Lack of notice on disrupted services upsets KTM commuters

KTM Bank Negara station on Aug 22 had no signboards put up despite a disruption to rail service resulting from two cargo train derailments that occurred on Aug 19 and 21.

THE lack of signboards to alert Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) commuters of disrupted rail services was cause for concern in light of on-going SEA Games 2017.

Hour-long delays on resulted from a closure of both train tracks leading from the KL Sentral station and Kepong station on Aug 22.

The closures were to facilitate salvaging works on the tracks following two derailments of cargo trains within the week on Saturday (Aug 19) and Monday (Aug 21).

However, signboards were not erected to inform passengers of the disruption and alternate methods of transportation said David Ling, 37, who sends his 14 year-old son to take the KTM to school.

“I dropped my son off at the Kepong station on Saturday (Aug 19) and started to worry as he did not reach school for more than an hour it usually only takes about 30 minutes,” he said as parents are informed by the school of their children’s arrival through a punch-card system.

“When the train was derailed on Monday, there were Manila cardboard signs informing us that the train was not in service.

“There was no mention of it today (Aug 22), so when I went to the station with my son and waited for the train with him this time, but it did not arrive we ended up using the ride-sharing service.

Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming organised a meeting on-site at the Bank Negara station to raise the grouses of passengers on Aug 22.

“My calculations show that about 100,000 passengers are affected by the disruptions as they're either late for work or have had to spend additional money on ride sharing services or taxis.

“What’s worse is that KTM derailments have happened before; are they taking care of the line maintenance properly?,” he said.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said there should have been proper notification to inform passengers, especially with the large in-flow of tourists into the country for SEA Games.

“Foreign visitors rely on public transportation, so if there is a delay in service, there needs to be more information about it on big notices and banners.

“When there is a breakdown in rail systems overseas, there is always a contingency plan such as shuttle buses to alternate routes,” he said.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) representatives at the meeting said they were working to get the rail services fully operational by Aug 28. Until then, only one train track would be used from KL Sentral to Kepong.

This means that the rail services from Batu Caves to Tampin/Pulau Sebang station and back will operate at a frequency of 30 to 60 minutes.

While rail services from the Pelabuhan Klang to Tanjung Malim stations and back will operate at a frequency of 45 to 60 minutes.

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