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Improving quality of rail service in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Improving quality of rail service in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Improving quality of rail service in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The only national heavy commuter train system in Malaysia, called KTM Komuter, plays a major role in providing long journey rail-based public transport services to people from urban to suburban areas within the Klang Valley. Since its first operation in the mid-1990s, KTM Komuter has had the primary function of alleviating the negative impacts of car use, namely congestion and the associated environmental pollution. However, there are also issues of public transport users overcrowding circumferential links, railway stations, rail cars, bus stops and feeder buses, particularly during peak hours. As a result there is challenge of quality for KTM Komuter services with respect to capacity, service frequency, accessibility, connectivity, mobility, on board crowding and station service quality. This has resulted in this thesis examining the KTM Komuter’s level of service and overall service quality as perceived by the passengers. It hence aims to determine the optimal levels of KTM Komuter provision in terms of quantity and quality of service in an economical manner.

To achieve this aim, several objectives of this research have been identified. The first is to model the travel behaviour of KTM Komuter users based on the Origin-Destination (O-D) survey results which will then attempt to demonstrate the practical values of the Generalised Journey Time (GJT) and Generalised Travel Cost (GTC) of the KTM Komuter operations. The second objective is to explore and identify the passengers’ daily personal perceptions, experiences, needs and situational influences of service quality attributes that best define a high quality rail service based on the factor analysis of the variables of service quality (based on Attitudinal surveys). The third is to evaluate service quality in the KTM Komuter systems by developing empirical, statistical models that will be called KOMIQUAL models to determine which of these variables have the greatest impact on KTM Komuter’s quality of service for a network of routes/corridors. The fourth research objective estimates the mean, median, maximum and minimum KTM Komuter passengers per hour for seven time periods based on the Passenger Boarding and Alighting survey results and to gauge optimal headway, optimal fleet size, optimal vehicle capacity and optimal pricing based on an Economic Optimization approach. The number of KTM Komuter train sets will be examined using the ROMAN-D software based on both the actual and design operating service frequencies. As a result, a better KTM Komuter Timetable and Public Timetable will be identified. Finally, policy recommendations are proposed to improve the quality of services of the KTM Komuter system.

The key results of the O-D surveys depicted that there were high possibilities for Non-Motorized Transport (NMT)-Public Transport (PT) Integration with mode splits of 21% walk-and 40% PT for access and 39% walk and bicycle and 32% PT for egress. The corresponding mean access and egress travel distances including Walking and PT were 15.0 km and 13.1 km. respectively. The resulting values of the GJT and GTC were high suggesting the importance of these determinants in deterring passengers from choosing KTM Komuter as a main transport mode.

For the results of the Attitudinal surveys, both the overall service quality and level of service were mostly rated as being fair by the KTM Komuter passengers. Improving parking facilities, increasing train efficiency, people services and space comfort were the main components out of nine input components (which also included train ambience, ticketing, information and station entry-exit systems, station quality, facilities, and rail structures) in the KOMIQUAL models that best defined high quality KTM Komuter service among KTM Komuter users.

The values of mean, median, maximum and minimum KTM Komuter passengers per hour for seven time periods differed widely. The optimal fleet size, optimal vehicle capacity and optimal pricing resulted in two categories of peak period for KL Inbound namely 0630 – 1230 and 1630 – 2130 and these should be designed with the highest fleet sizes of approximately 28 and 21 respectively. Three categories of peak period for KL Outbound were noted namely 0630 – 0930, 1000 - 1300 and 1600 – 2100 and these should be designed with the highest number of fleet size of 28, 26 and 33 respectively. A capacity of up to 249 seats per train, including standees, should be provided for outbound services 1600 – 2100. By contrast, a capacity of up to 161 seats per train, including standees, should be provided for inbound services 0630 – 1230.

The average value of the total optimal price is reported to be RM1.83. These average values of the total optimal price for both directions are found to be slightly lower than the yields or average fares per boarding from 2008 to 2013 ranging from RM1.90 in 2011 to RM2.40 in 2013. There will be no more fare reduction in future as the existing fares are considered quite cheap and new KTM Komuter fares for the Klang Valley sector should be structured based on the current rate of fare (or operating cost per day per passenger-km) of RM0.21.

These models produced optimized service patterns (train frequency and capacity) and fares. A practical operating service headway should be 10 minutes during 0500 – 1630 hours and 15 minutes during 1630 – 2235 hours for both ways. Based on the findings, the conclusions are to improve the overall services of KTM Komuter. The implications are to define the interactions of KTM Komuter’s demand and supply in regard to a trade-off between economically efficient operation and adequate quality of service for the public which are very complex and require detailed analyses and decisions. Some of the policy recommendations to improve the quality of services of the KTM Komuter system include defining the future role for the KTM Komuter system, innovating KTM Komuter Business and regulating KTM Komuter services.
University of Southampton
Ab Karim, Siti Nurbaya Binti
ee2b1c19-be44-41ee-8246-f5756c31b6f1
Ab Karim, Siti Nurbaya Binti
ee2b1c19-be44-41ee-8246-f5756c31b6f1
Preston, John
b0d0c588-e023-47dc-bc4a-30bc6bd6a412

