Earlier this week, transport minister Anthony Loke carried out a spot check of the LRT Kelana Jaya Line, riding on trains from 5pm to 7pm to observe peak hour conditions on the rail service. Neither the media or Prasarana management were informed.

Loke has since revealed his findings. He pointed out that the frequency of trains during peak hours is not sufficient, and said that despite there being 56 trains available for the line, only 38 were in operation. This has caused train frequencies to drop to once every five minutes instead of the supposed three minutes.

“This is the busiest line in the LRT and MRT network in the Klang Valley, where on average there are 200,000 passengers using the Kelana Jaya line. For a train frequency of once every three minutes, we need 48 train sets. However, we only have 38 train sets in operation, while 18 have been under maintenance for the past few months,” he said at a press conference following a working visit to the Prasarana office.

“So far, the service is not completely stable and I apologise for that. We will ensure that technical and maintenance problems need to be given serious attention. We hope that by June next year everything will be stable,” he added.

Loke added that the train frequency would continue to be maintained at five minute intervals, but expects the matter to be resolved by Q3 of 2023 with the arrival of 19 new four-carriage train sets, as Berita Harian reports. “The first set will be operational by August next year and it is very important to ensure the service is better, faster and more comfortable,” he said.

The returning transport minister also noted that issues regarding the rail service weren’t just limited to the trains, because he noted that 46 out of 706 escalators at various train stations were presently not functioning, while 16 lifts at different monorail stations were not in operation. On the lighting front, it was pointed out that 664 light units were faulty.

Loke announced that new hand rails and step chain escalators have been ordered, but for now, auxiliary police or station attendants have been instructed to aid less able-bodied passengers (OKU) at stations as a temporary measure.

He added that a complete report regarding the closure of the Kelana Jaya LRT service in November is being prepared by Prasarana, with the results of the investigation expected to be known in two weeks. Loke said the findings would be made public.