I have been a great fan of Metros recently. I suppose. I always wonder how these great giants could move over hundred of people in a single trip and millions of people around the world each day. Just have a breakdown and you see thousands stranded just like what happened to Singapore MRT a few months back. I have been to several travels around different cities, so I thought why not if I could give some suggestions or thoughts on how LRT and KTM in Malaysia can improve? If you are about to ask anyone about the capability of public transport in Malaysia, I wouldn’t surprise that they would rather drive their car.
So seriously, public transportation in Malaysia has so much more to be said, but I will just mention about Metro alone. And in here I wouldn’t mention about the technical part or the coverage of the stations or anything about the metro quality and quantity aspects… Simply because I don’t have the knowledge. But as an ordinary citizen, here are my suggestions on other matter I think we need. The whole idea of pursuing people to take public transport simply is to give them convenience more than their car does.
1) Park and Ride Concept – One of the core issues is simply traffic jam, it’s painful to know that the reality of most Malaysians is would like to enjoy their own ride in their own cars every morning, simply because fuel is still cheap (subsidized by Government) and Car is generally cheaper (Still affordable by many).. you would see the situation of 1 Car having only 1 person.
The Park and Ride Concept simply means every Metro Station should have sufficient spaces to accommodate parking lots, perhaps over thousand of them in a parking complex, and offer people minimal charges to park their cars and ride the LRT and ensure that it is fast and convenient. So far only few LRT stations have it, if I could imagine every LRT stations have it, simply means more people would rather drive 1km and park into the complex and hop on the train for a 20+km smooth ride instead of crawling on the highway.
2) Offer Free Wifi Services – So what’s next that encourage them to just hop into the train? Having a metro simply means you have spare time for yourself for quitting the driver job of your car. Have a free Wifi, Internet connectivity matters so much today we all know it well. Whether it’s facebook, E-newspaper, Emailing.. you name it, people is always thirsty for a wifi source and stick to it. So by offering a free service while you travel, it simply means killing 2 birds with 1 stone.
3) Offer more than a Destination- I have blogged about this before, refer more HERE. Basically, I mean by giving again another reason for people to take the Metro by passing by the destination that gives them convenient. Take Kelana Jaya station, for example, that has at least a few shop slots available that house convenient stores and also a supermarket in the same building, and furthermore, a bus transit at the lower ground. In this context, we are emphasizing of having a convenient store that is within the building, not beside the building, or also which is in the pathway of the daily routine of the users. People indirectly find it a natural flow to pick up something from the destination before heading home.
4) Have a “Software” Map App, on iPhone or Andriod.. anything. – I think I wouldn’t need to elaborate on this, simply check out THIS WEBSITE . This is what I depend so much during my 8 weeks stay in Shanghai, it’s so convenient that I could check the fare and traveling time all by few touch. And imagine of having this browsing on your phone.. or imagine there is a real time GPS tracker when you are traveling in any Metro.. because of the free wifi. If then we could imagine by integrating RapidKL bus system into the same map, then that’s one awesome thing. If we could even put in real time ETA arrival time, then that beats it down.
5) Better Publicity strategy – Or Better Communications- for some unknown reasons, i find that RapidKL somehow has inconsistency in trying to bring their message across, many programs and offers just come and go swiftly, even though it’s good to have new improved thing coming in (the recent token concept) but they abolish the 1month all travel pass and I couldn’t find any TnG reload machines again. I know they tried a lot in reaching out to encourage users to take the public transport, but simply branding is weak. how I wish it is just like AirAsia that could seriously make everyone think that AirAsia is easier compared to other airlines, same goes here. It needs something to break the wall to get through people’s mindset of public transport.
That’s my 2 cents. well, I just love spilling out random thoughts, don’t I?