Tuesday, September 20, 2011

World Carfree Day - 22nd September

It's time to leave your cars at home! Over in Malaysia, rail companies are giving out free coupons. A total of 150,000 free one-way coupons on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Monorail will be given out on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from Sept 22 in support of World Car Free Day. As typical Malaysian mentality goes, I doubt this will encourage new users. It is not big enough a carrot to lure car addicted citizens to take public transport, though it would be a nice little reward for existing users. 

What we need is a more efficient public transport system. Here is a typical itinerary of a highly efficient transit system (i.e. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, London): 

Walk to station: 5 min
Wait for train: 0-15 min
Ride to center: 10 min
Change platforms: 1 min
Wait for train: 0-15 min
Ride to end: 10 min
Walk to destination: 5 min
Total: 31-61 min
Average: 46 min

In contrast to our Malaysian transit:

Walk to station: 10-15 min (If you stay near one, otherwise you'll need to beg someone to send you to the station or park your car there)
Wait for train: 0-30 min
Ride to center: 30-60 min (the slowest being KTM Komuter)
Change platforms: 1-15 min (takes longer to walk from KL Sentral to the Monorail station)
Wait for train: 0-30 min
Ride to end: 10 min
Walk to destination: 5-10 min
Total: 56-140 min
Average: 96 min

These are just my rough estimate, but I'm sure most would agree with it. So, if we want more people to use public transit, we would need to make the journey faster.

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