Friday, September 22, 2006

Myths about our public transport

The only time I use the LRT is to go to KLCC.

The KTM Komuter at Mid Valley is to bring in all the Ah Bengs from Kajang and Seremban.

Public transport to Bukit Bintang? Monorail you mean?

The only public transport to KLIA is through KLIA Express.

Take a bus? For what? Join the poor smelly people and then get raped later.

What? You walk from your house to the LRT station? Siau.
These are things I hear from my friends about public transport.

I don't blame the majority of us supposedly middle class, educated, white collared, English speaking people for harbouring thoughts such as that.

For way too long, public transportation in Kuala Lumpur, especially buses, has been left to rot and disintegrate, resulting in it having a ridership consisting of mostly people who can't afford any other means of travel.

As a result of this, this whole mode has been stigmatized and stereotyped. It is seen to be un-cool riding a bus. It has become necessary for mom, dad, bro and sis to pick you up at the LRT station. It has become "dangerous" to walk back home, or silly to take part in the never-ending-wait-for-the-bus game.

I don't blame us middle class, suburb loving people.

Too little money has been invested, too little sense has been involved in planning, too many broken promises have been made and too much has been wasted.

One of the main reasons for setting up this blog was to continue to irritate and bug policymakers and transport operators to buck up.

The other was to louden the voice of consumerism amongst the rest of us.

No matter how wrong, or right, these myths of public transport are, they are bound to be proven true if we continue to stick with our old ways.

If we refuse to step into buses, and claim our right to use these services, the planners will have an excuse not to listen to us. And they will allow the system to fail, again. Why should they bring in more routes into the PJ-Damansara area if it's only going to serve the Kayu Ara folk?

For poor people, if the buses are shitty, they just sulk. For us, supposedly more affluent ones, on the other hand, with shitty buses, we drive, and listen to MixFM. And so we let buses and public transport become an increasingly lower class facility. And then we relinquish our right to demand a better bus service, as we are no longer fare paying consumers.

And we know that poor people are really bad at consumerism! And thus, we also then delegate the responsibility of improving our city lifestyles to a poorer and less educated social constituency.

Brits complain a hell lot about their supposedly unrealiable public transport system when in fact it is much better than Malaysia's! These "unappriciative" rich Brits (which include lawyers, bankers, consultants and civil servants) who always complain about the horrible aging London Underground and National Rail use these systems everyday claim their right to the system and thus have a credible claim in making things better (read: complaining).

So I urge you, discard those myths and prove them wrong. Give public transport a try, and continue whining about it.

If it's good enough for Ken, then it's good enough for me


Anonymous Megan said...

I have to agree. I only use the LRT when I go to KLCC because traffic to KL can be such a bitch.

I look forward to seeing improvement in the public transportation system in Malaysia. Kudos to yourself for your efforts!

8:43 PM  
Anonymous jeremy said...

the bourgeois has the power to make the difference. if they sat on those fucking trains and (especially) the buses, then they'd only realize how fucking pathetic the infrastructure is.

i guess the petrol hikes, toll hikes and whatnot are a good way to waken them up. let them wake up and smell that fucking pot of coffee. their whining and pre-concieved notions of the system is due to ignorance and hearsay. malaysian society prejudices, stereotypes and assumes too much. this all shows in this case.

i really enjoy the toll hikes, petrol hikes etc. (apart from the fact that it doesn't really affect me ... seeing as i don't live in malaysia anymore). this is a fucking wake-up call to the middle-class population of malaysia. this is a fucking wake-up call to the politically apathetic. finally - we're getting somewhere.

to the bourgeois; welcome to the world of public transportation, bitches. let's see how wonderful it is to vote for the ruling party =)

7:48 AM  

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