Thursday May 1, 2008
KTM Komuter not on par with Putra LRT
IS it possible for us to be environmental-friendly or committed to solving traffic woes by supporting public transportation in the Klang Valley? I would say it depends on which service you are using.
Putra LRT deserves praise for ensuring that its commuter trains arrive rapidly and send you to your destinations promptly. It is also a very organised system, with passengers queuing up to board the train and Putra LRT personnel making sure everyone follows the system.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for KTM Komuter. Too many times have I been stranded with equally tired and annoyed-looking passengers at KL Sentral waiting for a train which has been delayed repeatedly.
Two months ago, I used to take a train to work every day from the station in Subang Jaya to the one in Mid-Valley, with an interchange at KL Sentral station.
Of the five commuting days, there is bound to be problems at least on three days. Train delays are more common in the evenings.
Worse still, when a train is delayed, it is unlikely that you can get aboard if you are frail, small-sized or pregnant.
This is because there are no KTM personnel to make sure that people queue up for the train. So it is a battle of who-can-shove-others-better to squeeze into the overloaded trains.
Most times, a delay means missing the next one or two trains since they will be overloaded. Imagine precious after-work time wasted. This usually means idling around the platform for 45 minutes to an hour.
To add to the frustration, overloaded KTM trains also mean terrible ventilation.
Imagine being packed tighter than sardines and having difficulty breathing.
Also, at many sections of the track, the trains tend to roll along slowly. Why is this so? This is not a time for slow, romantic rides on the train as urban passengers are pressed for time.
I believe many other KTM passengers share my woes.
Just because most of us have no choice but to use public transport doesnt mean KTM can short-change us on an efficient service.