Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) today explained the low frequency of train arrivals at its KTM Komuter service, a recurrent target of complaint by passengers using the rail system in the Klang Valley.
In a statement, it said its KTM Komuter services had been operating in a "degraded mode" due to ongoing repair and upgrading works.
It said when such works are being carried out, sections of the service line or access to station platforms must be closed which subsequently affects the train service intervals.
"A single rail track operation removes all the flexibility of being able to manoeuvre trains with shorter headways, thus the longer waiting time for passengers between trains," it added.
KTMB was responding to MalaysiaNow's report on the KTM Komuter and its role as part of the public transportation network in the Klang Valley.
MalaysiaNow had looked at some of the complaints brought up by commuters as well as the KTM Komuter's advantages over other rail systems such as the MRT and LRT.
The main complaint of passengers is usually the long wait between trains and the lack of facilities at stations, although the KTM Komuter offers a wide range of destinations for a cheaper fare.
KTMB said trains must also wait for the all-clear signal from the control centre before continuing on their way, which results in a delay in movement for both the train in question and the others behind.
"Currently, the frequency of our KTM Komuter service is limited to every 30 minutes during peak hours and every 60 minutes during off-peak hours," it said.
"When the KVDT 1 and KVDT 2 projects are completed, the train frequency will be upgraded to 7.5 minutes per interval."
As for the facilities at KTM Komuter stations, it acknowledged that these were a "mix of old and new".
While the new facilities were usually well planned and equipped with up-to-date and user-friendly amenities, it said, the older stations lacked such considerations.
However, it assured that it was working "aggressively" with its asset owner, Railway Assets Corporation, to build these amenities, especially to assist people with disabilities.
"KTMB will continue to improve all of its services in supporting Malaysia's upward socioeconomic mobility objectives," it said.