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Discussion Starter #1


On 29 August 2006, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak announced that the western end of the Kelana Jaya Line would be extended to the suburbs of Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya and UEP Subang Jaya (USJ), which are located to the south-west of Kuala Lumpur. The extension will be part of a RM10 billion plan to expand Kuala Lumpur's public transport network.

The expansion plan will also see the Ampang Line extended to the suburb of Puchong and the south-west of Kuala Lumpur The plan also involved the construction of an entirely new line, tentatively called the Kota Damansara-Cheras Line, running from Kota Damansara in the western portion of the city, to Cheras which lies to the south-east of Kuala Lumpur.
 

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Time For Some Dignity In Malaysia's Public Transport
October 22, 2008 10:49 AM By Melati Mohd Ariff

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 (Bernama) - Over the years, complaints on the shoddy services offered in the country's public transport sector have continued to snowball and reached colossal proportions.

This had forced Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to take to the ground to witness and experience for himself the daily mayhem and disorder faced by commuters in the city.

At the end of the Prime Minister's day trip, he arrived at the conclusion that a more efficient, reliable and integrated public transportation, which provides seamless travel and greater frequency of services, is required.

In the Klang Valley alone, an average of 400,000 people use the bus services daily while another 350,000 go up RapidKLs trains. Overall, RapidKL provides 44 per cent of the public transport services in the Klang Valley.

These were some of the statistics in the 2009 Budget speech, delivered by Abdullah in the Dewan Rakyat last Aug 29.

To further improve public transport's efficiency, the government has pledged a sum of RM35 billion to be utilised for the period 2009-2014.

Improvement plans include enhancing the capacity of existing rail services, building new tracks and increasing the number of buses.

Regular public transport users including those in the Klang Valley now harbour high hopes that the endless woes they are facing daily would be things of the past.

ATTITUDE CHANGE

Amidst the government's multi-billion Ringgit plans, the erroneous notion that public transportation is for only the low-income group should be corrected.

"We limit ourselves by assuming that public transport is for the poor people which is really not the case. One of its functions is to provide mobility service for the public and it is not just for people who cannot afford private transport but also for people who have the option of not using private transport," said Moaz Yusof Ahmad, a public transport activist.

He is the adviser of 'Transit', the Association for the Improvement of Mass Transit-Klang Valley), a newly established public transport activist group.

Moaz said there were two other functions of public transport which were equally important, namely development and business.

A good system of public transport, he said, would encourage the kind of development which was good for the city and its people.

"It would create urban centres that are people-friendly, pedestrian-friendly, the city becomes more livable because people can walk and spend money. They do not have to drive, park or go through traffic jams.

"This community will also save money as the government can save money on roads and transportation and so can the people. We do not have this community in the Klang Valley except in a few of the older areas. Most of our newer communities are designed around cars," he said.

With available infrastructure, profitable businesses can also be generated around public transport stations. Where services are prominent, business operators can also expect increase in profit and property owners can command higher rentals.

"You have the opportunity to advertise and sell land around public transport stations, which in itself can be a profitable enterprise," said Moaz who is an economics lecturer in a Subang Jaya private college.

PLANNING

Moaz argued that issuing more bus or taxi permits and providing more train lines or coaches would not solve public transport woes without proper planning or organisation that would severely impact reliability.

"If we do not include public transport in initial planning to fulfill the transport needs of the community, we are going to see serious problems in the future," he stressed.

According to Moaz, the main shortcoming in public transportation is the complete lack of wholesome or holistic investment.

"We built the LRT line and say the problem is solved and now we can move people. The point is when they get out of the LRT, there is another set of problems the commuters have to deal with. This is what you call the first mile and the last mile connectivity.

"The existing number of feeder buses are inadequate or unreliable and if we do not make the whole service reliable from the first mile to the last mile, then we are not going to get the people to use public transport no matter how many LRTs are built," said Moaz.

SPEND LESS FOR MORE

In terms of costs against the benefits, Transit considers that the LRT is actually one of the least effective choices of public transport.

Citing the Kelana Jaya LRT line, Moaz said currently it was running with double-coach trains and moving about 9,000 passengers in one direction each hour.

