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10 Nov 2022

PETALING JAYA: More than 20,000 commuters will be affected daily by the current Light Rail Transit (LRT) service disruption, and consumer associations are demanding that stakeholders such as the government and Prasarana Malaysia Berhad be held responsible for the inconvenience.

On Tuesday, the operator of the LRT Kelana Jaya line shut down 16 stations between Kelana Jaya and Ampang Park for a week.

In a statement, Prasarana said the cause of the disruption to the electronic components of the Automatic Train Control (ATC) system on the Kelana Jaya line has yet to be identified.

“The disruption, which resulted in the loss of signal between the control centre and the trains, caused the coaches to be dysfunctional automatically between the Kelana Jaya station and Ampang Park station.”

Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association president Nadzim Johan said it is unacceptable that a company which has been operating for so long does not have a proper management plan.

“Giving excuses such as the problem being yet to be identified is unacceptable, as it has affected the lives of so many commuters.

“Prasarana has been operating since 1998, which is about 24 years. The LRT management should have planned for such contingencies rather than make excuses.

“Seven days of service suspension will affect more than 20,000 (commuters daily). Those who have hospital appointments, office workers and students attending school and lectures are now forced to pay more for transport.

“Traffic will be horrendous for the week. So, how will Prasarana compensate the public for this inconvenience?”

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations CEO Saravanan Thambirajah said the feeder bus services provided by Prasarana were useless and the government must assist it to provide a quick and sustainable solution for commuters who depend on LRT services.

“The feeder buses are so packed. Only a few people can board the buses when they arrive and that is useless. What if it rains and there is a long line? Seven days of service suspension at 16 stations is a huge problem. Our economy will be affected. The stations are located in the heart of our economic hub.

“There are so many businesses there and their workers will be affected by this inconvenience.

“Some cannot go to the office. Others may miss job interviews or be unable to open their shops in Kuala Lumpur.

“Like Nadzim, I too believe more than 20,000 (commuters) will be affected (daily) by the service disruption. It’s a chain reaction. Traffic will be horrendous.”

Saravanan said the government has been promoting the use of public transport, but it is inefficient and untrustworthy.

“How can the people trust our public transport system if it causes constant problems for commuters instead of making their lives more convenient?

“This nightmare just shows that those who said they would rectify the problems with the LRT system have not made good on their promise,” he said.

Muhammad Irsyad Azlan, 24, who takes the LRT train from USJ 21 to Kerinchi to get to work, expressed annoyance over the disruption as “this is not the first time it has happened”.

“Before this, there was another line disruption. I had to travel home by Grabcar and it cost me RM40. I had to walk in the rain to the nearest bus station from the Kerinchi LRT station and had to wait in line (for a Grabcar) for two hours.

“It was a nightmare. With this latest week-long disruption, I will have to fork out RM200 to travel by Grabcar.

“Why do I pay for the Keluarga Malaysia pass if I can’t use it? I expect Prasarana to compensate commuters for our inconvenience.

“An apology is not enough. The CEO must step down, just like how Tajuddin Abdul Rahman was terminated as Prasarana chairman for his ‘kissing trains’ remark,” said Muhammad Irsyad.

Article by: The Sun Daily