The impact on KTMB’s future earnings against public transportation in Malaysia

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2013
14 Pages, Grade: 3.49


Table Of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Literature Review

3 Research Objectives
3.1 Research Questions
3.2 Research Framework

4 Methodology

5 Expected significant contribution to new knowledge / expected benefits to the country / society / organizations
5.1 Country
5.1.1 Increase country images
5.1.2 Increase and Strengthen Connection of two countries or states around Malaysia
5.1.3 Payments of taxes’ developments in the country’s benefits or citizens’ benefits
5.1.4 Increase and Strengthen Connection of citizens in various routes around Malaysia
5.2 Society
5.2.1 Better for elderly as it is far stabile than other mode of trasnportation
5.2.2 Women section train
5.3 Organizations
5.3.1. Wide availability of delivery system
5.2.2 Container delivery system using its own lanes

6 References

1 Introduction

With the urbanization, public transportation became one of the best transportation choices for the people around hectic areas. There are various types of public transportation available for the public. There are buses, trains, trishaws, taxis and other possible public transportation available for the public. Some of the transportations are free while some required several ringgits to transit to another location. Kuala Lumpur currently is under the MRT development system. MRT is similarly to the concept of subways as it is transporting the passengers underneath the roads. This will either increased or decreased the profit of other public transportations. As for buses, GoKL is the best choices for the public. GoKL is one of the free buses offered to the public and financed heavily by the government. It even included the capacity of WIFI for the riders around Kuala Lumpur. GoKL is created to serve the passengers to freely commute to other location in Kuala Lumpur. Not only that, Kuala Lumpur have the light-train system called Monorail and LRT station that connect far distance passengers to Kuala Lumpur. It is done to commute employees, employers or anyone who wanted to reach Kuala Lumpur.

In term of speed, KTM is definitely behind than that transportation. However, KTM serves wide ranges of locations availability for its stations to reach Kuala Lumpur. From Klang Valley to Kuala Lumpur, KTM is the best choice for direct transportation method as transit transportation can take time in shifting to other location. Subang Jaya is the current connection between KTM Klang Valley and KTM Central or KTM Kuala Lumpur. However, the developments of various types of public transportation in Subang Jaya currently might affect the expected number of passengers, income and profit for KTMB. LRT is currently being developed in Subang Jaya to create connection between Putra Height (a new area) and Kelana Jaya. In Kelana Jaya, the passengers can use existing stations to shift directly to Kuala Lumpur. It will definitely affect KTMB largely in term of passengers and profits. In the case of BRT, the bus rapid transit will commute passengers from Subang Jaya (Same location as LRT station) towards Sunway areas and stopped in the Setia Jaya station (next to the KTM). BRT seems to provide ample benefits for KTM rather than the development of LRT. With a large number of parking available, people can opt to use LRT to Kuala Lumpur using the fastest transportation method within split minutes. As for BRT, bus rapid transit have their own lanes far above ground (same height concept as LRT) with its own lanes that reduces the transit time due to traffic congestions. Also, those lanes are totally separated than the roads on the ground which allowed the small bus to cater the needs of consumers to the respective destinations.

The aim of this study is to understand, investigate and evaluate the reasons that might impact the future earning of KTMB. KTMB have been serving the public in transportation industry for years. It provides the lowest cost to travel from one destination to other destination. Not only that, KTMB provided long-hours travelling for areas that located in different states for the public. KTM also served the organizations by transferring and delivering the containers to their respective locations at night. All of those benefits are widely available for the public as they valued their services catering to the public. However, various public transportations’ choices and its developments might bring down KTMB future earning, if not much; it will be slightly reduction within times. That triggered the mind of the researcher on the survival of KTMB to serve the community around the urban areas and non-urban areas. The researcher, in the other hand, will like to know the possible impacts that the governments as well as KTMB can do to increase the satisfaction and attract large number of customers in commuting the commuter. Those reasons provide ample feedback on the areas the researcher, organizations, citizens and governments deemed impacted the future earning of KTMB.

