Can Kuala Lumpur be on par with the major cities of the world today? New York? London? Tokyo? To be honest, no. Not yet, not in near future and perhaps may never catch up. The reason is because these world cities continue to improve as well and not waiting for KL to catch up. According to a report in local English daily, the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) general manager Khairiah Talha said that livability covers not just economic and social well-being but it also includes political stability. One liveability factor is the transportation system.
On the account of transportation, I am still not sure what would really happen after MRT KL starts. Would people give up their cars and ride the MRT? In Hong Kong, parking your car costs a fortune even for a senior manager. In Singapore, it’s virtually impossible to buy a new car unless one is earning well above everyone else. Only around 10% of Singaporeans own a car today. In KL, everyone seems to be driving some kind of car and if the latest stats are to be believed, there are more richer people these days. Just look at the non-national marques since last year. The car ownership is not going to help much. In Singapore, even the middle managers are all MRT users.
Every major city should be connected via a super efficient and very integrated public transportation. It is not just MRTs. It should be ONE access for all types of transportation. Are MALAYSIANs working in KL ready for this? To change their lifestyle because one end to the other end may still be taking an hour or higher. Perhaps the heavier jams should do the trick. Perhaps the parking rates may do the job. Of course maybe even the crazy petrol price in future when the world oil price recovers to new highs.
I still think more has to be done to ‘encourage’ the MRT usage in future. We will see.
written on 7 June 2015
Next suggested article: MRT 1 completion and MRT 2 Stations, the proposed ones.