Saturday, October 07, 2006

LRT breaks down and Rapid KL dogma


I wasn't and am not around for the weekend, so I only got to know of it through the news.

In this post, I'd like to talk about 2 different but closely related topics.

I'm not sure if they did any of this, but here's what they could have done to ease the pain:
  1. brief all bus drivers and get them to advise passengers that they may need to take a continuing trunk line instead of to the LRT.
  2. announce the breakdown on the internet and radio.
  3. 1-800-number. A friend of mine told me that she called the 1-800 number but it was engaged. Why not just pre-record an announcement about the breakdown and how to go around it?
What they can do in the future:
  1. fix the problem! this is the number what-th time this year?
  2. have contingency plans - rail replacement services that bring passengers from one station to another. In fact, why not introduce a trunk line service that tracks the LRT system and have it run during peak hours? The KJ line is so packed that it'd be good to educate passengers in using the bus system. Do one from KL Sentral to Kelana Jaya, and another from KLCC to Gombak. Heavy traffic on the road will ensure that most passengers would still prefer the LRT and hence introducing this route ought not to cannibalize LRT services too much. In fact, run services parallel to all rail lines!
  3. SMS information to customers. How about doing that to MTC holders for a start?
And one thing I hope Rapid KL can do to its bus system is to not be overly dogmatic about its city-trunk-local system. Areas are primarily served by one city hub each. Area 2 is served by Titiwangsa. Area 3 by KLCC/Titiwangsa. Area 4 by Maluri. Areas 5/6 both at KL Sentral

You see the problem here. Each area is too dependent on one city hub. And when one city hub fails, then problems multiply.

For example, yesterday, where services east of Masjid Jamek were disrupted, train passengers heading towards Wangsa Maju were directed at Masjid Jamek to change lines to Titiwangsa to take continuing Trunk line services. (Again passengers were penalized with "starting fares".)

Instead, a more ideal solution would have been to have trunk line buses serving Wangsa Maju and all (Area 3) from KL Sentral. So passengers could have just got off there to take a trunk to Wangsa Maju, without having to waste time and money walking up the stairs and buying a new ticket or hopping on yet anoter City shuttle to take you to Titiwangsa.

The problem with Rapid KL's system is that it assumes EVERYONE lives in the suburbs and travels to the City everyday. Ok, maybe not everyone. But for the rest of the people who don't, Rapid KL's sorry that if you live in Ampang and you study in Subang Jaya, you have to take 2 trunk lines, a city shuttle and probably another 2 local shuttles. Otherwise take a more expensive LRT (change lines at Jamek including) and hop on another 2 local shuttles.

Or you can drive. If you can't then too bad.

Similarly if you live in USJ and work in Sri Petaling. Live in Taman Desa and work in Cheras. So close and yet so far.

Or if your Indonesian worker who lives in Datuk Keramat (many do) and works in Bangsar, and the LRT breaksdown, how? That's 4 buses. :)

So LRT breakdown? Hop on a bus? How? How many?


Anonymous Ad said...

Yesterday, I've decided not to drive to KLCC area, so I tried the new Rapidkl transport services.

My plan was:
Trunk bus from USJ to KL sentral;
then LRT to Ampang Park

I bought the SEPADU day pass, RM7. 9am the bus left USJ and arrived at KL Sentral 45 mins later. No complaint bout that.

Got to the main hall and found out that the KJ line once again having technical problem. :-( so have no choice but to take the City bus to Medan Pasar then hopped to another bus to Ampang Park.

Around 5pm, the staffs at Ampang Park LRT station said the service was ok but with a bit problem.

KJ line was broken into a few sub-lines: Damai-Terminal Putra, KLCC-Damai, Masjid Jamek-KLCC, KJ-Masjid Jamek.

It's just chaotic at the LRT stations. Everyone was so confused about the situation. After so much of frustration, I left Masjid Jamek and get the City bus to KL sentral.

Though of the day: Why couldn't Rapidkl just close down the KJ line totatlly and only resume the service only if the whole system is back on track, not to have a few sub-lines????? Was it because they couldn't afford to lose the daily profit??? Oh man, I wasn't even asking the company to refund the SEPADU day pass that I had bought. I could just buy the Bas only day pass. Why din the driver tell me that the KJ line was not working and should stop me from buying SEPADU day pass. My journey started at 9am while the KJ line broke down since 7am. Again it's showed the less of internal communication.

Other things that I encountered yesterday:
1. The trunk line failed as being a trunk line. It's not with limited stops. The driver stopped at almost every stops to pick up customers. Well, I could forgive them since it's a new system in the area and maybe not many ppl unerstand this simple system yet. But no more please.
2. There should be single fare for City and Trunk buses. RM 1 per trip is reasonable. I'm fine with no single trip fare for Local buses.
3. I think Medan Pasar shouldn't be a hub. It made the system complicated. With only the other 4 is just fine. And please, have more City buses, dun forget the promise of 5 mins waiting time.
4. KL sentral should have a proper area assigned only for buses and not what is it now, buses stopping by the road side practically.

Among the publics, there are still lots of misunderstanding of this Local-Trunk-City system. I think it's a good system and easy to understand. Maybe because I spent time on the websites to figure thing out. So Rapidkl should do more jobs in introducing this system. What had done is still not enough. Luckily Rapidkl hasn't divide the Klang Valley into diff zones, like London, and the On/Off peak fare system. It would make the public more confused!

11:20 PM  

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