/back facing and side-facing seats.

Also worth mentioning about the train are the following details:

Commuter Train (EMU) Complaints - KTM Information KTM Komuter (Klang Valley) News & Events SPAD / LTC

KTM Update: Strange stories never cease (to amaze)

TRANSIT took note of this story, describing a strange event where a train bound for Batu Caves ended up going towards Rawang instead. And then the driver decided to back the train up and went back to Batu Caves.

Seriously? Well, not exactly. Apparently the service disruption may have been caused by a jammed switch, forcing trains to use the other side of the wye junction between Putra, Sentul & Segambut stations. That explains why the trains ended up going towards Kepong, switching tracks, and moving “backwards.”

Cranes crashing on platforms, derailments, vehicles flying onto the tracks, hybrid trains, delays, delays and more delays

Is it just us, or are things just getting stranger & stranger on the Malayan Railway?

500 cemas komuter tersasar laluan (Berita Harian, 9 hb. September 2011)


KUALA LUMPUR: Kira-kira 500 penumpang mengalami saat mencemaskan apabila komuter yang mereka naiki tersasar daripada laluan sebenar sehingga terpaksa berundur semula secara perlahan-lahan sejauh enam kilometer yang mengambil masa lebih satu jam sebelum sampai ke stesen sepatutnya, semalam.

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Updates #98

Updates #98

1. Article: Firm denies using taxi coupons to make ‘easy money’ (NST, 10 August 2011) – Mohd Nasir Mohd Rashid, Exec. Chairman of MESRA Indah Jaya Sdn. Bhd. which operates the taxi coupon system in Johor Baru, has denied allegations that it is making an “RM2 profit from the sale of coupons as alleged” but only “taking a 10 per cent commission to cover our maintenance and management costs.”

2. Article: Bandar Kinrara 3 residents want Station 5 moved (The Star, 9 August 2011)

3. Article: SPAD to boost Raya road safety (The Malay Mail, 10 August 2011) – SPAD’s first time participating in the annual Balik Kampung / Hari Raya safety campaign, from 14 August – 14 September including investigation & checking of public transport vehicles “round-the-clock”. Unfortunately, we also read this article: Article: Meddling riders a problem, drivers say (The Star, 11 August 2011) in which JPJ director-general Solah Mat Hassan appears to blame passengers for asking questions and pressuring drivers into driving faster.

Express bus passengers should ensure a safe journey by not pressuring their drivers unnecessarily, said Road Transport Department (JPJ) director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan.

He said passenger pressure was a big concern for many drivers who felt pressured to drive faster to reach their destination quickly.

“Some always ask ‘what time will we reach?’ Passengers must not give drivers this unnecessary pressure.

TRANSIT: What nonsense! As if passengers asking “are we there yet?” is the only factor behind our unsafe buses?

4. Articles: NST has two articles about the upcoming Balik Kampung rush:

Comments on Planning Commuter Train (EMU) Economic Planning Unit Feedback Information Information Relay KTM Komuter (Klang Valley) Planning Transit Facilities

KTM Update: 4 new Komuter EMUs to operate by the end of September 2011?

Berita Harian reported that 4 new KTM EMUs would be operating in September 2011.

How exactly we do not know. We recently were told that the first train would arrive in September and undergo testing & commissioning, a process that we expect would take some time.

Now, the information is that 4 trains will arrive, undergo testing & commissioning and be in service by the end of September?

Call us skeptical.

Empat set tren elektrik beroperasi September (Berita Harian)
Oleh Mohd Zin Ali dan Ahmad Farizal Hajat

Komuter enam gerabak tingkat mutu khidmat KTM

EMPAT set pertama daripada 38 set unit tren elektrik (EMU) enam gerabak yang dibeli Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) dari China untuk digunakan bagi perkhidmatan komuter, membabitkan pelaburan keseluruhan RM1.9 bilion, akan beroperasi September ini.

Pengarah NKRA, Bahagian Mempertingkatkan Pengangkutan Awam di Bandar, Ahmad Suhaili Idrus, berkata menerusinya, ia akan mengurangkan secara berperingkat masalah perkhidmatan komuter yang tidak cekap ketika ini.

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KTM Update: Major disruption of services at Kuala Lumpur Station but not a tweet from KTMB (Update #1)

Update: KTM services through Kuala Lumpur station were restored as of 2pm Sunday, 17 July 2011 – but when will our faith in KTMB be restored?

TRANSIT took note of this announcement from Bernama about a serious disruption of KTM services because of a crane collapse at the Kuala Lumpur rail station.

Thank goodness no one was injured!

The toppled crane at Kuala Lumpur station and the damage to the platform & covering. Image courtesy of NST.

We note that although the incident happened early Saturday morning, even by the time of our late posting (Sunday morning), KTMB has not bothered to update their website or their twitter feed @twitktmb with information about what had happened. They did update their Facebook page at 7:52 am (more than 7 hours later), but that is not enough (and not easily noticeable for those who visit the regular website).

We learned of the disruption from another unofficial source, @ktmtu (KTM Traffic Updates) which is not affiliated with KTMB.

Disruption of KTM services at KL station (The Star & Bernama)

Saturday July 16, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: All Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) services passing Kuala Lumpur station were disrupted after a crane toppled at platform 4 at KM 387.3 at 12.44am Saturday.

The incident occurred when the 60 tonne crane was removing advertising billboards and unipoles near the station’s platform 4.

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Lockdown: Malaysia’s largest city closed for 22 hours! (Update #6)

  • Update: We note with great interest that on 9 July there was a lot of activity around KL Sentral where many people were stranded when the station was closed. There was also activity around Puduraya bus stations. That should make clear the importance of a transport hub!
  • Update: All LRT & Monorail services are back to normal as of 7 pm. See a chronology of station closings and re-openings below!
    Update: As of 2:20 pm, KL Sentral and Tun Sambanthan stations are closed!
  • Update: As of approximately 1:30 pm, Plaza Rakyat LRT and Chow Kit Monorail stations are closed by police order!
  • Update: As of approximately 12:45 pm, both Pasar Seni & Masjid Jamek stations are closed! Services on the Kelana Jaya Line will not stop at those stations and services on the Ampang Line will not stop at Masjid Jamek!
  • Update:

TRANSIT took note of the following information pertaining to the unnecessary and disappointing lockdown of KL for a 22 hour period by the Royal Malaysian Police and supported by the Land Public Transport Commission.

If you want politics, there are other websites to discuss it. Our focus is on public transport and how it will be affected by the lockdown.

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Updates #93

Updates #93

1. Article: Malacca to be bicycle friendly (6 July 2011) – Melaka CM Mohd Ali Rustam announced an initiative to introduce bus lanes into Melaka. He also promised to ride to work every Friday.

Leading the way: Mohd Ali (front right) with fellow state leaders cycling to Seri Negeri. Image courtesy of The Star.

[TRANSIT: We couldn’t resist posting the picture above.]

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Updates #87

Updates #87

1. Article: Three passengers injured after bus skids into ditch (Malay Mail, 26 May 2011)

Three passengers were injured after a KL-bound express bus from the East Coast hit a divider and skidded into a ditch at Km20.4, Karak Highway.

The SANI Express bus that hit the road divider on 25 May 2011. Image courtesy of Malay Mail.

2. Letter: Worried over pedestrian bridge’s safety (NST, 27 May 2011) – Zahara of KL expresses concern over the safety of the new pedestrian bridge at Desa Samarak, because of the lack of a mid-span support pillar.

The bridge in question. — Picture by Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor (NST)