I’ve been using Komuter for the past 6 months to get to work. My mum will drop me at Bank Negara before I’m heading to Setia Jaya station. In the afternoon, I’ll take Komuter from Setia Jaya to KL Sentral. I’ve been quite an observant to see and understand the issues regarding KTM Komuter. So, I’m going to share few things on why KTM Komuter has poor service yet it still can be improved.
1. Understanding the train design
There are basically three main Komuter coach design. Please refer to the seating layout in the diagram below (not to scale). Please note that these are the seating arrangement for the middle train car, where it is the most spacious car among the three cars (without drivers’ cockpit). Let’s start from the left car.
The first one has the most number of seating, 80 seats. However, the access door is very small and its hard for passenger to disembark and enter the car quickly.
The second one has a unique combination of seating arrangement with 76 seats. However it only has two wide entrance.
The third one has the least number of seating, 72 seats. However, this layout allow more space for standing passenger. It also has three wide entrance for easy access. This is my favourite car of all three.
2. Limited Stops
During peak hours, there will be a Komuter with a different head. This is the Limited Stop Komuter and it will only stop at certain stations. The selected stops are: Shah Alam – Batu Tiga – Subang Jaya – Setia Jaya – Petaling – Pantai – KL Sentral and also Kepong – Rawang – Sungai Buloh – Kepong Sentral – Putra – Bank Negara – Kuala Lumpur – KL Sentral – Midvalley – Bandar Tasik Selatan – Serdang – Kajang – UKM – Bangi – Nilai – Seremban.
Komuter had changed their schedule recently. From every 20 minutes previously to 15 minutes (off peak hours) and 30 minutes (peak hours). I think it is not a really good move because every hour is a peak hours in modern days. I can’t afford to waste 30 minutes for nothing!
4. Why it suddenly stops?
This question has been puzzled me for the past ten years (I started using Komuters since high school). Based on my observation, I believe that this is because of the sharing rail tracks.
Unlike RapidKL, they have their own lines that ensure their smoothness. Komuter has to share with KTMB train and requires to switch the track. Komuter & KTMB has a complex rail network but they are not efficient enough. I remember watching Discovery on how Mumbai has a complex yet efficient rail network.
5. Travelling time
This information might be varied. Based on my personal experience, from, Seremban to KL Sentral – approx. 1 hours 50 minutes; from KL Sentral to Port Klang – approx. 2 hours.
6. Direct train from Tanjung Malim?
I’m not sure about this train. Every morning I can see five non-Komuter train cars with lots of standing passenger passes by Bank Negara. I don’t think they come all the way from the northern states. My guess is that they are riding direct train from Kuala Kubu Bharu up to Tanjung Malim.
7. Driver will wait for passenger
This is the best thing about Komuter. Usually, the driver will wait until all passengers are safely disembarked and enter the train before it departed (LRT will leave us if we are late). I’m not sure whether the driver has a side mirror or not. But the funny thing is that sometimes the train will reverse if they missed the stop position.
8. Not environmental friendly – wasted paper tickets!
Despite using electric train, Komuter is not green enough because they wasted lots of paper tickets. I’m not sure if they collect those ticket where people toss in the bin.
9. Unfriendly access gates
Most of the Komuter stations use two leg tripod turnstile at the access gates. They should look replace this facility because I think it is uncomfortable as it will touches men’s private part. I have to push it with my hands manually to get through. Some of the access gates are useless and not functioning because people can get through them easily.
10. Accessibility and universal design
Not all station are equipped with elevators for the wheelchair users and elders. If only Peter Tan is a frequent Komuter user, I bet he will complain about these facilities too.
I guess that’s it for today. Lots of harsh complains can be found in local newspaper. I hope Komuter can improve their service in the future based on my comments. For more information, you can visit Komuter website or Wikipedia: Komuter page.