Thursday, June 23, 2011

It’s a four-car MRT

Exclusive: It’s a four-car MRT

New trains can carry 50 per cent more passengers than LRT, says Prasarana

By Shahrim Tamrin
Monday, June 20, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: THE RM36 billion Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in the Klang Valley will have four-car train sets which can carry up to 1,200 passengers for each trip.

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana) group managing director Shahril Mokhtar said the four-car train set was to accommodate a projected 1.2 million commuters along the proposed 51km line with 35 stations.

“The rolling stock tender for the new four-car MRT trains will be opened early next year. We are looking at having four-car trains which can accommodate 50 per cent more passengers per trip, to cope with the projected increase in commuters."

Currently, the four-car train sets at the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Kelana Jaya line has a capacity of 800 passengers per trip.

During peak hours, the frequency of the MRT trains would be increased to one every two minutes, if there was enough trains to cope.

When asked if the new trains would be auto-pilot or driverless, Shahril said: "We have yet to decide on that."

An industry insider familiar with the MRT, the country’s biggest infrastructure project, said Prasarana was considering having fully-computerised driverless trains like the SkyTrain system at Vancouver, Canada.

It is learnt the dimensions for the higher-capacity MRT trains would be between 20m to 22m per car, 3m to 3.2m and 3.7m for length, width and height respectively. The insider said these specifications were similar to those elsewhere around the world.

The new four-car trains will have six bays for wheelchair-bound passengers, with one bay each in the first and fourth cars and two each in the intermediate cars.

“In principle, Prasarana is following the heavy-capacity MRT trains commonly used in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan and Sao Paulo in Brazil,” said the insider.

The first phase of the MRT, which involve three lines, will be launched on July 8 with a ground-breaking ceremony by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, followed by construction work from Kajang and Cheras in November.

The project, part of the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), will link the city’s suburb and district commuter lines that are not served by the LRT systems, as announced by Najib last December.

The final MRT alignment is expected to be announced this month, following three months of public dialogues with various stakeholders that concluded last month.

Taipei MRT

Train is computer-controlled with on-board operator
Builder: Three-car train set Kawasaki C371
Length (per car): 23.5 m
Width: 3.2 m
Height: 3.6 m
Speed: 90 km/h (max)
Maximum capacity: 1,104 passengers (368 people per car, seated and standees)

Singapore MRT

Automatic train control supplemented with automatic train operation
Builder: Six-car train set Kawasaki-Nippon Sharyo C751B
Length (per car): 23 m
Width: 3.2 m
Height: 3.7 m
Speed: 90 km/hour (max)
Maximum capacity: 1,920 passengers (288 people per car, seated and standees)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Prasarana unveils new AFC of LRT & Monorail

Klang Valley MRT is quoting on Transit's post on media brief at Bukit Jalil LRT on Prasarana’s new Automated Fare Collection (AFC) System for LRT and Monorail lines.

It started at 10am this morning with the launch by Prasarana's CEO Shahril Mokhtar.

The detail report as below:

The media brief kit says:

The present AFC system

> Almost obsolete, spare parts’ procurement difficulties
> Present three magnetic ticketing systems are incompatible to each other
  • Kelana Jaya Line ‐ Supplied by Thorn Transit Systems International
  • Ampang Line ‐ Supplied by Cegelec France/Thales
  • Monorail Line ‐ Supplied by OMRON Corporation Japan

Note the token slot at the exit gate. (TRANSIT)

The future AFC system

> Touch N Go compatible
> Credit Card and Debit Card payments at Ticketing Machine
> Faster throughput (60 turnstile passes per second)
> Option to purchase and re-load tickets online
> Loyalty points for frequent users

The gates accept token and stored value payment card. (Prasarana Media Kit)

  • Progress stands at 61.8% (end May 2011)
  • July 2011 – Touch n Go Revenue Service
  • September 2011 – Parallel Run of the Old and New AFC System
  • November – Fully New AFC System

  • AFC system replacement at Kelana Jaya Line (24 stations), Ampang Line (25 stations) and Monorail Line (11 stations)
  • Awarded to Indra-IRIS AFC Construction with a project value of RM 115.2 million
  • Scope covers design, manufacturing, delivery, installation, testing, commissioning and warranty
You can have a sneak peak on the new token system ticketing gates at Bukit Jalil, Sultan Ismail, Taman Paramount and Abdullah Hukum LRT stations.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

One ticket to ride

One ticket to ride (Malay Mail)

Smooth road-rail travel for Klang Valley by 2013 when two major transport operators’ electronic pass systems merge

By Shahrim Tamrin

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: GOOD news beckons for public transport users in Klang Valley.

