LETTER | About a year ago, I wrote an article suggesting how to improve urban public transport in Klang Valley. I listed a few suggestions and one of it was introducing unlimited travel pass below RM150.
Subsequently, after my article was published, I was called by the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) and RapidKL to meet their senior officials to provide clarity on my suggestions.
I am glad there is now an unlimited travel pass for RapidKL services for just RM100. I have a few more suggestions to further improve RapidKL and public transport services.
1. Introduce single fare system or also known as transfer. Transfer works by allowing transit users to pay just one fare from their start to the end destination. For example, if I travel from Asia Jaya LRT to Subang Jaya LRT, it will cost me RM2.50.
But transfer system allows me to travel from Asia Jaya to Subang Jaya and a return trip all for just RM2.50. Give commuters a grace period of one hour to be eligible for the transfer system. The city of Toronto has implemented this successfully. This is crucial to attracting non-frequent users to use public transport to run their errands such as grocery shopping and banking.
2. Extend RapidKL operations to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. RapidKL can consider this to increase its fare revenue. This also helps in tourism as it allows tourist and locals to use public transport to explore places such as Bukit Bintang and KLCC. Train frequencies can be reduced to 10 minutes from 10pm-1am.
3. Introduce 50 percent discount on RapidKL services on Sundays including "Park n Ride". This will encourage families to use public transport for their weekend outing rather than driving. Families with four usually prefer driving as it can be cheaper. But with 50 percent discount on public transport, it will help to boost ridership on Sundays, thus increasing revenue.
4. There is a need to set up a dedicated unit to assist RapidKL with the first and last mile issues. I have been personally dealing with ADUNs, MPs, and local councils in Klang Valley to build pedestrian walkways, covered walkways, and upgrade the connectivity issues within 500 metres of LRT/MRT stations. I have even drew proposals to submit to DBKL to upgrade the walkways around MRT stations. Some city councillors have commended me for my solo effort which has bear some fruits. Now, why is there no one or no department set up to solve these long outstanding issues?
5. RapidKL needs to re-train some staff and its SOP. It's a daily occurrence for me to inform RapidKL to switch on fans and lights, when I do spot checks at certain LRT stations.
Why are the station staff not been asked to do daily checks? RapidKL's polis bantuan need to be trained to handle crowd control. Placing them and watching people taking the trains at stations is a waste of resources and money. In Sydney, there are staff at platform that handle crowd professionally, some have whistles to use when the train doors are closing, so people waiting to board can hear the whistle as the door closing chimes might not be loud enough.
6. RapidKL needs more funds to upgrade its facilities. Some of its older stations are in a horrible condition where walkway rooftop are broken, lack of fans for ventilation and damaged escalators. Newer stations like in Kinrara LRT has no proper drop off, bus stop area and parking. Perhaps Selangor state government and DBKL can assist in funding.
7. Rename the entire LRT and MRT services to KL Metro. Replace the confusing complex line names such as Sungai Buloh-Kajang line, Ampang line and etc to simple numbering based lines. For example, Kelana Jaya line can be called as Line 1, SBK line can be called as Line 5. This will make things easier for tourists and new users to use the system and make interchanges. It does not matter if the services are owned or operated by either RapidKL or MRT Corp. Just make it simple and user-friendly.
I hope the Transport Ministry, Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) and Prasarana can consider some of my suggestions to enhance the overall public transport service.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.