Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rail sevices should ensure efficiency, says Ong

View: Read this article, look at how quick the response came from officials of RapidKL and the Transport Ministry.

Friday August 22, 2008 THESTAR

KUALA LUMPUR: The Transport Ministry has limited say over the LRT operator’s capacity to meet passenger demand and comfort level, said Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat.

He clarified that two LRT systems – the Ampang line and Kelana Jaya line - were operated by RapdidKL while the asset owner was Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (SPNB) – both Government-linked companies under the Finance Ministry.

Rail problems: Abdullah listens to passenger Maya Shal Sawaniz, 30, as she laments the shortfalls of the KTM Komuter services at the Serdang Commuter Station yesterday.

“It is up to the railway service providers to plan and ensure efficiency of services, including adequate capacity and passenger comfort,” he said in response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s call for improved train services.

Abdullah made a surprise check on the LRT and KTM commuter trains and was not happy with the services.

On the KTM commuter services, which is under the Transport Ministry, Ong said the Government had allocated RM200mil to procure 10 sets of electric multiple units (EMU) expected to arrive in 2010.

Also, five electric train sets would be procured to facilitate the KL Sentral-Ipoh fast train services, he said, adding that these were expected to arrive in 2010.

RapidKL and KTM said the shortage of coaches had caused much of the problems for commuters but measures were being taken to resolve this.

RapidKL general manager (communications) Ebi Azly Abdullah said SPNB would deliver 22 sets of new four-car trains between 2009 and 2011

“This will double the Kelana Jaya line's current passenger capacity of 160,000 passengers daily to more than 300,000 daily,” he said.

A KTM spokesman said the critical shortage was due to a major overhaul exercise being conducted in stages on 50 train sets since last year but passenger capacity would increase by 10% once the overhaul was done.

Both RapidKL and KTM Berhad also said they had put in place various measures to ensure the crowds were orderly at the stations and inside the trains, and to ensure safety.

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