Sunday, June 22, 2008

Public transport gaining popularity

Sunday June 22, 2008 THE STAR


KUALA LUMPUR: The increase in fuel prices has encouraged some people who used to drive to switch to public transport.

M. Dharmalingam, 61, who runs a small business in Kuala Lumpur, said parking charges had generally gone up, in some cases from RM1 to RM1.50 an hour.

He now travels to the Central Market by LRT and estimates saving RM20 a day. This translates into RM600 a month.

“I can cover my marketing with that,” he said.

Dharmalingam is planning to buy the monthly pass, which costs RM100.

“Sometimes, I go to the city two or three times a day so it would make economic sense,” he said, adding that the price to pay though is that travelling time is almost doubled.

K. Subramaniam, 56, who works in Ulu Klang, switched to the LRT three months ago because of “personal reasons”. And he will not look back as he saves RM15 a week (before the petrol hike) by using the LRT.

“I find it economical and I will stick to what I’m doing,” he said, adding that it takes an extra 15 minutes to reach his workplace in the morning.

Yip Kok Foo, 52, who works in Kuala Lumpur and has been taking the LRT for a year, notices more people on the trains.

“There seems to be many first-timers who are looking for directions. Now I need to wait for a few trains to pass before I can get on,” said Yip, adding that some of his colleagues are using motorcycles instead of cars.

Another commuter, Hector Jinton, 49, echoes Yip’s view, saying that the queues are longer and starting earlier.

“People park their cars everywhere around the station and there seems to be a lot of new faces. Even the executives seem to be using the LRT,” he said.

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