KTMB and Transport Minister under fire for claiming congestion is caused by Malaysian's refusal to use public transport
Jerrica · Jun 1, 2022 12:03 PM
As the people of Kuala Lumpur continue to experience heavy traffic at all times of the day, even on weekends, Keretapi Tanah Melaya Berhad (KTMB) CEO has come out to explain that the reason for that is due to KL-Lights’ refusal to take public transport.
KTMB CEO Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin told Utusan Malaysia that Malaysians generally view public transport to be a nuisance. He also points out that currently, KTMB’s network is not operating at full capacity.
Samsudin believes that the traffic situation in the Klang Valley can be improved significantly if residents would put the public transport facilities such as commuter trains to full use.
He further points out that KTMB’s full capacity is 40,000 passengers, currently, only about 21,000 people travel via Komuter trains.
Samsudin is not entirely oblivious to the flaws of the Komuter trains. He noted that the trains still suffer from delayed arrival times, however, the company is working to improve the situation and asks the public to be patient as they upgrade the facilities.
Based on the agreed timeline, upgrading works on the Komuter network will take five years. The company says that after the upgrade, train frequencies will eventually go down to 7 minutes instead of the current 30- to 45-minute wait.
The remarks, of course, did not sit well with social media users as they further point out the unreliable nature of most public transport systems. In May alone, the Kelana Jaya Line LRT suffered 4 breakdowns affecting thousands who were attempting to get to work.
Social media users were not alone in criticising the current traffic situation. Johor DAP Chief Liew Chin Tong also lambasted Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong for his poor policy-making in alleviating traffic congestion in the country.
Liew questioned two statements made by Wee recently, first about the increasing number of cars on the road and secondly about a possible increase in public transport fares.
Instead of raising fares, Liew points out that the government should heavily fund and subsidise different modes of public transport, especially buses so that the network is more connected and encourage more users to take public transport.
Other than that, he also highlighted the other challenges that lead to the underutilisation of public transport such as inadequate coverage, low reliability, and poor connectivity.
It doesn’t help that the rail system comprising the LRT, MRT, and monorail was mainly concentrated in the Klang Valley.
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