On the KL monorail trail

Monorail Station at Imbi or Berjaya Times Square, just one stop away from Bukit Bintang, the city’s shopping hub.

Taking the monorail or subway, commonly called the LRT (Light Rail Transit) here in Malaysia, is a relatively new experience for KL urbanites.

As a secondary school student from 1990 to 1994, I mostly travelled on the trusty Mini Buses around town as these slightly oversized vans of the time were ideal for the city’s narrow streets and rush hour crawl.

If I remember correctly, officially their passenger capacity was capped at something like 50 seated and another 20 standing. But as drivers and conductors were rewarded based on the number of passengers via tickets sold, these compact public transport vehicles were usually packed with passengers standing at the doorsteps — some preferred it as it at least allows for fresh air despite risking their heads or limbs being chopped off should a large vehicle whizzed past at high speeds.

The competitive nature of the business also meant buses on the same routes raced to each stop to pick up as many passengers as possible. So a bus ride was also our local alternative to the American roller coaster. Hang on tight if you were standing as the bus zigzag-ed to its next destination.

My Mini Bus journeys brings back fond memories like my dates with my high school sweetheart. On an almost non-existent student budget, the flat 50 sen fare was a popular way to share time together while seeing the sights on a road trip from suburb to city or vice versa. These special moments were usually outside rush hour (and definitely outside school hours) as then we pretty much had the entire bus to ourselves.

In those days, you could take a Mini Bus anywhere it seemed. And they were frequent too.

I wonder what happened to them.

Well, with progress, we now have the monorail. For me, travelling on the sub in London, MRT in Singapore, MTR in Hong Kong and other city train services in Tokyo, San Francisco and other great cities marked my experiences in those cosmopolitan cities.

With sexy skyscrapers, chic clubs and ‘pretty’ public transport, KL now looks like a ‘great modern’ city, but what lies beneath this fantastic facade?

More on the monorail here.
More on the LRThere .

1 Comment so far

  1. Hafiz (unregistered) on June 16th, 2007 @ 9:49 am

    dating on the pinky bus sounds dangerous.

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