Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Public Transport "Key Result Area"

This is a letter that explains itself about the new Prime Minister's announcement on the 6 "Key Result Areas", one of which is on public transport. It is received from TRANSIT, an informal group of citizens grave concerned with this issue.

Dear Editor

RE: Key Results Area - Only a single Performance Condition for public transport?

The announcement made by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for the Key Result area for public transport appears to focus on a single performance indicator, the implementation of 4-carriage LRT trains on the Kelana Jaya line by 2012.

TRANSIT sees this as unacceptable since it only looks at a fraction of the available and important and necessary changes that need to be done for public transport in this country.

By limiting public transport to one easily achievable performance indicator – the 4-carriage LRT trains – Najib has set the bar very, very low on improvements to public transport.

For the record, TRANSIT knows that as many as 5 of the 4-carriage trains have already been constructed and fitted out and at least 2 of these trains have already undergone testing at the Lembah Subang depot. In addition, it has been said that 4-carriage trains will start operating on the Kelana Jaya line by November of this year.

It is time to implement some real challenging performance indicators for public transport. Set the bar higher instead of setting it at a level that can be so easily achieved.

TRANSIT would like to suggest a few other performance indicators that should be introduced along with the 4-carriage LRT trains. It is a basic list that focuses only on the extension and expansion of rapid transit services that exist today, through timely improvements to governance, enforcement and building of infrastructure and purchase of trains and buses.

We feel that it is unjust that a great deal of attention has been focused on the new LRT lines, including the 4-carriage LRT trains, while no attention has been given to the overwhelming problems faced by the KTM Komuter service, which has less than 1/2 of the original fleet of EMU trains operating.

The list we have posted to our website, may seem overwhelming and impossible to achieve at first glance - but we believe that everything on the list is achievable in the timelines given – provided that there is a real political and financial committment from all levels of government and all stakeholder groups.

We have not even considered new services such as bus rapid transit or monorail in other communities, nor have we included the lines proposed in the KL City 2020 Draft Local plan.

We have also not considered basic improvements to bus operations and customer service. These are our rights as customers and should go without saying.


Moaz Yusuf Ahmad
Muhammad Zulkarnain Hamzah
on behalf of TRANSIT
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