Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kuala Lumpur Mass Transit

When I get a moment I’m going to do some research and discover why the mass transit system in Kuala Lumpur is as disjointed as it is. There are commuter trains, there’s a monorail, there are light rail lines. Sometimes the lines happen to cross paths and while it’s not a free transfer it’s cheap and painless. But other times the lines will come within 2 or 3 blocks of each other and in order to get from one line to another it can be quite a hike up a flight of stairs, across a pedestrian overpass, down a flight of stairs, a 3 block covered walk with the sun beating down on the steel cover and the heat radiating down on commuters and then a flight of stairs up to buy another ticket and another flight of stairs to the next mass transit car. Why is this? Did one hand not know what the other hand was doing? Did some local political warlord demand a payoff for crossing his turf that never came? In some cases huge office buildings were constructed on the northwest side of Kuala Lumpur and either have no train or a line that stops just blocks away. The PetronasTowers cry out for mass transit, a station in the basement as the World Trade Center in NY once had would be ideal. But the train stops a block away across a huge boulevard that teems with traffic and workers stream across dodging traffic to get to their jobs. The monorail terminates a block from KL’s Sentral train station. Would it have been too much to connect them?


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