2 Literature Review

Public transportation is a mode of transportation that was built for their public to ease their daily lives to commute to another destination. Tran and Kleiner (2005) included buses, taxis, rails, subways and ferry boats as the mode of public transportation available in Malaysia by the consumers. Dridi et al (2005) and Behwal & Behwal (2010) stated that public transportation services are required to follow regular schedules and safety regulations to ease their consumers’ needs to commute to other destinations. The researchers also believe that the providers need to guarantee high quality in their services and meet users’ need for their transportation mode. Also, the researchers stated that the providers should utilize their resources efficiently for maintenance and others matter that will provide safety and rapid transit time for the consumers. As for Malaysia, several public transportations are available for the consumers such as trains, trishaws, trains, buses and others. KTMB or Keretapi Tanah Melayu is a heavy rail system under trains departments.

There are other service providers for trains such as monorail, LRT (Light Rail Train) and MRT Subways (being developed) in Malaysia. KTMB served the commuters to transit in many suburban destinations in Kuala Lumpur towards other areas far from the city centre. As for Subang Jaya or Klang residents, they can use KTMB to travel to Kuala Lumpur because there are not many options to travel to Kuala Lumpur. However, they are developing LRT transit one line in Subang Jaya to Kelana Jaya, thus connecting the Kelana Jaya to Kuala Lumpur for the passengers. This will definitely affected the number of consumers and profits of KTMB in the future.In addition, Subang Jaya passengers can travel to Sunway Pyramid or Setia Jaya using BRT or electric-bus rapid transit for faster travel. BRT is a system similarly to LRT as it is located far above the road or ground. It has its own lane for travelling to the destinations from USJ to Setia Jaya. Therefore, there is no issue regarding to traffic congestion to the destination as it have its own lane above. It will be amazing for those who wanted to view the areas widely. In the same USJ station, LRT will bring the passengers to Kelana Jaya or Putra Height depending on the destination’s choices as both are the opposite ways.

In Malaysia, there are large number of traffic congestion occurred in wide areas around Kuala Lumpur. It got worse until several areas after Kuala Lumpur during peak hours. It can lasted several hours to destination that might takes less than 20 minutes to arrived during non-peak hours. That is why public transportation are needed to operate effectively and efficiency to commute passengers to arrived their destinations safely without stress. The services need to be in high quality because that is the main reason for switching transportation mode. It will attract more people to use public transportation and overcome the issues of traffic congestion in the areas. However, KTM commuter cannot offer high quality of services needed by the passengers. It is because KTM commuters always faced delays, punctuality in arriving, not-sufficient counters, modified ticketing systems as well as inconvenience to the passengers. Also, KTM commuters always lack in changing frequency that packed the passengers like sardine-canned during peak hours which reduces the safety factors of the passengers and their personal belongings. As expressed by Zaherawati et al (2010), the issues are being widespread, not only towards KTMB but other public transportations that their services are ways below the required levels. Therefore, they couldn’t satisfy the needs and expectations of the consumers.

According to the KTMB traffic statistics (2012), approximately around 8,449,000 passengers travelled with KTM commuters to their respective destinations. That made the services as one of the primary public transportation service providers in Malaysia since its developments in 1995. In addition, KTM commuter is a very good alternative because it has its own lanes on the ground in congested road networks for regional and local access. It is also a good choice for those who do not posses private transportation. It means KTM commuter have approximately 53 stations along its 175km of network services. It has two cross-city routes which are Batu Caves-Port Klang-Sungai Gadut routes and added shuttle service from Rawang to Tanjung Malim in April 2007. The transfer between the lines can be done in KL Central, the main transportation hub. Also, it can be done in Putra stations as KTM station has a station there connecting with nearby monorail system per 10 minutes walk. The common issues regarding KTM performance are the lack of arriving times and frequencies for the passengers during peak hours. Other than that, KTMB is known to have lack of integration between their ticketing systems and supply of rolling stocks that caused the passengers to reschedule about 15 minutes to 30 minutes from their original times. Other than that, KTMB is always put low priority on maintenance, repair or overhaul programs of the rolling stocks that resulted to reduction on its capacity during peak hour session. The main reasons for the research are done in order to examine the customers’ satisfaction levels in the areas of punctuality, ticketing systems, and delay time, frequency of trains, security factors, space and conveniences.