After more than 13 years for a single ticketing system ever since the introduction of ‘Touch n Go’, commuters can now look forward to seamless travel on rail networks and bus services across the Klang Valley come 2013.

With the objective to achieve gradually to the level of electronic ticketing in developed countries such as London’s Oyster and Octopus Card in Hong Kong, public transport efficiency in Klang Valley will reach a new height with Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system.

After years of having to face different ticketing systems, preparing small change for exact fare and queuing up at counters, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) - the operator of the LRT, monorail and RapidKL bus services - and KTM Bhd (KTMB), which operates the Komuter service, have confirmed a single ticketing system would materialise soon.

Prasarana group managing director Shahril Mokhtar and KTMB president Dr Aminuddin Adnan revealed to The Malay Mail that a new AFC system would be adopted between both parties once it is in operation next year.

Shahril said Prasarana would be launching its own AFC system early next year, paving the way for an integration with the KTMB system at later stage.

“Once the AFC is up and running for our services early next year, we are ready to integrate with KTMB as their AFC system will also be on the same platform and design,” he said.

Shahril described the all-in-one ticketing system would offer a hassle-free journey for public transport users in Klang Valley.

“Commuters will only need to use just one cashless card for our LRT, monorail and bus services. It will take off early next year when the station integration works in Hang Tuah, Masjid Jamek and Titiwangsa are completed by the third-quarter of this year,” he said.

Shahril added that the AFC system would also be included for the future MRT and LRT extension services.

The station integration is considered to be the catalyst for Prasarana to launch the AFC system as it will ensure commuters experience seamless journeys without having to go through the hassle of buying different tickets or going through turnstiles to change rail routes.

Aminuddin said the KTMB AFC system for its Komuter service is currently being installed and the roll-out to all KTM’s 56 rail stations was expected to be completed in 12 months.

“The contractor will complete the AFC system for the KTM Komuter service by June next year. We will then start to commission the new ticketing system to replace the obsolete system we have right now," said Aminuddin.

New system will benefit commuters

“When everything is in place, we will discuss with Prasarana to merge the two systems as our new ticketing system design, specification and platform are almost similar to Prasarana’s ticketing.”

Both transportation leaders concurred the new AFC system for Prasarana and KTMB will bring greater benefits to the commuters for faster and more reliable transactions at the gates.

Stating the system would leverage on the present 'Touch n Go' platform, Aminuddin said: “The integration process between both parties would take couple of months to complete. It's most likely the ticketing integration between KTMB and Prasarana will take place in 2013.”

He also said that a common ticketing system was identified as part of the National Key Results Areas in the urban public transportation lab.

The lab had summarised seven big ideas in realising the government's objective of achieving 25 per cent usage of public transportation modal share by 2012.

At the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Open Day in December 2009, urban transportation leaders had outlined seven big ideas - which include station integration and integrated ticketing across the Klang Valley, Bus Express Transit, extra carriages for KTM and LRT, Integrated Transport Terminal, Bus Rapid Transit and enforcement initiatives.

Lightning travel

NUR ISMAIL: We want to emulate the electronic ticketing success

HAVING a single electronic ticketing system is long overdue judging by the government's intention to implement this in public transport services for many years.

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said the government aims for a single cashless ticketing across operations to improve public transport.

“Ever since the introduction of the Touch 'n Go platform, it has been identified that a single cashless system be part of the mechanism to boost the quality of public transport. In future, the commission wants to see 90 per cent of commuters with cashless cards for seamless journeys and faster transaction,” he said.

The Touch 'n Go smart card was introduced in 1997 with the objective of a cashless society. It was first used at the then Jalan Pahang Toll Plaza in KL in March that year. The system was subsequently adopted by Klang Valley stage bus company Cityliner in 2000.

Mohd Nur pointed out the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system applied by government-backed public transport operators must be gradually extended to private companies.

“With AFC, this could soon pave the way for discounted fares and a kilometre-based system for many journeys to encourage more people to take up public transport," he said.

“We want to emulate the electronic ticketing success like that of London’s Oyster card and Hong Kong's Octopus card and thus gain public confidence in public transport ridership in Greater Kuala Lumpur.”

London's Oyster card was introduced in 2003 by local government body Transport for London (TfL) with the objective of reducing queuing times and speeding up journey times. It offers vast discounts on many journeys and environmental benefits as less paper tickets are used.

With Oyster, TfL is able to gather data on the most popular journey times and patterns.

Hong Kong's Octopus card was launched in 1997 by Octopus Cards Limited, a consortium of major transport operators for the territory’s mass transit system (metro, rail, bus and ferry) and widely recognised as one of the world’s leading automatic fare collection systems and contactless smart card payment system.

