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11 December 2015

Metro-style Railways for Other Major Cities in Malaysia?

As the title of this post suggests, we require Metro-style railway systems in other major cities of the country. In many major cities outside Kuala Lumpur, many places are not reachable directly through public railway. We have to emulate the Metro subway in the major cities of the world - which link every nook and cranny of the city.

Therefore, it is important that the Transport Ministry and the Public Works ministry of this country to make a real effort to create railway systems in other cities (other than Kuala Lumpur) which link all corners of those cities.

KL Sentral may serve as a model for future development. However, KL Sentral only links the KTM, the Rapid railway, and the high-speed railway to the airport. It would be more effective for commuters if there were more links between cities through alternate railway lines.

In any case, the railway system which links major parts of the nation's capital means that Kuala Lumpur is well placed to cater to the needs of those who commute to work. The same may not be true of other major cities in Malaysia. We are yet to see similar systems being put in place in cities such as Georgetown, Johor Bahru, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu.

This means that those workers who commute to work in those cities have no choice but to consider either driving, carpooling, and buses. All of these modes of transportation require petrol. If those cities had railway systems, the population in the cities can save some money on petrol.

We all know that times are hard and everybody needs to save a little bit more. Putting up intra-city railway systems for easy commuting will help people from other major cities. At the same time, those cities become more livable and their economies will improve. This may lead to more growth in those cities. There's a good reason why Kuala Lumpur is the preferred place for young people to work, especially those who may not have their own vehicles yet.

Note: An article from India says that a Metro-style railway requires at least 800,000 passengers per day just to break even. The said article further suggests that, in India, the rush to lay down Metro-style railway tracks may be causing untold losses to authorities. Link to article: http://www.catchnews.com/india-news/small-cities-are-queuing-up-for-metro-rail-how-many-can-really-afford-it-1449520701.html (Details: Small city alert: The metro story no one is talking about, by Skand Vivek Dhar. Published 8th December 2015 on CatchNews.)

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