Many times, it’s great to win awards. It gives us a certain level of recognition for something done right. For many property developers, an award also helps in selling the properties even if they know people do not buy simply because the development has an award. Speaking of international awards, did you know that our MRT – Sungai Buloh – Serdang – Putrajaya (SSP / Line 2) has won a global technology award? It’s definitely good because we beat the country with the most High Speed Rail lines in the world as well as the largest economy in the world. Here’s that full news article in NST. MRT Sungai Buloh Serdang Putrajaya wins award. Congratulations but let’s move on. Here’s the issue for the MRT or perhaps even the LRTs whether or not we have won an award.
I have travelled on our MRT Sungai Buloh – Kajang (SBK / Line 1) over 10 times thus far. Impressive would be a good description for it. However, it is still not popular. I am not sure if the MRT is not popular yet because the population along the lines are not as mature as the LRT lines. As all of us would have noted, the LRTs are pretty congested and during rush hours, it may not be possible to squeeze in sometimes. However, if this is the case, then it is even more important for MRT Corp to ensure the Transit Buses are increased and it runs even more deeper than the one loop it is doing today. Frankly, there are not many people who are willing to walk 10 minutes or more just to reach the nearest stop. Every time I take the MRT, the Transit Bus stops at a petrol station nearest to my condo and I have to walk 800 metres to and fro. By the time I reach home, I am already sweating as I am also carrying a notebook backpack too.
Secondly, parking spaces. There are so many stations without car parks spaces. In many countries, the overall car ownership is prohibitive and thus parking spaces may not be that necessary but this is Malaysia. Unless we make it prohibitively expensive, then the next best way would be to ensure people could park their car? Once space is available, make it affordable, really affordable. If I were to drive to my office, I would need to travel a total of 50km per day. Based on my 1.6 litre Persona, that’s going to be RM5 for petrol per day. If I am willing to walk around 300 metres, the parking fee is RM6 per day. This is RM11 per day. Well, if I take the MRT, I would be paying more.
Third and definitely not least. Frequent user programme. This is like those loyalty card thingy. Come on, if the user is going to use it daily to go everywhere, we need to make sure they get really good value. I repeat, REALLY good Value. Say RM100 per month? (UNLIMITED rides) Plus the truth is, if they do not get a better value, then they would not even use MRT in the first place. However, if they feel that this is great value, what’s the ‘loss’ to have more of these users? They would increase the business viability for more shops which in turn would be willing to pay even more to lease new retail units. Best of both worlds.
Actually, there’s also the competition from GRAB or UBER but I think that one is just temporary. The promotions / offers / discounts cannot last forever. Once these promotions are over or once their services are fully regulated, the cost to take these would increase. I think MRT Corp needs to think much harder. Sometimes, it’s all about choices. Happy taking the MRT.
written on 14 Oct 2017
Next suggested article: 31 MRT stations, look out for more choices