RAPID, which runs a large fleet of buses in the Klang Valley, recently had its LRT system breakdown in September 2014.
To be fair, the LRT or light rail transit system should be in fact commended. To say that Rapid’s LRT has made the lives of commuters in and around Kuala Lumpur much more bearable these days, is something which cannot be denied.
Allow me to tell you a little bit about the above system. The LRT is cheap. Its air-condition system is cold and comfortable. Schedules are prompt and in my opinion its prices low and affordable too. As such, if you wish to avoid the hectic and maddening jams of the notorious Federal Highway as you travel on your way to our capital of Kuala Lumpur, why not try the trains of Rapid’s Light Rail Transport (LRT) system one of these days.
Do you know that the LRT trains run from Kelana Jaya to Putra Gombak? Soon, another system is being constructed into Subang Jaya.
But what happened to the LRT system one day in September 2014 recently is something which I would like to forget about.
On the above day in question, your sincerely, got down from his usual yellow or ‘canary’ coloured Causeway Link bus near Hilton Hotel in Petaling Jaya. The Federal Highway that hot afternoon was more or less quite congested. So I made the wise or perhaps rather ‘stupid’ decision to take the LRT train instead.
Upon entering the Asia Jaya station in front of the Armada Hotel in Petaling Jaya, an announcement was heard saying, “There was been an unscheduled delay at the Masjid Jamek interchange.” Well, at first I thought this was something usual that afternoon. What a surprise this turned out to be!
Before proceeding any further with this article, permit me to enlighten blog readers about the LRT system which in reality runs from Kelana Jaya to Terminal Gombak. The above journey normally takes approximately an hour. However, the above journey that fateful day in September, unfortunately turned LRT into what can be termed as ‘Life is a Real Torture’ instead!
First and foremost, instead of a 5 or 10 minute arrival of trains, the LRT train from Kelana Jaya arrived about 30 minutes late. After about 50 to 100 passengers had embarked, the train waited for another half an hour instead. The LRT finally managed to take off for the next station, being the Taman Jaya station. Mind you, the above is less than a kilometre away.
What surprised commuters was, at each and every LRT station where the train stropped, more and more commuters embarked onto the train. And what was more surprising, the LRT was now becoming sardine-packed. Conditions were beginning to become more unbearable. People were becoming noticeably annoyed. At each and every sub-station that it halted, the LRT train was delayed there for at least half an hour or more.
All in all, I stood all the way, hanging onto the straps of the LRT from 1.30 pm to the KL Sentral station at 4.30 pm. And mind you, Petaling Jaya to KL Sentral is less than 5 or 6 kilometres away. What usually took less than 15 minutes journey, had taken a torturous 4 hours! On the day the LRT breakdown occurred, I was in fact heading towards the Putra Gombak terminal station.
No one, I believe, holds the LRT management, that is RAPID, responsible. After all, breakdowns occur. It is part and parcel of any transport system after all, isn’t it?
But the RAPID management could have at least taken steps to eliminate commuters’ woes and sufferings. What would I like to suggest? It is hoped the authorities would seriously be taking suggestions and views of commuters into due consideration. Breakdowns and unscheduled delays are bound to occur in the near future.
Amongst the suggestions that can be taken into consideration, in that the RAPID management could station personnel at the entrance of all LRT sub-stations to deter commuters from entering its premise, thereby preventing worsening of its congested LRT trains. At least, steps such as these should be taken until the situation improved.
How did the writer finally solve his predicament, which he called ‘Life is a Real Torture’ (LRT) event that particular day in question?
Well, I decided to abort my journey to Putra Gombak. And he was wise enough to disembark at the Pasar Seni sub-station near Central Market. It was already 4.30 or 5 pm. With legs weary and the possibility of a fainting spell setting in, I headed quickly to the nearest Chinese restaurant nearby for a much needed drink and a hot bowl of kuey teow and bebola soup.
The LRT journey in September recently can rightfully be termed as ‘Life is a Real Torture’ (LRT) incident. Has the above unfortunate incident deterred me from using the LRT trains in the future?
Frankly, I would like to say, not at all. Guess it’s only a part of life after all!
The LRT system in the Klang Valley is here to stay. To the RAPID management which is responsible for the above mentioned light rail system, do not be dismayed. You, have in fact run a fantastic and wonderful service, as a whole!