LRT woes: Najib orders upgrade of 15 power substations


KUALA LUMPUR: The upgrading of 15 power substations on the Kelana Jaya LRT line shall be commissioned and implemented as an immediate measure to address issues and recent incidents involving the Light Rail Transit (LRT) services, Najib Razak said.

The prime minister said the proposed upgrade would ensure the electrical system would be able to cater to the fast-growing demand and future loads, as well as extend its lifespan.

“This measure will take up to three to six months to complete,” he said in a statement here today.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said he met Prasarana and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) officers earlier today.

Prasarana President and Group CEO Azmi Abdul Aziz presented to the PM the preliminary findings that resulted in the disruptions of the LRT service on Sept 7 and 9.

The findings indicated a power failure caused the disruptions.

“In addition, SPAD has highlighted the need for Prasarana to undertake a thorough assessment of the entire system as the Kelana Jaya LRT line has been in service for almost 20 years,” he said.

Najib said the assessment would identify risks and mitigation measures, as well as replacement plans for the critical systems.

“I have instructed that an independent technical assessor be appointed by Prasarana to undertake this exercise and SPAD will take part in this audit to ensure compliance.”

The prime minister said he had also instructed Prasarana to conduct a thorough review of its operations to strengthen existing standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure its capacity would be able to support the growing demand.

“Prasarana will also gradually introduce its new trains on the Kelana Jaya line by November 2016.

“These new trains will be able to cater for the additional capacity and frequency, thus reducing congestion during peak hours on weekdays.”

He said these were among the immediate steps he had asked Prasarana and SPAD to undertake to address the issues faced by commuters using the LRT.

They were in line with the government’s aspiration to make public transport the people’s choice for mobility.

During the meeting, Najib had also expressed his concern and that of the government regarding the two disturbing incidents involving the Kelana Jaya LRT line.

“I have also instructed Prasarana and SPAD to make public the findings of the investigation into the incidents as soon as the investigations are complete.”

On Sept 7, glitches in the signalling and communication system delayed the LRT trains between the Ampang Park and Dang Wangi stations during the morning rush hours.

This forced many commuters to be held up at several stations before services were restored at 1.15pm.

On Sept 9, a train from Datuk Keramat heading to Jelatek suddenly stopped between the Datuk Keramat and Damai stations at 9.10 am.

This caused the passengers to be trapped for 20 minutes before someone opened the doors from outside and told them to get off the train and walk on the track to Damai station, which took them about 10 minutes.