Ab Karim, Siti Nurbaya Binti (2016) Improving quality of rail service in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 560pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The only national heavy commuter train system in Malaysia, called KTM Komuter, plays a major role in providing long journey rail-based public transport services to people from urban to suburban areas within the Klang Valley. Since its first operation in the mid-1990s, KTM Komuter has had the primary function of alleviating the negative impacts of car use, namely congestion and the associated environmental pollution. However, there are also issues of public transport users overcrowding circumferential links, railway stations, rail cars, bus stops and feeder buses, particularly during peak hours. As a result there is challenge of quality for KTM Komuter services with respect to capacity, service frequency, accessibility, connectivity, mobility, on board crowding and station service quality. This has resulted in this thesis examining the KTM Komuter’s level of service and overall service quality as perceived by the passengers. It hence aims to determine the optimal levels of KTM Komuter provision in terms of quantity and quality of service in an economical manner.

To achieve this aim, several objectives of this research have been identified. The first is to model the travel behaviour of KTM Komuter users based on the Origin-Destination (O-D) survey results which will then attempt to demonstrate the practical values of the Generalised Journey Time (GJT) and Generalised Travel Cost (GTC) of the KTM Komuter operations. The second objective is to explore and identify the passengers’ daily personal perceptions, experiences, needs and situational influences of service quality attributes that best define a high quality rail service based on the factor analysis of the variables of service quality (based on Attitudinal surveys). The third is to evaluate service quality in the KTM Komuter systems by developing empirical, statistical models that will be called KOMIQUAL models to determine which of these variables have the greatest impact on KTM Komuter’s quality of service for a network of routes/corridors. The fourth research objective estimates the mean, median, maximum and minimum KTM Komuter passengers per hour for seven time periods based on the Passenger Boarding and Alighting survey results and to gauge optimal headway, optimal fleet size, optimal vehicle capacity and optimal pricing based on an Economic Optimization approach. The number of KTM Komuter train sets will be examined using the ROMAN-D software based on both the actual and design operating service frequencies. As a result, a better KTM Komuter Timetable and Public Timetable will be identified. Finally, policy recommendations are proposed to improve the quality of services of the KTM Komuter system.

The key results of the O-D surveys depicted that there were high possibilities for Non-Motorized Transport (NMT)-Public Transport (PT) Integration with mode splits of 21% walk-and 40% PT for access and 39% walk and bicycle and 32% PT for egress. The corresponding mean access and egress travel distances including Walking and PT were 15.0 km and 13.1 km. respectively. The resulting values of the GJT and GTC were high suggesting the importance of these determinants in deterring passengers from choosing KTM Komuter as a main transport mode.

For the results of the Attitudinal surveys, both the overall service quality and level of service were mostly rated as being fair by the KTM Komuter passengers. Improving parking facilities, increasing train efficiency, people services and space comfort were the main components out of nine input components (which also included train ambience, ticketing, information and station entry-exit systems, station quality, facilities, and rail structures) in the KOMIQUAL models that best defined high quality KTM Komuter service among KTM Komuter users.

The values of mean, median, maximum and minimum KTM Komuter passengers per hour for seven time periods differed widely. The optimal fleet size, optimal vehicle capacity and optimal pricing resulted in two categories of peak period for KL Inbound namely 0630 – 1230 and 1630 – 2130 and these should be designed with the highest fleet sizes of approximately 28 and 21 respectively. Three categories of peak period for KL Outbound were noted namely 0630 – 0930, 1000 - 1300 and 1600 – 2100 and these should be designed with the highest number of fleet size of 28, 26 and 33 respectively. A capacity of up to 249 seats per train, including standees, should be provided for outbound services 1600 – 2100. By contrast, a capacity of up to 161 seats per train, including standees, should be provided for inbound services 0630 – 1230.

The average value of the total optimal price is reported to be RM1.83. These average values of the total optimal price for both directions are found to be slightly lower than the yields or average fares per boarding from 2008 to 2013 ranging from RM1.90 in 2011 to RM2.40 in 2013. There will be no more fare reduction in future as the existing fares are considered quite cheap and new KTM Komuter fares for the Klang Valley sector should be structured based on the current rate of fare (or operating cost per day per passenger-km) of RM0.21.

These models produced optimized service patterns (train frequency and capacity) and fares. A practical operating service headway should be 10 minutes during 0500 – 1630 hours and 15 minutes during 1630 – 2235 hours for both ways. Based on the findings, the conclusions are to improve the overall services of KTM Komuter. The implications are to define the interactions of KTM Komuter’s demand and supply in regard to a trade-off between economically efficient operation and adequate quality of service for the public which are very complex and require detailed analyses and decisions. Some of the policy recommendations to improve the quality of services of the KTM Komuter system include defining the future role for the KTM Komuter system, innovating KTM Komuter Business and regulating KTM Komuter services.

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Published date: January 2016

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Local EPrints ID: 418072
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418072
PURE UUID: 9acfaf15-6962-4a95-ad1a-729464edb2e6

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Date deposited: 21 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 19:08

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