Wednesday, September 27, 2006

KL Boleh - More thoughts

More photos from Lex. Thanks Lex.

They are not new to KL. And they can be found everywhere, not just at LRT Stations. And I'm not going to launch into a sermon, even though I am tempted to, as to why and how the people who need help the most don't seem to get it.

The photo above was taken at the Bukit Bintang Monorail. According to Lex, it was on the bit of the bridge linking Sungai Wang. And the ones below are at Pasar Seni LRT.

What has happened to our welfare services such that these people have to subject themselves to this lowly state? I hope something can be done to help these men and women find employment. How about the Welfare Services set up "social enterprise" to get these beggars to work stuff like shining shoes, selling tissues, selling newspapers, busking etc. at the LRT Stations? I remember growing up going to Pasar Malam and being thoroughly entertained by blind musicians. In Britain, hobos sell the magazine, The Big Issue.

(do I see a PUT-A? ekekeke)

Another irritating thing that I myself have found is the bunch of people doing "surveys" at the KLCC underpass. Knowing that they can't accost you in the LRT Station or inside KLCC itself, they all congregate in the tunnel, a no-man's-land.

As for buskers, good for them! But please, improve on your repertoire please.

Essentially, the rule I would advocate is anything that doesn't block pedestrian access.

When it rains... at the car parks
According to Lex, these photos were taken at Bangsar LRT station on Saturday. Whenever it rains puddles form at the access to the car park.

And users are expected to main lompat-lompat.

I don't know if this is the typical quality of car parks at the LRT stations. I hope not.

When it rains... in the stations
The LRT system is barely 10 years old. And it has already shown many signs of wear and tear.

This is Pasar Seni LRT. When the rain comes down, buckets and dustbins, and janitors come out.

Ticket vending machines

Typical. Sigh.

Customer service

Over the weekend, Rapid KL launched the revamped bus services in Area 5 & 6. So many of the newbies, like Lex, needed some help with the service.

This is Medan Pasar on Monday. While some Rapid KL staff were working hard and trying to be very helpful...

Others chose to post themselves in some hidden corner (at AmBank).


Meanwhile, this was another photo taken at the Pasar Seni bus stand.

Lex told me this on Monday:
When I was at KL Sentral at around 1 something, I wanted to enquire about service 115. I waited for about 20 minutes but saw no 115, and then went to ask the Rapid KL staff stationed next to the SkyBus counters... And I was then told that the bus would leave at 2. Shocked, I then pointed out to the staff the promise in the Rapid KL leaflets that City shuttles run every FIVE minutes. Then the guy pointed out RUDELY and SMUGLY, the proviso on the leaflet:
DISCLAIMER: Rapid KL reserves the right to make any changes prior to any notice.
(KLC: What horrigible English. Prior to any notice.)

Then I told him, that yah, this seems to be the quality of service that Rapid KL wants to offer. And he challenged me to file a complaint.

I would, but I forgot to note down his name and pangkat.
Case item #1

The promise...

The proviso...

Well, I will try to bring this to Rapid KL's attention.

This reminds me of another instance at Pasar Seni LRT Station. An old uncle wanted to purchase a bus pass or make some enquiry at the counter (the same one as the "break" photo). There were a group of Rapid KL staff, drivers I suppose milling around at the bus shelter in front of the pondok. The uncle asked the staff if they could help him out. Then they laughed at him and pointed out the sign "solat". Need I say more?

Another incident that reader AlFresco has related to me:
I was riding the 108 from Medan Pasar to Bukit Bintang, trying out the service. Essentially this loop service takes you from Medan Pasar, through Jalan Raja Chula, Bukit Bintang, Imbi, Jalan Tun Razak and back. I was trying out the service for the first time so I wanted to see what this route looked like. After doing Bukit Bintang and Imbi, the bus driver stopped at Pasar Rakyat and asked all passengers to disembark! I was shocked. I told the driver that this was a loop service (berkeliling) and the route terminates at Medan Pasar, where it starts. He told me, that it was his break time and he was sorry, everyone had to get off and wait for another 108. I waited for another 15 minutes for the next bus. This was the first and last time I'd use the Rapid KL.
Can Rapid KL kindly explain if drivers are authorized to terminate services midway and take breaks? Is this sort of behaviour rampant?

Whether you use public transport, or not, everyone would agree that it really sucks big time having to walk around KL. (apart from the hot weather la)

Pedestrians have to dodge vehicles parked on the already narrow sidewalks. Crossing roads are difficult as pedestrian crossings usually don't give priority to pedestrians who have to stand in the sun. Pedestrians are forced to climb overhead bridges, even in the city centre, while subways are usually disgusting and dodgy. Drivers seldom allow pedestrians to cross roads, even at designated pedestrian crossings. Missing drain covers are aplenty.


Disabled friendly transport

Disabled persons have been demanding access to public transport for a very long time. They haven't been very successful, apart from that in the Putra LRT system and what used to be its Putraliner feeder buses.

The joke of the day is that today, Rapid KL in 2006, can't even get it right with this issue. Its new bus fleet is not disabled friendly, with regards to persons with mobility difficulties.

And it tickles me when on their buses, they have allocated the orange colour priority seats, but have made no provision for persons on wheelchairs. But they have chosen to label these priority seats with the "wheelchair user sign".

As you can see, the seats are not foldable.

Peter Tan has wrote about accessible public transportation.

Better signs

Rapid KL has done an amazing job with disseminating information in its short history. In many ways it has done a lot of things unimaginable under previous transport operator managements. It publishes detailed bus route information on the web, it has put up plenty of the same information at bus stops, it has printed out thousands of leaflets, it has been talking to the press. But still, there is a lot to be done, and a lot is still to be desired of. I have talked about its website and bus stop information.

I'm glad that Rapid KL has come in to save the day. Good luck!


Blogger Peter said...

The wheelchair logo in buses are supposed to be the International Symbol for Accessibility (ISA). It should have been a white stickman on wheelchair with blue background.

It indicates accessibility not only to wheelchair users but accessible facilities for other groups of people who need such convenience.

12:49 PM  
Blogger commuter said...

You should know better, Peter!

Point is they should have just labeled the seats "priority" as opposed to putting the ISA sign if Rapid KL buses don't even meet the standard.

Anyway, ALL seats should be "priority", and ALL commuters should be educated to give up their seats.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

It struck a chord in me when you said all seats should be priority seats. That rightfully should be the case. It is an indication of our level of civic-mindedness when we have to resort to such allocation. Excellent point there.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Rajan R said...

Actually, allocation probably makes it worse - commuters on other seats think that those unlucky three in their car sitting on priority seats should give theirs up if a senior citizen or a blind man or a late-term pregnant lady comes on board...

3:22 PM  
Anonymous jared l. said...

it's a sad sight...

4:53 PM  
Blogger __earth said...

oh yeah, the ppl with survey in the tunnel at KLCC is annoying. I don't mind so much about survey itself but their presence clutters the tunnel, making moving around tougher than it should be.

And the beggar at KLCC, the authority should remove them.

But I love the musicians. At least they're entertaining, providing public good and all.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous hurni_philipp said...

I was wondering where I can find a bus map of KL. Since i'm new in KL I have no idea where the buses are going. KL Rapid is only providing shedule with the stops of the buses but no route map.

1:53 PM  
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