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KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Klang Valley residents using the LRT and MRT rail services tomorrow will have to strictly comply with requirements to stand and even sit apart from each other at pre-determined spots, and can also expect longer wait time as transport service provider Rapid KL takes steps to ensure everyone’s safety amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
With public transport services to resume normal operations tomorrow when the conditional movement control order (CMCO) kicks in in states that have chosen to adopt it, RapidKL offered a preview of how train stations, train platforms and trains would look like to help guide commuters to maintain social distancing.
In the photographs, red tape was shown being used to mark the floors outside the train station, inside the train station, after the ticket barrier, on the platforms, on the floor of trains to show passengers where they have to stand or queue.
Pastikan anda sentiasa menjaga jarak sosial yang selamat dengan hanya berada pada garisan atau tempat duduk yang telah ditanda ketika menaiki tren. Kami yakin, anda semua boleh sama-sama menjayakan norma baharu ini.#KitaJagaKita #KitaMestiMenang pic.twitter.com/IHf2kdfPYQ— RapidKL 03-78852585 (@MyRapidKL) May 3, 2020
Face masks a must
In a note this evening, Rapid KL announced: “Important note: Only passengers who wear face masks are allowed to board the train (recommendation from the Ministry of Transport Malaysia).”
Along with the announcement was a poster of all the measures that will be implemented to keep passengers safe, including carrying out temperature checks on all passengers before allowing them to enter the station, with those with high temperatures told to avoid using public transport and visit the nearest health clinic.
Rapid KL will also only allow a certain number of passengers to be at the platform at any one time with the waiting time and travel time expected to be slightly longer than usual, while station officers would also control the movement of passengers before or after the automatic entry doors.
Rapid KL said it will be mandatory for passengers to wear face masks and use hand sanitisers, adding that passengers will have to stand at spots marked with red lines and not to sit on seats marked with an “X” or a notice in order to maintain social distancing from other passengers while at the platform and inside trains.
NOTA PENTING : Hanya penumpang yang memakai topeng muka sahaja dibenarkan untuk menaiki tren (saranan oleh Kementerian Pengangkutan Malaysia)#KitaMestiMenang #KitaTeguhKitaMenang pic.twitter.com/SkrcofkOig— RapidKL 03-78852585 (@MyRapidKL) May 3, 2020
In answering further questions from Twitter users, Rapid KL said there will also be staff within trains to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements while auxiliary police will also be present to assist.
Air-conditioners within the train will be switched on as usual, while the trains will be operating at 50 per cent capacity, Rapid KL said.
Train frequencies for peak hours for LRT Kelana Jaya line will be three minutes, while for Ampang / Sri Petaling line would be six minutes, MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang line would be four minutes, and monorail services would be at six minutes.
Some concerned Twitter users have in turn suggested that the train frequency for peak periods be reduced to as little as two minutes to avoid crowds forming and to shorten the waiting time while some expressed concern about possibly appearing late for work, amid the new measures to limit the number of individuals allowed on platforms and in a train at any one time.
Some other suggestions from Twitter users include offering limited tickets for sale, or giving individual time slots to passengers to control the number of persons at a train station and to avoid crowds from forming.
Prasarana Malaysia Berhad which operates Rapid KL services had previously on May 1 said that the peak period for rail services would be extended to 7am to 11am for the morning peak period, and to 4pm to 7pm for the evening peak period, to encourage social distancing.
Use trains only if you really need to
Rapid KL however said those who own a motorcycle or car are welcome to use their own transport to their workplaces to help cut down on congestion at train stations, while asking those who only rely on rail transport to take care.
“If you are given a choice to work from home or from office, make the wise decision. Working from home is the best choice if given flexibility by your employer. Help us to ensure passengers’ safety.
“Don’t take advantage of this small flexibility given and ride the train for purposes such as shopping in conjunction with Hari Raya or otherwise. Use public transport only if you truly need it such as going to work,” it advised on Twitter.
How about bus users?
For those using Rapid KL buses, the public transport firm provided a poster of five measures for Malaysians to practise as part of the “new normal”, including staying one metre apart while waiting for the bus, when inside the bus, when entering or exiting the bus, as well as wearing face masks in the bus and in public areas.
Bus users were also told to continue maintaining personal hygiene, and to plan their bus journeys before leaving home, and to also refer to the notice on the bus window regarding the limit of the number of passengers inside the bus.
The frequency of buses will depend on traffic flow and the number of buses in operation at a particular time, Rapid KL said.
Previously, on May 1, Prasarana had said each bus will be operating at 30 per cent capacity.
Prasarana had also then said that hand sanitisers would be placed at all LRT, MRT, monorail and BRT stations, bus hubs and ferry terminals under its operations.