Prasarana records 70% ridership drop during conditional MCO

Tajuddin (with walking stick) speaking to passengers on a train in the city.

PRASARANA Malaysia Bhd (Prasarana) recorded a 70% drop in ridership on its trains in the city due to the conditional movement control order (MCO) in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor from Oct 14.

The public transport operator said ridership in March and April had dipped to 5% when the MCO was in full effect, before gradually recovering to about 20% in May and June as the MCO eased.

Prasarana chief executive officer Muhammad Nizam Alias said the ridership rose to an encouraging 65% in July before it trailed off again in the following weeks after a rise in Covid-19 cases.

“We saw a slight decrease in ridership two weeks prior to the conditional MCO as Malaysia was hit by a third wave of Covid-19.

“Ridership plummeted as soon as the conditional MCO took effect, especially in the first two days, ” he said.

Despite the massive drop from the average 700,000 daily train passengers, group chairman Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said there were no plans to reduce the number of trains.

“We know the excess in load capacity will incur a huge cost, but our priority is the comfort of passengers.

“The trains will operate as usual, but we may make changes to the operation for off-peak times.

“This is to ensure good mobility among city folk, which is a crucial factor to support the economic recovery, ” he said.

Tajuddin and Nizam said this after their walkabout at the Masjid Jamek LRT station in Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur.

They boarded a train at Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT before disembarking at the Pasar Seni MRT station, which is the interchange hub to the Kelana Jaya LRT line, before heading to Masjid Jamek.

Tajuddin gave out face masks to train commuters, while saying that standard operating procedures (SOP) compliance among Prasarana employees and passengers were satisfactory.

Checks by StarMetro showed that hand sanitisers were placed at entrances of train stations, and passengers had to scan the QR codes via MySejahtera, in addition to having their temperature taken.

All station employees were provided with gloves and face masks, while stations broadcasted frequent reminders to passengers to keep a one-metre physical distance.

Tajuddin reminded the public to always comply with the SOP when using public transport.

“If everyone cooperates, then our country will recover and succeed in breaking the Covid-19 infection chain, ” he said.

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