Schwarcz.S (2003) discovered lack of integrations of the system levels between differences modes and within each of the mode. He discovered that infrastructure projects are constructed without proper planning or serious consideration towards their roles to serve the public. Schwarcz S (2003) found that LRT systems and monorail are the best example for the statement above. Also, it is found that bus companies do not serve as the efficient services to the rail system or coordinate with them. For example, the bus company should send the passengers nearby to the light rail system for easy access of the passengers to commute to the end destination. Even, it is found that several bus companies tends to compete with other bus companies that leads to other areas not being attended by them. Competing for specific areas can cause traffic confession while neglecting areas that may bring profit into their businesses. Zaherawati et al (2010) revealed the issues faced by the public transport in Malaysia. The main reason is time arrival that was delayed by minutes or hours. KTMB (Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad) and LRT (Light Rail Transit) always delayed their arrivals by minutes. The system is deemed far defective compared to the train system in Japan or Korea. Delayed in its arrival is known to caused passengers’ shifting to private car as their mode of transportation. Users are commonly dissatisfied with the service quality that were being provided by the KTMB for the delayed in time arrival. Also, train punctuality and its frequencies are the main reason for customer dissatisfaction towards the services.

Other factor is the insufficient capacity to carry more passengers into their destinations during peak hour that causes congested in the train services (Utusan Malaysia, 2008). Due to this problem, the service quality will deemed lacking in many areas and are not well implemented thoroughly even if the company or government modernized public transportation. Thompson and Schofield (2002) found that those factors gave negative perceptions and frustration among the passengers of public transportation. For example, if the train is congested with people, it provides uncomfortable feelings among the passengers. Not only that, it leads to thief for products as people are being cramp towards one another. It can leads to sexual harassments as well. One more factor that was faced deeply by the commuters and passengers are late buses to the areas of public transportation such as LRT or KTMB. Despite the time being published on the monitor of bus stations, the passengers always waited more than an hour or at least half an hour for the bus arrivals. The truth is that punctuality is always the main problem faced by many riders of public transportation around Malaysia. It always happened that it is hard for riders to estimate times for their meeting or works because it differs daily in waiting time.

To increase customer satisfaction, it is best to improve the quality of public transportation services in Malaysia. It is also vital to ensure top service quality as it can encourage more public transport users and reduce traffic congestion in the main city. For example, traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur is extremely terrible that it is a headache to drive without stress there. Also, the average travel time for a single journey directly can be extremely longer than expected. Those are including queuing and waiting time for purchasing tickets, waiting in line and arrivals of the transportations. This occurred especially for train system as bus system paid directly inside the buses. The main issues that are faced by the commuters are inadequate ticketing counters as well as the utilisation of ticket vending machines during peak hours. As mentioned in the example above, this issue is seriously painstaking matter for the commuters especially in the small areas of LRT spaces. Due to this matter, the waiting time and journey time will be extended. During this time, travel time will have an excess of 25%-35%, thanks to the extra waiting time for ticket transaction. Other than that, the delayed of train arrivals are another excess in the total travel time per passenger depending on the location. It means that the passengers need to start their journeys at the waiting time 25%-35% earlier than the usual departure time written on the board of the public transportation for safety in timing.

In the case of ticketing system, KTMB, LRT and Monorail did not use card system as they prefer the purchasing ticket using either machine or counter. For Monorail, they adapt the machine system for purchasing the ticket and withdrawing the ticket. If the machine have its failure, the number of waiting line or queuing time will be extremely ridiculous. KTMB still have the counter system, however they emphasizes the machine system as well. In Malaysia, the use of Touch n Go for public transportation are highly recommended to reduce queuing time. It is a contactless card method to cash-in the transaction per services of the public transportation. However, sometimes the failure of the machine can be a considerably painful matter especially after working hours. Most ridiculous issue is one counter opened while the rest 8 or 10 closed due to maintenance or lack of staffs during peak hours that leads to a long trail of line. In the case of delay time, it does not include the dwell times that the passengers had to suffer during transit stop. It is actually the acceleration as well as deceleration delay time at the transit stop. Those are the part that caused delay time in total. Delay time is something that should be avoided at all costs as it is required in creating a sustainable and well-system. That will make public transportation far attractive to all passengers and settle congestion as well as delay problems. It is because those matters are costly to the people and their activities daily.