"The Kelana Jaya LRT will move approximately 20,000 passengers per hour when they operate the four-coach trains at the end of 2009.

"If we need to move 9,000 or 20,000 people, actually we should be building monorails as it costs less and can move the same number of people," said Moaz.

He also believed that extension of the Kelana Jaya line should continue right to the Shah Alam Stadium as there is ample undeveloped land to the west of the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE).

"If we go to the Shah Alam Stadium, we have access not only to Ara Damansara but also Subang, Kampung Melayu Subang and the rest.

"The stadium area is a very large spot, very open and we can have room for a depot, parking, and express bus lanes.

He said the stadium is located near two highways -- the Federal Highway and NKVE, therefore it is viable for a reliable bus system that could move people from Shah Alam to other areas including Subang Jaya, Kota Kemuning, Klang and even Kuala Lumpur.

Transit also suggests plan to extend the LRT from Seri Petaling to Petaling Jaya South and through Petaling Jaya, all the way to Kepong and back to Sentul.

"The Klang Valley Transport Study identifies Petaling Jaya line traveling from PJ South to Taman Tun Dr Ismail. This line can be integrated within our proposed extension to Petaling Jaya. When completed there would be a KL-PJ loop line that could move 60,000 passengers per hour. This would remove thousands of car from the MRRII daily," said Moaz.

Transit has also identified a solution for Puchong and western Petaling Jaya.

"Jalan Klang Lama and Jalan Puchong are large roads which move thousands of cars per day. If we expand the KL Monorail to four or six-carriage trains and extend it to MidValley, and then along Jalan Klang Lama and Jalan Puchong, we can move 40,000 passengers per hour. MidValley will benefit and we would reduce traffic on Jalan Puchong.

He said in the long term, Transit's approach would build more economic growth for the Klang Valley and Malaysia.

PROVIDE MORE FOR BUSES

The bus service is another area which Transit has great interest in.

According to Muhammad Zulkarnain Hamzah, Transit's spokesperson, buses are very much affected by the traffic congestion.

He said highways and expressways could be used as alternative routes for buses.

As an illustration, he said, 30 buses were more than capable to relieve the maximum amount of free flow traffic that the 1.2 billion Ringgit Akleh( Ampang-KL Elevated Highway) can sustain at any one time.

He also proposed that expressways be used as 'Expressway Rapid Transit' (ERT) tracks with ERT buses functioning as 'trains'.

Muhammad Zulkarnain said bus 'stations' could be built on top of these 'tracks' at identified strategic transit points with high suburban population.

"Bus terminals for suburban feeder bus services together with depots and car parks can be built inside the suburban area and next to the ERT points so that transit time can be cut short," he explained.

Accordingly, three strategic Kuala Lumpur gateway points for ERT buses can be created at KL Sentral/Mid Valley, Imbi (near the Pandan Roundabout) and Sentul Timur with dedicated bus ramps to Jalan Travers for direct access to NKVE and NPE, KL-Putrajaya and Duke Expressway respectively.

The gateway points should be conveniently linked to Ampang and Kelana Jaya LRT Lines besides KL Monorail while the Dang Wangi LRT Station could be the main gateway point that caters to ERT buses from Ampang via Akleh, he said.

"This is because it sits strategically at the west end point of Akleh. To fill up the demand during rush hours, express bus operators should be allowed to bid for periodical contract to serve ERT buses in which they will be paid based on a set of criteria set up by the transport authority," Muhammad Zulkarnain explained.

He said all buses and bus stops as well as mass-transit terminals should be designed based on the universal accessibility principle that would speed up bus service and encourage people to use them.

POLITICAL WILL

To fix the public transport system, it needs a strong political will. It also requires intervention from higher ups as voiced out by both Moaz and Muhammad Zulkarnain.

They proposed the setting up of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Public Transport led by members of Parliaments from both sides of the divide.

"The infrastructure is already there. It is just getting everybody to cooperate for the sake of facing this problem and not thinking of their particular vested interest," said Moaz.

He also stressed that a proper public transport system that provides a level of standard should also be available across the nation and not just only for the Klang Valley.

