OCTOBER 8 — I was among many passengers on KTM’s Electric Train Service (ETS) 9019 on October 7, 2017 travelling from Padang Besar to KL Sentral. This particular train was scheduled to leave Padang Besar at 3.43pm and arrive KL Sentral at 9.16pm as stated on the ticket sold to passengers.
Unfortunately, the ability of KTM to operate trains that arrive on schedule leaves much to be desired even though their schedules are specified to the minute.
On October 7, ETS 9019 stopped near Rawang at about 9.00pm. An announcement was made that there were control issues at Pusat Kawalan Tren at KL Sentral.
At 9.20pm, the train moved slowly but stopped again at 9.45pm at Sungai Buloh. The same announcement was made with no indication of the new arrival time at KL Sentral.
Passengers were left guessing and unable to plan their pick-ups and onward journeys due to lack of information. If given the information, passengers could have informed their family and friends and made alternative arrangements. I know of a passenger who could not use the LRT to get home because the train arrived at KL Sentral after the LRT had closed. He had to incur additional expenses taking a taxi home.
Besides the delay, surely, this is unacceptable behaviour on the part of KTM which had caused great inconvenience to their customers.
At 10.13pm, the train continued its journey only to stop again at the Kepong Station at 10.32pm. Then at 10.35pm, the train moved again and finally arrived at KL Sentral at 11.10pm. The train was late by 1 hour and 50 minutes from its stated scheduled arrival time of 9.16pm. This makes a mockery of KTM scheduling their trains by the minute. They might as well state: “lebih kurang pukul .....” (“more or less at ......”)
I understand from other passengers that these delays are not isolated incidents and occur frequently. If this is indeed the case, then it is sheer incompetence on the part of KTM in managing and maintaining their train schedules. After all, they set the schedules and should be able to deliver departure and arrival times as promised to their customers.
KTM owes their customers and explanation on these delays - why they occur and what is being done to remedy them.
It is time for KTM to buck up and improve services and not revert back to its severely criticised practices of the “bad old days”.
*This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the view of the Malay Mail Online.