Drop in number of commuters travelling via trains
By Farah Solhi - October 15, 2020 @ 10:30am
KUALA LUMPUR: The first day of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) yesterday saw fewer commuters taking trains to work, and the number dropped significantly after the morning rush hour.
Checks at mass rapid transit and light rail transit stations in KL Sentral, Muzium Negara and Pasar Seni showed full train coaches during peak hours between 7am and 9am. However, the trains ran with nearly empty seats around 10am.
Prasarana Malaysia Berhad media affairs head Azhar Ghazali said the company was allowed to operate on full capacity during the CMCO starting yesterday until Oct 27. The CMCO affects residents in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya.
"We run our operations from 6am until midnight and ensure that sanitisation is carried out regularly on the coaches.
"We also have an enforcement team conducting checks in coaches and buses to ensure that passengers comply with the standard operating procedures such as wearing face masks," he said during a media walkabout yesterday.
Azhar said Prasarana recorded 750,000 passengers daily before the pandemic.
"Following the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw a decline in the number of people taking public transport," he said, adding that commuters returned during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
"Although we are under the CMCO, the government has allowed the economic sector to operate. That's why we can see trains fully occupied during the peak hours. We hope the situation improves in time."
Express Rail Link passenger Shafadzlin Shaharir, 24, said she noted a drop in the number of passengers during her daily train commute yesterday.
"When the train approached the station, it seemed full. But when I boarded it, I saw many empty seats."
Shafadzlin said during the RMCO, she usally had difficulty getting a seat on the train to work.
"Today (yesterday) is different. Maybe because it's the first day of CMCO.
"I am sure more and more employees will work from home."
Another commuter, Nur Syafiqah Azman, 24, said it was easier to observe physical distancing on her way to work yesterday.
"I commute daily via MRT and LRT to get to work in Sentul. I spend between 50 minutes and one hour on average for my daily commute to work.
"Usually, I'd have to stand throughout the journey. But today (yesterday), there were many empty seats.
"Since the economic sector is allowed to operate during the CMCO, I believe we will continue to see passengers taking train rides although the number will not be as high as how it was during the RMCO."