"If we stick to what we are doing, we are going to stagnate. Jakarta, Bangkok and Singapore have invested in their public transport networks. Jakarta has an exemplary Bus Rapid Transit System. They built seven lines in four years and three more are under construction.

"Bangkok has expanded their Metro and Skytrain and they are building Bus Rapid Transit and Airport Express line. Singapore is building three MRT lines and three more are being planned.

"There is a lot of work ahead but it can be done if we just change our attitude, our perception in public transport," said Moaz.

-- BERNAMA
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Two extra LRT lines being studied
By SIM LEOI LEOI The Star - 21 August 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB) is still carrying out a land and engineering study on the proposed two additional light rail transit networks in the Klang Valley.

Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat told Tony Pua (DAP - Petaling Jaya Utara) in Parliament on Thursday that the study would focus on the 32km rail line and 24 new LRT stations.

"The two lines - the STAR network which runs from Sri Petaling to Putra Heights and the Putra network from Kelana Jaya to Putra Heights - will be constructed as soon as the study is completed.

"The project will be carried out via private financing infrastructure scheme. We have not yet determined the cost," he said.

To another question from Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi (BN - Batu Pahat) on limiting the number of private vehicles from entering the city, Ong said the matter of public transport in Kuala Lumpur came under the purview of the Federal Territories Ministry.

"It was brought up for discussion during the Cabinet Committee for public transport meeting," he said.

Members of Parliament from both sides of the divide voiced their unhappiness in the Government's decision not to reduce the prices of fuel at the petrol pumps before Sept 1. Salahuddin Ayob (PAS - Kubang Kerian) and Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh (BN - Kalabakan) had complained that the prices at petrol pumps should be revised daily according to the ups and downs according to the global markets.

In reply, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha said it would have been good for the Government if it could revise the prices at the petrol pumps daily.

"However, because the Government still gives a 30 sen subsidy on the fuel price, it has to calculate this according to the average price each month," he said.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Tenders to extend RapidKL LRT may be out in Q1
By Sharen Kaur Published: 2008/12/22 BusinessTimes

Key players like UEM Builders, IJM Corp, YTL Corp, Ho Hup Holdings, and Loh & Loh Construction are expected to bid

SYARIKAT Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB), a unit of the Ministry of Finance Inc, may call for tenders to extend the RapidKL Light Rail Transit (LRT) system by as early as the first quarter of next year.

The LRT covers two lines, namely the Ampang Line (previously, Star LRT) and Kelana Jaya Line (formerly Putra LRT). The assets are owned by SPNB.

The tenders, worth over RM1 billion, is for track and civil works, fare collection, and systems work involving power supply, signaling and communication, industry players said.

Under the plan, the Ampang line will be extended from Bukit Jalil to Puchong, heading towards Subang Jaya, and linking up to the Kelana Jaya line.

The extension will involve 32km of double track and around 24 new stations, a source said.

Currently, the Ampang Line runs from Ampang to the city centre, and then from Sentul Timur towards the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, while the Kelana Jaya Line starts from Terminal Putra Gombak up until Kelana Jaya.

"The extension will allow for a more complete integrated rail network. The project may be government-funded or implemented through private finance initiatives," the source added.

Key players like UEM Builders Bhd, IJM Corp Bhd, YTL Corp Bhd, Ho Hup Holdings Bhd, and Loh & Loh Construction Bhd are expected to bid.

It is learned that low-profile railway engineering firm Global Rail Sdn Bhd will make submissions for the systems work, in collaboration with its foreign technology partners. It is eyeing a portion which is worth RM80 million.

The government is also expected to pump prime part of the RM500 million allocation under the RM7 billion economic stimulus package announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on November 4, to kick-start the project.

The allocation will also cover KTM Bhd's requirement for new three-car electronic multiple unit sets to cater for the Klang Valley.

KTMB has 60 sets now, but only half can be used. It needs 112 sets.

"Tenders for the train sets are under evaluation as the government is looking at an option to lease the trains to reduce its capital investment on the assets," the source said.

The tenders or lease options will attract manufacturers from Korea, China, Japan and Europe.
 

