Commuters on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) have sounded the alarm saying that the response to last night’s accident combined with a reduced operating frequency due to new movement control order (MCO) rules have resulted in many users gathering in tight spaces, violating social distancing protocols.
Travel consumer NGO Transit Malaysia tweeted that RapidKL has reduced the frequency of LRT, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), monorail and bus to 10-30 minutes, which is down 50 percent from the original frequency.
“We’re a little worried. While it is said the standard operating procedure (SOP) is to reduce passenger capacity by 50 percent in vehicles, the frequency reduction will result in more crowded vehicles,” it said.
A netizen with the Twitter handle @nizamiks was more direct on the matter and was one of many sharing photos of cramped stations and trains. In his case, he shared his friend’s pictures from the Pasar Seni LRT station.
“Because of the new SOP on the train, we are packed like sardines.
“Social distancing is a washout and the SOP is now a hot mess,” he said.
Prasarana Malaysia Berhad today said the service will operate with a train frequency of 10 minutes during peak hours and 30 minutes at other times, as well as on a 50 percent capacity reduction, following the government’s announcement on stricter measures in the implementation of the MCO 3.0.
“Following that, passengers are expected to wait a little longer than usual. However, the train frequency may be modified according to needs during the operation,” it said in a statement.
To facilitate the movement of passengers during peak hours, five double-decker shuttle buses are provided, free of charge, with a frequency of between 15 and 20 minutes during peak hours, to ferry passengers to any station between Pasar Seni and Ampang Park.
The line’s LRT service is expected to be fully restored within three days after the clean-up and repair works are completed, including sanitation at KLCC Station and the surrounding area to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Another Twitter user @njwznl.YL said the policy move was not well thought out.
“I’m a frequent user. I also understand what happened yesterday. They should look into this matter seriously. Not carry out half-baked SOPs.”
A netizen tweeting under @ahmadaffann was also critical of the move, asking: “Whose brilliant idea was it again who said ‘guys, let’s reduce public transportation 50 percent and InshaAllah’?” – Malaysiakini