KTMB commuters always suffered from the issues relating to delay time continuously. It seems that the delay time happened because of inadequate provision of coaches’ available and low quality of the train sets. When the train sets are not maintained properly, breakdown problems will occurred during its travel. KTMB always ensure high monetary costs are being provided for maintaining all the old coaches in their possession. However, the maintenance and improvements of the old coaches normally takes about six months in gathering the spare parts for the project. Another matter is the performance of the feeder services that increased the number of travel time per passenger or per location. As an example, trains and buses are commonly associated with unreliable services due to frequent delays in arriving, cancelations of the trips and didn’t follow the schedules being projected to the consumers. Due to that, it is a challenge for the passengers to plan their day or change their plan for that day as they experiencing disruption in their daily journey. Many customers suggested KTM to improve their train services especially dealing with punctuality and frequency of the trip. This will be better in reducing congestion at the stations during the peak hours. It will also be better in promoting other essential trip outside the peak hours, so that passengers can travel without any problem or any disruption.

In order to attract the customers to switch to public transportation, the service frequency must be attractive enough to create dependence on the transportation. If KTMB can reduce the congestion during peak hour, the number of customers will arise rapidly. It must be maintained and planned properly by creating proper frequency systems during peak hours. In Singapore, the train normally arrive every 3-5 minutes similarly to Japan system. It is far different than KTM Commuter that took about 15 minutes in peak hours and 30 minutes in off-peak hours. In 15 minutes frequency, it can create sardine-packed passengers in one coach during peak hour session. Passengers tend to avoid that because thieves and sexual touches can’t be avoided during congestion. That if the frequency of 15 minutes, however it tends to go overboard to 30 minutes or extra during peak hours. Also, the number of passengers normally increased rapidly when the commuters experience disrupted services during peak hours. As for commuters, missing a train in 2 minutes can actually build their waiting time approximately up to 45 minutes for the next train to arrive. That is why they changed to the connecting trains or shuttle buses for another options. If they need to take connecting train, they need to stop at KL sentral and change the train station or train transit. It is actually costly and troublesome for the passengers who are rushing or tired from running around.

In KL central, it is a combination of several station and several public transportation’s choices in one building. LRT, Monorail, KTMB and buses are connected in KL central. Some people need to change from KTM to LRT due to the location of the trains and they automatically will do that in KL central, public transportation hub. This definitely discouraged people because they need to switch to other public transportation or station that costly for them. They need to queue for tickets, wait for the trains to arrive and board the train to the destination. It definitely affected their level of satisfaction on the current services as they are rushing to their destination or change their plans for the day. Therefore, it is best for the train services to add frequencies of their trains and its arrival to the destination. Overcrowding coaches definitely increased the waiting time because the trains cannot arrive to the destinations at their scheduled time. It will definitely increase the delay time. In addition, coaches that are full with people are easily instil anxiety, asphyxia (safety vulnerability) and inconvenience to their lives. Sometimes, sick people can easily affect another unhealthy people or low-immune system people in the train.

Lack of focus as well as coordination of the systems at all levels caused severity in the problem relating to the public transportation. Shwarcz. S (2003) revealed that the government does not promote public transportation or tried to use public transportation to understand the frustration of the passengers. Also, there is a lack of government focus on the problem relating to delays in arrival times and other factors in Malaysia. As included in 8th Malaysia Plan, the government draw a road map for development of public transportation in Malaysia for the next few years. However, it is simply a reference without direct impact towards public transportation in Malaysia.


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The impact on KTMB’s future earnings against public transportation in Malaysia
Universiti Tenaga Nasional
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Transportation Management, Strategic Management, Impact on Future Earning, KTMB, Keretapi Tanah Melayu, LRT, BRT, Transportation System Paper type-Research paper
Quote paper
Zinatul Iffah Abdullah (Author), 2013, The impact on KTMB’s future earnings against public transportation in Malaysia, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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