OCCUPANCY remains low at the two Taman Bahagia LRT Park-and-ride facilities in Petaling Jaya despite it being strategically located on the left and right of the train station.
These carparks are the second and third phases for the station, with the first located right behind the station.
The second phase can be accessed via Jalan SS1/36 and the third phase via the back lane of Jalan SS2/4A.
Known as Taman Bahagia parking Phase Two and Three, all the three carparks are located on Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) reserve land.
Currently, only the first carpark behind the station is always fully occupied with cars parked dangerously, leaving only a narrow path for vehicles to get in and out.
However, the other two carparks, with 224 lots in Phase Two and 504 lots in Phase Three, are less than quarter full.
Phase Two was opened in September last year while Phase Three was opened in March this year.
“We believe that safety concerns for pedestrians and motorists are the main reason why the parking lots are empty,” said Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin during a site visit.
She said the lack of lighting at night and broken roof covers along the pedestrian walkway made it not conducive for walking, especially after dark.
When StarMetro visited Phase Two, it was noted that the pedestrian pathway linking the carpark and the Taman Bahagia LRT station was beside a monsoon drain’s reserve land.
Though it was not that far a walk, the unkempt green space on both sides of the pathway could potentially be a breeding ground for snakes or Aedes mosquitoes.
The existing lights installed under the covered walkway were also not functioning while some parts of the roof looked like it had been blown off.
“It is also not possible for wheelchair bound or disabled individuals to use the pedestrian walkway because there are a few obstacles along the way,” Yeo said.
She hoped something would be done to improve the conditions so that more pedestrians would feel comfortable parking their vehicles there to take public transport.
Also present during the site visit were the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) engineering team along with MBPJ councillors Jamaliah Jamaluddin and Billy Wong.
“We have actually terminated the contractor who did such a bad job with the sheltered pedestrian walkway and MBPJ did not pay him in full,” said Jamaliah, who added that 10% of the payment was withheld.
MBPJ is engaging a new contractor to repair the broken walkway covering and it is expected to award the tender within a month or two.
The new contractor will be tasked with replacing the roof of the covered walkway with new material and to fix the broken lights.
“Wong and I will also propose a few suggestions relating to safety at the upcoming infrastructure committee meeting,” she said.
One of their ideas is to station a security team at the station who will be in charge of collecting the RM3 parking fee and to boost safety.
They also have plans to landscape the unkempt green space beside the walkway which is now filled with long grass and shrubs.
For now, they will focus on improving pedestrian safety at Phase Two before moving on to improving conditions in Phase Three.
Among the ideas they have for Phase Three is to build a covered walkway linking to the station and ensure it is properly lit at night.