10 October 2010

Railway services in Klang Valley – Overview of public feedback

By: Engr. Nuryantizpura Mohamad Rais and Engr. Shuhairy Norhisham
(JURUTERA Bulletin September 2010)

Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) commuter system is a suburban railways service and mostly runs in Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan Region. It’s was operations on 14 August 1995 and provided fully air-conditioned electric train. At earlier stage, it consists two line namely Sentul-Port Klang and Rawang-Seremban lines. As per latest development, the line has been extended from Rawang to Tanjung Malim.

The quality of railway services in Klang Valley is always becomes a debate issues between service provider and users. While the users demand more frequent and quality public transportation, the service provider always complaint about less ridership and fully utilization by public for railway as public transport.

KTM commuter had improved in most area such as longer services hours, more frequency of train arrival, improve delay time and adding the number of coach. But they are still complaint with the unsatisfactory from the users.
  • How bad is user perception? 
  • Which area should be improved? 
That is an area need to be known.

With the objective o quantify the passengers satisfaction towards services offered by railway services in Klang Valley, a questionnaire survey has been conducted to about 200 responders to get a feedback from the users.

Limitation of Works
In order to achieve the objectives, the scopes and limitation of the study are identified as follows:
  1. The population of this study is limited to potential users only. Potential user is the KTM Commuter riders with age 18 years and above.
  2. The studied line is Seremban - Kuala Lumpur Sentral - Rawang only. While the selected station for the observation is concentrated at the station with high ridership.
  3. The survey and observation are conduct based on the day treatment, focuses on day-of-weak effect which is “weekdays” and “weekend” only.
Socio-Demographic Characteristics
Table 1, summarizes the descriptive statistics of socio-demographic of KTM Komuter respondents. A total of 200 samples were distributed. About 60.5% of responders consider the majority were female.

 Table 1. Socio-Demographic Characteristics
The highest proportion of age group was between 18-30 years of age (65.5%), the second highest group between 31-40 years of age (20.0%) followed by 41-50 years old (9.5%). Another 4.0% at the age between 51-60 years and only 1% of them age above 60 years. As for occupation of area of profession, 40.5% of the respondents were in academic field, which consist students, teachers or even tutor and lecturers from universities.

About 17.5% respondents come from professional and managerial group, followed by skilled worker (14.5%), then semi skilled and unskilled worker (12.5%). The remaining 10.5% of the responders were from clerical and sales group and another 4.5% from ‘other’ group.

The income band corresponding to the highest proportion of respondents (41.5%) is RM 1000 and below per month. The next highest income categories were RM 2001-RM 3000 per month (27.5%) followed by RM 1001-RM 2000 per month (18.5%) and another 12.5% has income RM 3000 and more.

On average the number of vehicle ownership is one (1) vehicle in a family. But surprisingly a large percentage of 15.5% owned four (4) vehicles or more in a household but still choose commuter as a mode of transport.

Quality of Services from Users View
The transit quality of service (QOS) can really influence the user choices [TCRP Report 100]. In that reason, to improve the ridership and attract new users, improving the services quality in one of the measure for continuous development. The user satisfaction is a measure for the services quality in user’s point of view. Customers express their points of view about the services by providing judgments on some service aspects through sample survey. The objective of this analysis is to provide a tool for measuring the overall transit service quality, taking into account rider judgments about different service aspects.

The services aspect had focus more on service characteristic, service reliability, comfort of ridership, cleanliness, fare, information, safety and security and customer services.
Overall, it was considered sixteen (16) attributes with average satisfaction is 3.45 as reported in Table 2. According to a scale from 1 to 6, attribute with the highest satisfaction score is “ease of purchasing a ticket” (k=15), which contributes to the overall satisfaction with mean of 4.16. The less satisfaction is “train crowding” (k=5) with mean of 2.36. The value of “Overall Satisfaction” is 3.45 out of 6. By converting this score into a percentage, the S.I shows that the service is about 58 percent successful in satisfying its customers.

Figure 1 shows the mean satisfaction graphically. From the overall service aspect, attribute 5, “train crowding” from comfort service aspect give the lowest mean satisfaction is 2.36 out of 6 which the QOS is 2 (unpleasant). The next lowest rating given by the passengers is attribute 8, “level of noise and vibration on train” also from comfort service aspect where the mean satisfaction is 2.86 out of 6 which the QOS is 3 (uncomfortable).

It is clearly shown that “comfort aspects” need critical attention from KTM operator for future modification. Attribute 15, “ease of purchasing a thicket” from customer services aspect give the highest satisfaction where the mean satisfaction is 4.16 out of 6 which the QOS is 4 (acceptable). This attribute seems give satisfaction to most KTM passengers.

This users survey measured overall satisfactory as 3.45 out of rating 6(excellent) and 1(bad). Comfort service aspect shows the lowest satisfaction when the mean satisfaction for “train crowding” attributes rated as 2.36 out of 6. Customer service aspect shows the highest satisfaction when the mean satisfaction for “ease of purchasing a thicket” contributes as 4.16 out of 6. This factor should be main criteria to conduct a review of the current situation towards quality of service specifically from passengers’ perspective of view.

Table 2: Satisfaction Rating

Figure 1: Quality of Service Based on Mean Satisfaction Rating


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