Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trains - the heartbeat of Mumbai

"Trains are the heartbeat of Mumbai."

Thats what i had heard before I went to Mumbai. So it was one of the things I wanted to check out while travelling there. 

With an estimated city population of 18.4 million, it is the most populated city in India and the 9th most in the world. 

Without an efficient train system, the city could go on standstill just with human traffic. 

We headed to the Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus or CST in Colaba at off peak hours to try to catch a local city train. Peak hours in Mumbai are crazy, people literary hang out of trains and I didn't want to try that.

I had already checked the map and the nearest station i was headed to was in Dader which is 13.5 km away from Colaba. 

They had electronic ticket machines but you needed to buy a card for that. The gruffy ticket officer gave me 4 tickets at rs 5 each (RM0.32). i was shocked, that's super cheap. 

We asked around and got into our train. i asked the lady sitting next to me, if she could point out our destination so we dont miss our stop. i didn't even have to do that, there were electronic displays in the train that would flash the next stations name sometime before we arrived. For the most populated city in the country, the trains were spick, span clean and comfortable to sit in. 

We arrived in Dader in about 30 minutes. the trip would have cost RS350 by taxi and at least 1 hours travel time with traffic and signals.

Later someone told me I could have gotten a direct train to Bandra, where i actually wanted to go. 

it made me think of our own public transportation. 

One, it isnt well connected 
Two - its expensive
Three - it takes longer to travel in than drive. 

Our public transport infrastructure seriously lacks in many ways. The LRT is pretty convenient if you live close to the stations. However for folks living in outskirt towns, we're stuck with the super slow and unreliable KTM. for some there is the option of taking the ERL to KL Sentral but at exorbitant prices of RM9.50 per way! Can someone explain to me why this ride costs so much? The trains are barely filled even at peak hours due to the high cost. 

While i'm hoping the upcoming MRT Projects will make a difference, none of it will matter if it is too expensive. 

While i don't think we should have RM0.30 tickets, we do need cost effective solutions, if the government is sincerely looking into making Malaysians more receptive to public transport. 

If I lived in Mumbai, I wouldn't need a car. I could take a train everywhere and use the auto (tuk tuk) to travel around an area. he cost was just Rs 20 - 30 (RM 1.40 - RM2) for a few kilometres. 

That brings me to the question of taxi's. Some LRT station taxis charge exorbitant amounts for short distances. What would have been an RM5 ride often turns into double the amount. 

So the question is how do you encourage people to take public transport when the cost of travel isn't being accounted for?

V-Eyez Imagery
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Monday, September 14, 2015

How much are you willing to change?

Anang Malaysia sebaka tebu, manis di pohon, tawal di hujung” - Tun Jugah @ Temenggung Jugah

“Malaysia should not be like the sugar cane, sweet at the head and getting less and less sweet towards the end – Tun Jugah”

Wise words by a very wise man.

Tun Jugah was a very interesting man. Despite being illiterate, he valued education and pushed for it for his community – the Ibans. He was key to Sarawak uniting with Sabah and Malaya to form Malaysia.

To me Malaysia is still sweet despite everything going on now but perhaps hardened from all that’s happening; the sweetness is now getting harder to reach.

We need to remember that we are different. Each state, each culture values something different. We need to remember to take these into account in everything we do and not marginalise people for being different. Our thoughts and needs are different but at the end of the day, we are all Malaysians.

Let’s not forget that.

idup ka nyawa dulu. Udah urat tegap, baru kitai ulih bejaku – Temenggung Jugah
Give life to yourself first. Once your foundation is solid, then you can talk and act.’ – Tun Temenggung Jugah

Indeed how can we expect change when we won’t make changes to ourselves?

Let’s change how we treat others especially those who are lower in status than us. How about you say thank you for a change and make their day? Write as many thank you notes for great service, encourage people to be better.

Let’s change our attitude that someone else will do it. Be that someone who doesn’t litter, doesn’t drive like a maniac, who calls in to report accidents, suspicious characters, faulty roads, broken pipes, malfunctioning street and parking lights. The people in charge can’t be everywhere, but you can make a difference by aiding them with information.  

Let’s change our attitude towards stereotypes. How about we stop judging people just by their race and attire? How about we give people a chance to prove themselves? How about we instil these values into our children and watch how we behave in front of them. Children learn from example, so think carefully what kind of example you are setting for them.

Let’s change our attitude towards responsibility. Your duty as a citizen doesn’t stop at the voting booth, push your Adun and MP for the changes you want. Don’t idealise them, make them stand up for you when it matters.

Let’s change our attitude towards corruption. Stop giving bribes. Stop buying stolen items. No matter how small it is, you’re aiding corruption and little by little you become a part of the problem and not the solution.

Change begins with the man in the mirror – so how much are you willing to change?

This Malaysia day, ask yourselves that.

Happy Birthday Malaysia and to all Malaysians, Happy Malaysia Day.

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