AS A Klang Valley resident, I am delighted the LRT has extended its lines across townships such as Subang and Puchong.
Most of us have been waiting for this moment for the past five years.
I was excited to know that my daily commute was set to change forever and I started using the LRT extension from Kinrara when it opened in October.
However, after using the new LRT service for the past month, I am upset it did not fulfil my expectations and I feel that the extensions have major flaws.
First, there is a lack of park-and-ride facility in almost all stations. I would have expected Prasarana Malaysia Bhd to build multi-storey carparks for most stations, but instead it built an open carpark with minimal parking bays.
I always have a tough time looking for a parking spot in the morning as the carpark is usually full before 8am and sometimes, I just drive to work as I cannot afford to waste time.
At the Kampung Muhibbah station, where the low-cost public housing projects are located, commuters would rather park outside and cause traffic congestion as they cannot afford to use the park-and-ride facilities.
I am also upset Prasarana has failed to resolve the first and last mile connectivity issue with its feeder buses.
There is a lack of feeder buses and no information on the feeder bus services at the LRT stations.
Even the stations’ customer service officers are clueless about the feeder bus routes.
Another major flaw lies within its stations. Certain stations have no lifts or escalators at certain entrances.
The long flight of stairs would deter the disabled and senior citizens from using the LRT.
At the platforms, there is also a lack of fans and the intense humidity is sometimes unbearable.
I was shocked to note that the Putra Heights station has no fans at the platforms despite being an integrated station which will be among the busiest stations in future.
There is also lack of benches and seating areas.
The signboards are awkwardly placed – they are either hidden or pose danger. In the Kinrara station, there is a signboard placed so low after the escalator that people often hit their heads on it.
I find it amusing the the senior management team from SPAD and Prasarana which conducted official visits prior to the opening of the new stations failed to realise all these issues.
It is also ridiculous that Prasarana operates only one concession counter in the Klang Valley, which is in Pasar Seni.
It makes no sense for a student or a senior citizen to go all the way to Pasar Seni to apply for their concession cards.
Why can’t they open counters in other stations?
People are still generally confused with the routes and interchanges and Prasarana should organise more roadshows to engage the public.
Despite operating urban rail services for more than 15 years and with all the feedback over those years, transport operators are still repeating the same mistakes.
Yes, there have been improvements in certain areas but overall, we are still lagging behind developed countries.
I am grateful for the new LRT extensions but I feel disappointed that we are still not up to par.
I really hope there will not be a repeat of these mistakes at the upcoming Sungai Buloh MRT Line.
I have high expectations for the MRT and it is crucial that the planners put themselves in the commuters’ shoes to ensure even minor issues are dealt with before the opening.