Friday, March 10, 2006

Malaysian Public Transport Pt 1

After much hyped price increase on the gasoline, I decided to try the public transport in this city famously called K.L. It was all over the media that the increase was inevitable - the Malaysian government can't continue the increasingly expensive subsidy.

It was also said that the money saved would be channelled to deserving citizens - one of it by improving the public transport. I was skeptical. They have been trying to that since the days of dangerously-driven highspeed colour-coded minibus till the day of Intrakota. Recently they changed into RapidKL. I am curious to know how much have been achieved. Hence the decision to check it out.

Left the building. I walked in the hot tropical sun to the nearest bus stop. Definitely not a plus point if you are dressed in 'power-suit', out to impress clients. By the time I reached the first crossing, my thin dark t-shirt was drenched with sweats.While waiting for the traffic light to turn green (for the pedestrian), one RapidKL bus passed by. Then another bus (Metrobus) passed, while I was trying to cross the road. Two busses within five minutes. I was impressed. Due to the nature of most Malaysian driver who don't give way to pedestrian, I missed the second bus. Half way in the middle of the road, a RapidKL bus stopped at the bus stop. This time I was lucky. The bus waited for me. Three busses in fifteen minutes, not bad as a start.

I reached my stop - a KLmonorail station. The station is perched up a few feet above the ground. Even though the station did not look new and hi-tech, it was clean. The lady at the ticket counter was very pleasent and polite. On the platform was a bunch of school kids - some in their school uniform, some in t-shirt and jeans. I stood behind the yellow line and waited for the train.

The train arrived a few minutes later. To my horror, none of the school kids bothered to queue. Everyone just pushed into the carriage. I couldn't help but wonder what went wrong in the Malaysian education system. Didn't school children were taught the simple concept of queuing for your turn. However, all hope is not lost, when at the next station, I saw offic workers queued patiently to enter the coach.

I reached my destination.

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