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I can only believe it when I see it being built. Now, it is just talk, talk, and more talk only. It is long overdue. People deserve a better public transportation network (especially rail based).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
RapidKL seeks swift decision, welcomes new rail transit line
Monday June 16, 2008 By LEE YUK PENG, TheStar

PETALING JAYA: RapidKL hopes the Government can decide fast on the new 40km Kota Damansara-Cheras rail transit line, which covers some of the most densely populated areas in the Klang Valley.

RapidKL communications general manager Ebi Azly Abdullah said the rail transit line would be a good way of getting people to use the public transportation service.

“Rail should be the backbone of the public transportation system. It can ferry a lot of people in a short period of time.

“Taking the light rail transit to the city will be cheaper,'' said Ebi Azly.

He said this in response to the new rail line and extensions planned to be ready by 2012.

The new line will be owned by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd and operated by RapidKL.

While the Government has yet to announce when work will begin on the new line, sources pointed to the “positive statements” by Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop after a briefing session with Backbenchers last Thursday.

Nor Mohamed had announced that public transportation would be getting more incentives, allocations and assistance under the Budget 2009 and future Budgets.

Sources also said the Government was conducting the mid-term review of the 9th Malaysia Plan and there were concerted efforts to get the new line in.

Besides the new line, the Government is also trying to get extensions to the Kelana Jaya and Ampang Lines.

The extensions will cover Subang Jaya, USJ, Kinrara and Puchong and meet at Putra Heights.


Yesterday, Nor Mohamed also announced that the upcoming 2009 Budget would spell some relief for Malaysians now saddled with higher living costs with its emphasis on a more efficient public transportation system and a knowledge-based economy, among others.

“Various measures are being worked out to ensure as many Malaysians will enjoy some measure of prosperity,” he said after meeting federal Finance Ministry officials in Kota Kinabalu.
 

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Builders expect new projects to start flowing in H1 2009
By YEOW POOI LING


PETALING JAYA: Contractors expect new jobs to start flowing in following the Government’s efforts to pump prime the economy in the first half of next year.

Master Builders Association Malaysia president Ng Kee Leen said it usually took three to six months for tenders to be called after an official announcement.

Last month, the Government announced a RM7bil stimulus package to prevent the economy from contracting amid the global slowdown.

Ng told StarBiz that about RM4bil of the RM7bil was for the construction sector, which often had a spillover effect on other segments.

“The new jobs are likely to be small contracts like low-cost housing and schools,” he said, adding that more stimulus packages were anticipated next year.

Despite the weaker economic conditions, contractors are still busy with projects that were offered in late 2007 and the beginning of this year.

“Contractors are not doing so bad. We may not be making much money but there are still jobs to be done. We hope the RM7bil package will be quickly disseminated to contractors to bid for the projects. This will enable the benefits of the stimulus to be felt and help contractors survive in this tough times,” Ng added.

A research house, in a report, said the Government’s pump-priming efforts were likely to gain momentum next year as the stimulus would ensure the 2009 growth forecast of 3.5% was met and the country did not slip into a recession.

“With just two years to go before the end of the 9MP (Ninth Malaysia Plan) and more than half of the allocation of RM230bil not spent, we think the construction sector can certainly look forward to more aggressive project flows,” it said.

On Monday, it was reported that the Government was likely to open tenders in the first quarter of next year for the extension of the light rail transport (LRT) system involving the Kelana Jaya and Ampang lines.

The contracts offered are worth over RM1bil in total, which is part of the RM10bil upgrade of Klang Valley’s LRT system that was announced during the Budget 2009 presentation in August.

Meanwhile, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, owner of the LRT assets, said on its website the tender for architectural consultancy services for the upgrade of 24 Ampang line station was now open.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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^^

The idea of LRT extension was mentioned many times.......that's why people are wondering...

Hopefully the tender can be called in Q1 2009, as planned....so that we can reap the benefit
 

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^^

The idea of LRT extension was mentioned many times.......that's why people are wondering...

Hopefully the tender can be called in Q1 2009, as planned....so that we can reap the benefit
they still have to make the routes public and have the 3 month consultation period with the residents living along the LRT routes.

