Many of us would always lament the situation of having to be stuck in traffic for a period of time. This temper would be further aggravated when the set time for an appointment or to reach a destination seem to be taking even more time. Waze would elevate the anxiety when you see the clock adding time or when it said there was no traffic but the reality is in front to see.
Would we ever see a day when the traffic would become smoother and travelling becomes faster? In a bustling town like Subang Jaya, where many offices have made their choice, not forgetting the many universities and schools, private hospitals and also shopping centres we have readily around us; we seem to have everything at our doorsteps.
However, getting to each of them easily would nearly almost require a vehicle of some sort. The increase of private vehicles has further required the roads to be expanded into more lanes and to sacrifice road shoulders and verges of plantings. It is also obvious that the number of motorcycles have increased. The increase has also brought in some undisciplined drivers and motorcyclists who seem to forget what they learned in school.
A Car-less and Motorcycle-less future may be a bit far-fetched but a future where these vehicles are greatly reduced would be a huge possibility. However, such a possibility would need the focus and attention of the local, state and federal government agencies. The community must also play their part in wanting this. We already know that in Subang Jaya we are already blessed with having a spine of LRT, Free SMART Selangor Buses, a BRT and a KTM.
If you were to look at the whole system, you would easily be able to get to every single important commercial, medical and educational area in Subang Jaya. There are easily 10 stations within Subang Jaya and two routes for the Free SMART Selangor bus services. There are also available concessions for OKU, Senior Citizens and Students. These come with 50% discounts. There are also packages like the Smart RM7 weekly, Smart RM30 monthly as well as the unlimited my50 and unlimited my100. The last two monthly unlimited plans offer the use of rapidKL buses as well as the feeder buses.
Even heading to the airport for those in Subang Jaya is now convenient as there are two services at Putra Heights whose bus service connects you to the KLIA and KLIA2 airport. Whilst it is cheaper than most transport if you are travelling alone, the cost is with time. You would have to coordinate your train ride and your bus interchange timing. There is also a new KTM service connecting the Subang KTM to the Subang Skypark airport. This makes Subang Jaya connected to both airports at both ends. One via the KTM Skypark link at the Subang Jaya KTM Station (also the interchange to the KTM Klang and KL Sentral line as well as the Kelana Jaya LRT Line) and the KLIA/KLIA2 Airport shuttle bus at Putra Heights LRT interchange station.
However, if you were to look at the facilities in most stations, you would have noticed that toilets are not being maintained well and at most stations, the toilets are located after the passenger gate especially for the Putra Heights station. Imagine having to go to the toilet whilst waiting for your airport shuttle and none available nearby.
What would certainly encourage us to go car-less now would definitely be about connectivity and having access to facilities like toilets easily. Connectivity is something severely lacking and if done, mostly due to knee jerk reactions. Connectivity would mean having to connect each Taman in Subang Jaya to the stations. If you really noticed, these routes are not well defined. Bus stops and information boards on routes are still unorganised. If would have been better to have electronic boards to improve information communication.
One would need feeder buses to ferry passengers to the stations as fast and as frequent as possible. Normally such feeder buses would have ranging capacities with some being an elongated type. Pedestrian walkways to these locations would still need to be made safe and not by way of road shoulders. Road shoulders should be planted and remain as a buffer between the vehicles and pedestrians. If such walks are long, there should also be shelter points so one can wait out the rain if need be. This would help with not putting a contiguous overhead shelter all along the route. We need to see the sky anyways and also for that dose of Vitamin D.
This connectivity should also provide for public toilets at the main stations. Subang Jaya can be the first model township which aims at being car –less and motorcycle – less compared with others. This would help with the decrease in pollution and aid in the community relationship building amongst all walks of life.
We already have the benefit of having the LRT spine and the free SMART Selangor buses, the KTM interchanges as well as the BRT line. We should all try to leave our cars at home during the weekends and try them out. There is no need to go so far. Discover Subang Jaya first. There is so much in between and neighbourhoods are actually not too far with this. The security in these trains is good and the place clean. What is needed now is an improvement of the connecting infrastructure to walk on safely and securely with the convenience of public toilets made available for those not passed the gates.
A Subang Jaya Car-Less and Motorcycle-Less is no less a dream so near but needing a push by everyone to embrace.