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Saturday, 22 November 2008

KTM - The Sky Has Fallen In!

KTM Komuter is probably best known as the first transit system in Malaysia.

Introduced back there in 1995, it now becomes an important part of public transport in Klang Valley, linking major towns and cities such as the port town Klang, industrial state Shah Alam, Capital of Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, and satellite city Petaling Jaya. The KTM route even stretches out of KL and Selangor area to Seremban.

That's very long. Just like Malay names compared to mine.

Being the backbone of Klang Valley's public transport, it is only natural if Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) continuously upgrade their services to better service the people.

For example, new stations and extensions are being introduced for the past two years. Future stations are included in the route map on some trains, covered up by yellow adhesive tape.

Future stations, covered by tape.

When these stations are open, passengers will have links to places such as Ipoh and Batu Caves.

Secondly, the trains are also being refurbished. The refurbished trains have a different seating plan, specially designed to maximise capacity.

Although at times I can't really tell whether a train has been refurbished or not. It's not that the jobs were badly done, it's just that the trains get older faster than you can fix them.

Thirdly, stations are being upgraded as well. Many stations are now disabled-friendly, and shades have also been added to shield customers from sun and rain.

But there was one change which made me scream "the sky has fallen in!!!"

KTM Komuter passengers are actually starting to line up.

YES! You read right. They actually lined up before boarding the trains in KL Sentral station. I mean, for other transit lines, such as RapidKL's Putra line, passengers line up automatic. But KTM's passengers never do that, until recently.

I'm not lying! Check out the following picture.

No! I didn't ask all of them to line up so that I can lie to my blog readers!

KTMB had been trying very hard to control the uncivilised behaviour of their customers in busier stations such as KL Sentral and Mid Valley. Police guards have been introduced few years back with little effect. How did they achieve victory this time?

KTMB have this notice teaching us how to queue. Sweet.

The idea was simple. They drew guide lines on the floor, showing passengers where the doors of the trains will open. There are three different configurations for KTM Komuter trains, so three different sets of lines are drawn in different colours.

A few minutes before the train arrives at the station, an announcement would be made, telling passengers the configuration of the train. Something like "The train to Pelabuhan Klang will be arriving in 5 minutes. Please queue at the blue line."

Sight at KL Sentral KTM Komuter platform. Note the many coloured arrows and lines on the floor.

It was amazing passengers actually obeyed them. Don't get what I mean? Imagine seeing your dog play piano. I'm sure the people at KTMB are feeling as if they've taught their cats to swim.

But of course, upon arrival of the trains, everybody still crowds forwards anyway, squeezing their lunch out of their intestines.

So much for lining up.

But I'm sorry if they lined up and see this notice.

It says: doors out of order, please use the other one.

After being shepherded for so long, you realised that the door wouldn't open. Maybe they should have focused more on refurbishing the trains.

Thank you KTMB!


  1. minli can't wait to go home23 November 2008 at 01:31

    heheh. i'll be seeing those very soon. yay yay yay!!!

  2. lol. i delayed this post many many times actually. they started lining up some time last month. and then i thought, eh minli coming home soon, must post edi XD

    really really hope to see you =D


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