Cheers, m
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No LRT stops at three busy spots
Friday August 10, 2007 by LIM CHIA YING
TheStar

Subang Jaya residents with the help of their assemblyman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng came up with their proposed route and halts for the extended Putra LRT line into Subang Jaya. However, news is that Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (SPNB) has ignored some of the proposed halts and is going ahead with their own route instead. StarMetro finds out.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng is upset. Informed sources have told him that Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (SPNB) is bypassing three halts that he and residents had proposed for the extended Putra LRT service into the township.

SPNB is the holding company under the Finance Ministry that owns the rail lines.

“I’ve been told that Prasarana has finalised its own routes and is about to present it to the Cabinet for final approval.

“Based on what they have finalised, they are bypassing the Sunway, Lagoon Perdana and the USJ 1 halts,” said Lee.

He said SPNB would be making a mistake if it excluded the three important halts.

“If Prasarana continues with their finalised route, it definitely won’t be successful, and this will be a mistake like they did with Putra and Star LRT lines,” he said.

Lee said that when news of the Putra LRT line extension into Subang Jaya was first announced by the Prime Minister, he had sat down with residents and the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to draw out the route.

“We presented it to SPNB but it seemed that they never took into consideration our proposal nor consulted the residents who know best,” he continued.

He said based on the current route, SPNB was excluding low and medium-cost areas where people who would take public transport lived.

“Shopping complexes are places that people go to, so the Sunway Pyramid stop is an important one to have. Sunway also has thousands of car park for commuters to park their vehicles,” he said.

“There is no doubt that extending the line into Sunway can be quite expensive but the place is a big catchment area. There’s a wide coverage in just the Lagoon Perdana area alone, especially since Kg Lindungan and Kg Medan are also within close proximity. I would estimate easily 50,000 people there,” Lee said.

“I’m also disappointed with how they would miss out USJ 1 with blocks of low and middle-income flats there. You have to look at the present situation when accessing things.

“For example, the line from Sentul is usually packed mainly because of the lower income groups of people there,” said Lee.

The seven initial halts that were proposed by Lee and the residents are the Subang Jaya KTM station, SS14 and SS15, Bandar Sunway, Lagoon Perdana, USJ 1, between The Summit and Mydin, and finally, on the plot of MPSJ land in USJ 8.

StarMetro had reported Lee as saying that he hoped SPNB would look into ways to expand the routes such as including new areas and not change those that have been proposed.

The route by SPNB is said to be at the Subang Jaya KTM station, before heading to Jalan Jengka and Kesas highway, and ending up at Persiaran Kewajipan.

Residents Committee (JKP) Zone 5 (which covers The Summit right up to Angsana Apartments in USJ 1) chairman Kamarudin Rasol said he was disappointed to learn of the news.

“I believe all residents in my area support the initial proposal by Datuk Lee to have a halt in USJ 1. It gave them a glimmer of hope because they can take the LRT in future and leave their cars at home. At present, the jam here is getting from bad to worse especially during peak hours at 8am, noon and 5pm,” he said.

“Here at Angsana, there are 10 blocks of low-cost apartments and a lot of residents use the buses to get to work. We thought we could save on petrol and no longer need to bear with the jam in future so this (news) comes as a disappointment,” said Kamarudin.

JKP Zone 4 chairman Goh Hai Thun feels the same.

“Residents would definitely use LRT over cars once there’s a hub here. The line would serve at least a population of 200,000 stretching from residential areas of PJS 5 to 11. Moreover, these are middle-income group residents who rely on public transportation a lot. Not forgetting the Monash and Sunway College students who number to about 10,000 to 15,000 a day. If the LRT is convenient, people would prefer using it as a congestion relief,” said Goh.

Lee said he hoped Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy would look into the matter that take into account residents’ needs.

“The prime minister had also said that whatever petrol subsidy that had been withdrawn would go into upgrading of infrastructure, and this is one of them. So it’s no excuse for SPNB to say the cost is expensive and they do not have budget,” he said.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
 

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LRT link for Klang folk, too
Friday November 23, 2007
By Elan Perumal

THE proposed LRT project connecting Subang Jaya to Klang will come sooner than expected if Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo has his way.

Since the Federal Government has given the state the nod, Dr Khir said there was no reason why the people of Klang should be deprived of the LRT service.

