COMMUTERS are complaining about the irregular schedule of KTM Bhd’s Electric Train Service (ETS).
Ipoh City Watch president Prof Dr Richard Ng said the ETS delays from KL Sentral to the Ipoh railway station started in July.
He said, after the Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar service was announced during the Hari Raya period, commuters began experiencing delays.
He added that the irregular arrivals and delays are probably a result of the insufficient number of coaches and frequent breakdowns.
Ng said commuters travelling from Ipoh to KL Sentral at night are usually the ones most affected.
Citing an example, he said the train schedule from Ipoh is scheduled at 8pm, but the coach leaves Kuala Lumpur at 6pm and arrives in Ipoh at 8.30pm so it then departs for Kuala Lumpur again at 8.45pm.
“After several complaints were made, KTM rescheduled the time to 9pm, but the situation is back to square one because the train now departs Kuala Lumpur at 7pm,” said Ng, who travels weekly between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh.
Ng said when commuters spoke the KTM staff, most of them were told to go ahead and lodge complaints.
“With hawker stalls set up in front of the railway station and the lack of parking bays available, commuters taking the 9pm train usually need to be at the station an hour earlier.
“Although they get here early, they have to wait an additional 45 minutes before they are allowed to board the train,” he said.
Another person who only wished to be known as Charan, 36, said she had to wait for one hour and 20 minutes before she could board her train to Kuala Lumpur recently.
She said her train was scheduled for 12.30pm, but it only arrived at the Ipoh Railway Station at 1.50pm.
“Initially there were no announcements made and after some time, when commuters started to become restless, an announcement was made telling us to be patient as the train was delayed.
“When the train still did not arrive after an hour, I went over to ask the staff and one of them said that there were technical problems,” Charan said, adding that she was on her way to Kuala Lumpur to attend a training session at her office in Petaling Jaya.
Another regular commuter who only wished to be known as Sukwinder said, every weekend, he goes back to visit his family in Ipoh.
The 62-year-old doctor said he takes a train to Ipoh from the Rawang station every Saturday and travelled back to Rawang on Sunday night.
“Sometimes there is a 20-minute delay and usually it is because of a technical glitch.
“I have been noticing the delays lately because the train was always on schedule before this,” he added.
University student Phang Mei Ying, 22, said her sister’s train was delayed twice in a month.
She said midway during the journey, the train experienced technical problems and the passengers were told to switch trains.
The medical student said her sister and the other passengers were then told to board the normal train to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur.
“It took them almost three hours to reach their destination.
“Because there are insufficient seats on the normal train, some of the passengers including my sister had to stand until they reached Ipoh,” she added.
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