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Saturday, March 30, 2013

The day I got rail mad

Jonathan Fernandez 
I have just been reminded exactly why I don't take the highly inept public transportation service, and the harsh reminder has left me fuming. 
I was supposed to drive to Seremban but was advised against it because it's the school holidays and there was the threat of a snarl-up. My friend told me not to throw caution to the wind as he had gotten stuck in a bad two-hour crawl to and from Seremban last week.

So I decided to give the KTM a shot. I had read how politicians have been so lavish with their praises on the upgrades to the current system. And I was told that it would take 90 minutes, one way. That would only set me back by 30 minutes, if compared with driving hassle free.

After weighing the pros and cons, I thought to myself: "Why not?" I opted for the much-commended KTM.

I reached the station and then realised the next ride was just three minutes away. 

"Lucky me," I so wrongfully told myself.

To be fair, the train arrived right on time - 2.10pm.

Then I got thrown into a state of confusion.

We, my wife and I, were about to enter one of the cars until I realised it was a females-only section.

So we quickly dashed to the next coach, it was the same. Then we ran to another. It was strike three and we were out. 

As the doors closed shut, I could feel my blood reaching a boiling point. 

I then switched my attention to the digital  clock mounted a beam at the station. The next ETA was 2.40pm. That meant we would have to wait in this sweltering heat for a good half-hour. KTM stations are airconditioned, mind you.

I became a raging bull. For some reason, maybe because she was wearing a red top, I charged at my wife. Somehow blaming her for the situation we were caught in, although this lasted for just a few seconds until I realised the real guilty party.

The culprits are actually those who have been riding their high horses and singing praises about their own achievements. The ones who are living in denial and forcing everyone else to be led into their fantasy world of impeccable governance.

What really riled me up was this incident could have easily been avoided had the most basic of measures been put into place. 

For instance, how difficult would it have been to display signs indicating where the female-only coaches and all access cars would stop? 

And where's the harm in increasing the frequency of the trains? 

Simple things like these could really save people the trouble. Trust me, frantically searching for the right coach isn't exactly fun, not at all. It makes you feel like a little lost puppy. So, throw me a bone already.

On the bright side, I have again been made to realise how lucky I am. In fact, when taking everything into account, I should really use a calculator to count my blessings.

But there are so many out there, my countrymen, who have to endure this Third-World system on a daily basis. For them, I hope and pray that a marked improvement be made.

If our system is lightyears behind the likes of Singapore's, then admit the flaws and fix them. But don't go around misleading the people and manipulating the rakyat's perception on the country's transportation system, that would just make me rail mad.

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