He said the proposed link between Subang Jaya and Klang was not a mere hype but was a genuine move towards enhancing the public transportation system in the state.

“The project will be implemented soon after the Kelana Jaya-Subang Jaya link is completed. I am sure that many commuters in Shah Alam and other places along the Subang Jaya-Klang destination will be excited.

“The state will push hard for the implementation of the project as it will provide another form of transportation for commuters who are currently depending on buses, Komuter train, taxi service to travel between the two destinations,” he told Star Metro in an interview yesterday.

Dr Khir said the extended LRT link-up was expected to take a load off the increasingly congested roads in the Klang Valley especially the Kuala Lumpur-Klang Federal Highway.

He said the congestion along the highway at peak hours was getting worse especially for traffic heading towards Klang.

”The LRT link will not only take commuters from the two destinations but will also link Klang to Kuala Lumpur via Subang Jaya.

“The service will make a great difference for those travelling between Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang,” he said, adding that they would be enjoying a fast and smooth ride.

Once the proposed link had been implemented, Dr Khir said, the state would be also looking into a sub system servicing the internal routes in Shah Alam and Klang.

With more and more development in the state, he said, LRT would be the answer for the public transportation system.

“We all know that LRT provides us fast, smooth and effective service and this is in line with the demand of the current age where people are becoming increasingly busy and time is something very valuable,” he said

Meanwhile, Dr Khir said the government was not too pleased with the service provided by public transportation operators in the state.

He urged the operators of public transportation to be more competent.

While looking into providing comfort, he said, they must be focused on offering regular and quck service to commuters.

“I am happy to see a lot of new and good looking buses on the roads but the service must be improved especially when it comes to local routes in small towns,” he added.
 

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RM1 Bln LRT Project Ready By 2011
March 04, 2008 19:20 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 (Bernama) -- The RM1 billion light rail transit project linking Sri Petaling and Putra Heights in USJ, which is expected to be completed by 2011, will ease the traffic problems of the residents.

Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Puchong parliamentary seat, incumbent Lau Yeng Peng, said this was the BN government's long-term strategy to solve the traffic problems faced by the people of Puchong and surrounding areas.

Lau said this at a press conference at BN Sri Serdang campaign centre in Serdang today to refute claims by the opposition parties that the project had been cancelled.

Also present were BN candidates for Kinrara and Sri Serdang state seats, Dr Kow Cheong Wei and Datuk Mohamad Satim Diman, repectively.

He said construction of the 16-km track was expected to start early next year.

"There will be 12 stations along the route, of which 10 will be in Taman Kinrara, Bandar Kinrara, Puchong Jaya, Tempua, Pusat Bandar Puchong, Bandar Puteri, Puchong Perdana, Puchong Indah, Taman Tasik Puchong Prima and Putra Heights," he said.

Lau said as a short-term measure to tackle traffic woes, two alternative roads would be built.

He said the Cabinet Committee on Public Transport, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, last December approved an allocation of RM20 million to build a bridge over ex-mining pool to link Taman Kinrara in Puchong to Sri Manja residential area in Old Klang Road.

"Another bridge will also be built to link a road near Tesco hypermarket to USJ 1," he said.

Lau said although the two links would cost government a substantial amount of money he would lobby the government to ensure both routes stay toll-free.

In 2004 election, Lau won the seat with a majority of 11,882 votes.

In coming election, Lau will face a straight fight with DAP's Gobind Singh Deo.

For the state seats, Mohamad will face PAS' Ahmad Idzam Ahmad in Seri Serdang and Dr Koh challenge DAP's Teresa Kok Suh Sim in Kinrara.

The constituency has 75,625 voters, comprising Malays (42.76 per cent), Chinese (40.63 percent), Indians (15.76 percent) and others (0.85 percent).

-- BERNAMA
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Klang Valley transit network : Draft Kuala Lumpur Plan 2020

11 rail lines to ease traffic jam
NewStraitTimes

KUALA LUMPUR: To further ease traffic congestion in the city centre, City Hall is proposing the addition of 11 new or extension rail lines to the Klang Valley transit network by 2020.

As comprehensively outlined in the Draft Kuala Lumpur Plan 2020, the lines are to serve areas not covered by the existing rail network.

