Tuesday, July 12, 2011

KTMB: traffic congestion solution in Malaysia.

Yeah.. right.. What is KTMB? KTMB stands for Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad. Its the main rail operator in Peninsular of Malaysia. It was privatized in 1992, but remain wholly-owned by the government. The main hub of KTMB is situated in KL Sentral.

One of the KTMB branches is the KTM Komuter services. The KTM provide services of 248 commuter and serving 45 stations daily, along 175 route-kilometres. Apparently, the KTM boasted that the commuter trains run at 15 minutes frequency during peak hours and 20 minutes frequency during off-peak hours. We'll see about that.

The main purpose of KTM Komuter is to provide an efficient public transport for those who work or travelling to Kuala Lumpur. Anyone who have been to Kuala Lumpur would know that KL is a city that 'never finished up'. Everyday, day by day, its whether a new road is constructed or the old road is under construction. The traffic in the city is hell. Congested especially during peak hours. KTM Komuter then was introduced to cater  commuters in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding suburban areas. This would encourage people to use public transports instead of driving their own vehicle into the city and putting more strain to the congested traffic.

But, to me.. From what I saw and experienced, KTM Komuter have created a new kind of congested traffic. Its no longer on the road, but on the railway. Well, not ON the railway, but in the train station. The number of commuters increased every years, but each year, the KTM Komuter failed to increase their train capacity. Even the specially provided women's coach are not enough for the women. 

Not only that, KTM Komuter is far from being punctual. In normal hours, a problem like a broken down train seems not a big issue, because other train would replace it and the commuters can spend time waiting. But during the peak hours, a single broken train means more than 2-3 hours late. And its not just the train that being the issue here, but the commuters too. With so many commuters rushing to go home or somewhere, it wouldn't possible for the train to pick them up in one go.. 

KTM Komuter currently is the most profitable passenger service offered by KTMB.. Why can't they increase the number of the train coach? Increase the level of maintenance to reduce the untimely train breakdown? The number of people is increasing every year.. Do the math..

How long does a trip takes from KL to anywhere? By car..

The trip between Malacca and Kuala Lumpur by car takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. And that is 144 KM distance.
I took a commuter every once a week, and it took me more than 2 hours to arrive in KL from Seremban. And the distance between Seremban and Kuala Lumpur is 64 KM...

Everyone wonders why KL always have congested traffic. Because it doesn't matter... One way or another. You will get stuck getting in.. or out.


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