About 20 million Octopus cards are in circulation, three times the population of the former British colony, and it's used by 95 per cent of the population aged from 16 to 65 years, and generating over 11 million daily transactions every day worth a total over HK$100 million (about RM38 million).

Octopus can be used for more than 2,500 service providers across different businesses including transport, parking, retail, vending and kiosks, schools, leisure facilities and access control for residential and commercial buildings.

One seamless, cashless trip

JUST one cashless card for rail and bus services

The new cashless multi-modal ticketing card is expected to provide convenience to Klang Valley commuters by 2013.

For example, an office executive staying in Shah Alam and working in Pandan Indah can board the KTM Komuter train in the morning rush hour by simply tapping a cashless card before entering the platform.

Upon arrival at KL Sentral, she will simply touch the card at the exit gate and then walk to the elevated LRT station. She will then tap the same card at the LRT station to board the Kelana Jaya line train to the integrated Masjid Jamek station.

At Masjid Jamek, she walks up to another platform by using a special lane - without having to go through the turnstile at the Masjid Jamek exit - to board the Ampang line train. It is only at the Cempaka LRT station would the executive tap the card at the exit.

When she boards the RapidKL feeder bus from the LRT station to her office in the Pandan Indah business centre, she taps the same card for boarding and alighting from the bus.

It's one seamless journey without multiple tickets to improve accessibility and providing hassle-free connections.

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) group managing director Shahril Mokhtar said completion of integration stations at Hang Tuah, Masjid Jamek and Titiwangsa by third quarter of the year would hold the key to the activation of Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system.

“The sooner works on station integrations are completed, the better. If possible, I want the AFC system to start by December,” he said.

For someone who regularly takes the LRT to work, Shahril has full empathy for the public call for one ticket for all.

“People have been waiting for this kind of system for many years. We are done with the planning stage and next year will be the crucial time for us to deliver,” he said.

He also said the cashless system initiative for bus services has already begun via Prasarana’s subsidiaries Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras (RapidKL).

Its new bus cashless ticketing system ‘Rabbit Card’ was introduced in February with encouraging response from passengers.

The RapidKL cashless system is considered to be as good as cash, with the aim to encourage rakyat to migrate to public transportation.

"I understand students prefer cashless card to travel by public transport around Klang Valley. It's convenient and hopefully people from all walks of life would take public transport including office workers and corporate executives."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Big thumbs-up for new Puduraya

Big thumbs-up for new Puduraya terminal (The Star)

Wednesday June 1, 2011

THE Puduraya terminal has been given a big thumbs-up after resuming operations on April 16 following extensive renovations worth almost RM50mil.

The Star reader James Gonzales in a letter to The Star said Puduraya is a fine example of how taxpayers’ money should be spent in a prudent and judicious manner.

“More than 10 years ago, I wrote about the shortcomings and deficiencies at the Puduraya bus terminal. Among my complaints were the traffic snarls, air pollution, lack of security, flooding, ticket touts and unhygienic surroundings,” he said.

Fresh new look: The new state-of-the-art complex of Puduraya seen from across the road.

“However, I had the opportunity to revisit Puduraya and was happy with the vast improvements that made it presentable and appealing.

“The environment for passengers is now very conducive, with good seating arrangements, and the entire terminal is now fully air-conditioned. There are CCTVs at strategic points, and security as a whole has been beefed up, with the security personnel patrolling the place,” he added.

Muhd Falahin, 17, who sells handphones at the terminal said business was picking up, indicating that the crowd is coming back to the iconic terminal.

“Most of my customers say that Puduraya now is like a new state-of-the-art complex and are truly enjoying the environment here now,” he said when met last week.

Snack shop assistant, 25-year-old Hamimatun Hassan said the terminal was now more comfortable with its air-conditioned waiting area.

The new terminal also spots a larger and more comfortable waiting area, escalators, new lifts and washrooms. — Bernama

“This place used to be hot and reeked of exhaust smoke. Now, even if the weather outside is hot, we are comfortable inside,” she said.

University student Zurin Harun, 20, said the process of purchasing tickets was now easier and orderly, with all ticket counters located on the same level.

“I feel safe here as there are closed-circuit television cameras everywhere and the waiting area is brightly lit,” said nurse, A. Avril, 25.

The 35-year-old terminal also spots a larger and more comfortable waiting area, escalators, new lifts and washrooms while also featuring disabled-friendly faci-lities.

Another development concerning the terminal is also the upgrading of Puduraya Hotel, renamed as Angkasa Express, which is expected to be completed by June.