They are also to link district centres, employment areas, high-density residential neighbourhoods and new development areas in the city's outskirts.

The new urban rail network will measure 233.61km and serve 184 stations, 119 of them new.


With the new lines, total rail coverage within the city's transit corridor will increase to 53, and link areas as far away as Bandar Tun Hussein Onn in Cheras to Damansara.

Currently, only 10 per cent of the city is directly served by the rail system or within the transit catchments of existing transit stations, while just 20 per cent of Kuala Lumpur is within the transit corridor (located within 400m on either side of a rail line).

The new lines are expected to influence land use and planning, as development is expected to be intensified along rail corridors and transform employment centres such as Kepong, Sri Hartamas and Damansara into transit nodes.

Once completed, 250,000 people are expected to travel by train to and from the city centre.

News of the plan has been warmly greeted by many, particularly commuters in the districts of Hulu Langat (Ampang), Petaling and Gombak.

Rumah Panjang Jinjang Utara Residents' Association chairman G. Yanaparagasam said he welcomed the rail extension since it would elleviate traffic congestion in Kepong.

"Traffic congestion has worsened here with the rise of new apartments and flats. The buses here are okay. But it is difficult for them to keep to their schedule because of the traffic jam, which is at its worst during peak hours."
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The city rail network plan
Wednesday June 18, 2008, Stories by YIP YOKE TENG
TheStar

The 11 new and extension rail lines sound like the best thing in the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 and are crucial to meet the high population growth projected. Let’s put scepticism aside and assume that the lines can be completed on schedule, the city may still face trouble simply because other modes of public transport have been neglected.
According to town planning and transport management expert Goh Bok Yen, the city’s connectivity threatens to be crippled as the draft plan has over-emphasised the rail system while neglecting other modes of transport.

That is, unless the government could complete the proposed rail network comprising 11 new and extension lines in time.

If it fails, the scenario will be nightmarish as the draft plan projects and expects a surge of 600,000 in the city population, with development being intensified accordingly..

“We need a multi-model transport system. The draft plan does not spell out the necessary coordination among the major modes of public transport, namely taxi, stage bus, LRT, Monorail and KTM.

“Each of them plays a role to run as a system, none of them can be replaced by another,” Goh said.

While an extension of 131.21km to achieve a total of 233.61km within 12 years is achievable technically, the progress pattern of the existing LRT lines, in operation since 1996, makes one sceptical.

“Our pattern is that there’s always a delay in infrastructure of at least 10 years compared with targets set in previous plans, including the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020,” Goh said.

“The ambitious rail system is highly uncertain and, worse still, it serves as the backbone of the entire public transport system,” he said.

“Furthermore, in terms of transport, we have been slow as we have been following other people’s technology and management methods,” Goh said.

“We are talking about an urban railway that requires land acquisition and construction in a congested area,” he said.

The draft plan target is that by 2020, Kuala Lumpur would have increased its public transport share to 60%, which is the situation in London and Hong Kong now while Singapore has surpassed that.

Currently, hardly 20% of the KL population use public transport.

“One of the main problems in our existing public transport is the lack of coordination and lack of macro- level management. All the various modes are going individually. Yet, these problems are not addressed in the draft plan,” Goh said.

Little is mentioned about the role of the stage bus in the draft plan, except for the stricter implementation of bus lanes.

“We’re very optimistic about the potential of buses. It is one of the most flexible modes and we have 1,300 buses plying the city today,” Goh said.

“It is passive to just increase the number of buses in proportion to the population. Some world-class cities have what is known as the GPS (global positioning system) control, where taking the bus is just like taking the elevator, with one knowing exactly where and when it stops. We should also look into having different vehicles plying different routes to suit the areas,” he said.

Taxis are not mentioned at all in the draft plan, yet it has and can play a valuable role in easing public transport woes.

Goh cited the Maxi Taxi concept used in KL during the 1980s and in Scotland for community transportation as an environmentally-friendly option to send commuters from their homes to the rail stations.

The “Park and Ride” scheme is highlighted but based on observations and calculations, Goh thinks that the number of parking bays proposed is negligible.

