My kids were very excited to take the MRT. It was their first time on a ‘train’ here in Malaysia. They have taken the MRT in Singapore before. I parked my car at the Sungai Buloh MRT station (RM4.50 parking fee per day) and took the MRT to the MRT Bandar Utama station with my wife and two kids as well as a stroller and two back packs. Everything was great. Air-condition was cold and the ride was smooth. We took family pictures and the young lady who helped to take the photograph was also taking the MRT for the first time. I got up and let two kids sit on my place. Their mother told me that they were also taking the MRT for the first time. As I look around, I could see many people aiming their handphones outside or at themselves. Ah, first timers are everywhere.
Well, when we arrived at the Bandar Utama MRT station, I expected to just walk into the 1 Utama Mall. I was totally wrong. After following the signage, we walked towards the exit, came down the stairs and then I realised that I would need to push the stroller to 1 Utama which was perhaps 600-800 metres away. It’s true that there’s a transit bus but for a family of 4, with a stroller, it’s a real hassle. There was a family of 6 walking in front of me as well. I think they did not want to pay an extra RM6 for the whole family for a transit bus that will take them just 600-800 metres? I think this will be true for most because the only reason they would take the MRT is to save money and not to spend extra. Thus, walking is just fine. In the end, I arrived at 1 Utama mall with lots of sweat. My kids did not really enjoy it after that because I was pushing the stroller under the hot sun.
Speaking of FULL connectivity, I wonder who should build it. I think 1 Utama mall has to build it. It may not have a lot of choice if some other bigger malls have FULL connectivity or even new malls being built today comes with FULL connectivity. We shall see what happens in the near future. Int terms of actually walking 600 -800 metres, I am okay. I have walked for two consecutive days when I took the MRT to work anyway. Both days, total steps I took was over 10,000 and I was happy. However, let’s be rational. FULL connectivity helps sway a lots of decisions of whether or not to take the MRT. Most working Malaysians could afford a car, whether new, second-hand or the brand. This is the reason why a little more push will be necessary. In some countries, owning a car is reserved only for the top 5 percent of the population or owning a car would mean having to buy a car park for millions. Well for Malaysia, since we are starting new, push for FULL connectivity. Cheers.
written on 31 Aug 2017
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