On top of all that, the traffic plan seems to have also ignored the needs of the disabled and senior citizens.

While the future of the city public transport looks uncertain, congestion charges look set to be implemented.

Vehicles entering the city centre will be charged a fee at 14 locations. But, do not expect to go far with the amount you pay as the area allowed is even within MRR1.

“Public transport should be an effective substitute or it is not matured enough to implement congestion charges. The scheme’s impact on business, property and residents is substantial,” Goh said.

He also said he could not agree with the boundaries identified.

Freight vehicle management is another important aspect missed out by the draft plan.

The number of hypermarkets and retail outlets are expected to increase significantly, so will the demand for freight service.

“No world-class city can ignore this aspect of the public transport system. Introducing specific lorry routes is just a temporary measure. A set of clear guidelines must be formulated to manage that on a long-term basis,” Goh said.

Meanwhile, land use will need to be readjusted according to the rail lines. The transit planning zones (TPZ), which are areas located within 400m of existing or future rail stations, are designated for intense commercial and residential developments.

Goh sees a need to relocate many existing stations to bring in the idea of the TPZ.

“As of now, many of the stations are located at inaccessible areas with obvious physical barriers, or they have poor catchments and poor traffic dispersal, just look at the stations in Pandan and Rampai,” he said.

“Re-planning the stations may cost a lot but if the authorities insist on building around the existing ones, which are unsuitable because the earlier planning had overlooked certain fundamentals, the consequences will be worse,” he said.

Goh also said the traffic reports and proposals in the draft plan were too brief, with too many technical terms.

He said the preparation of the plan was apparently careless as there were many errors in the maps and graphs.

Goh said the validity of information was also questionable, with the reports quoting only two sources – the Klang Valley Public Transport Studies and the SMURT-KL Studies by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that was conducted way back in the 1980s.

The draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 is supposed to elaborate what have been spelt out in the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 but, amusingly, the structure plan contains more details, with careful considerations done on the various modes of public transport.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
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Discussion Starter #20
HwangDBS positive on construction sector
Published: 2009/01/05

HwangDBS Vickers expects bigger construction players with good execution track records such as IJM Corp and WCT to emerge as winners given the increased focus on timely delivery

HWANGDBS Vickers Research Sdn Bhd said it sees the outlook for the local construction sector in 2009 as positive, boosted by the government's expenditure on infrastructure projects.

The high-profile jobs include extension of the Klang Valley light rail transit system and the inter-state water transfer.

"We expect 2009 to be the year for the government to play catch-up (after 2008's more muted allocation of construction projects) as pump priming efforts appear vital to ensure its internal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target of 3.5 per cent is met and the economy does not slip into recession," it wrote in its market focus report recently.

"The (government's) development expenditure of RM53.7 billion for 2009 is a hefty 16 per cent increase from 2008 estimates of RM46.3 billion. An additional RM7 billion was announced as part of a stimulus package in November," it said.

The foreign research firm also sees improved outlook for the construction sector's margins, as building material prices have corrected sharply.

The price of steel bars at RM1,900 per tonne has dropped from a peak of above RM4,000 per tonne.

"When material prices were at the peak, the government planned to delay some projects given the higher cost. The lower cost now will allow more projects to be implemented," it said.

HwangDBS Vickers said it expects bigger construction players with good execution track records such as IJM Corp Bhd and WCT Bhd to emerge as winners given the increased focus on timely delivery.

"Apart from potential government jobs, we believe IJM will be eyeing projects in India, the Middle East and private sector jobs in Malaysia. For WCT, we expect the group to leverage on their Middle East presence for order book replenishment," it said.

Meanwhile, its 12-month target for the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index is 950 points, based on 12 times 2010 earnings.

"In the near term, concerns about growth may continue to weigh on the market. In this environment, we like stocks with relatively resilient dividend flows.

"Utility-type/concession earnings at YTL Power Bhd, PLUS Expressway Bhd and Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd should sustain high-dividend payouts," it added.

For 2008 and 2009, DBS expects the country's GDP to grow by 5.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively. This estimate factors in another 50 basis points cut in the Bank Negara Malaysia's policy rate to 2.75 per cent by end first quarter of 2009.

 
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