After months of observing the construction of the MRT line and stations as well as driving me quite bonkers with his commentaries about excavators, cranes, tractors and train stations during the long hours of traffic jam, a ride on the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) was a much awaited experience for Nicholas and myself.
On July 21 (a Friday), together with another family, we drove to our nearest MRT station, Bukit Dukong in Kajang. Everything was very clean and shiny. At the ticket area, a young lady by the name of Fatin, came forward to help us. People with special needs/disabilities and senior citizens are to buy their tokens at the counter because they get a special discount. I heard 75% discount but noticed that it was a 50% discount given to Nicholas and his friend, Onn.
Anyway we were more intent on getting onto the train.
Going up to the train platform, we decided on the escalator rather than the lift because the escalator looked more interesting.
It was higher and steeper than the usual escalators you find in shopping complexes in Malaysia to date!
I was pleasantly surprised with the thick safety barrier alongside the train platform. There will definitely be no story of anyone falling onto the tracks while waiting for the train. The doors of the train and the barrier open simultaneously and the space between the train and platform is miniscule and the platform and train floors are level. These are great safety and disabled friendly features.
The interior is spacious and clean. The ride is smooth. Announcements in the train are in Bahasa Malaysia and English. They are clear and loud enough. Travelling from
Bukit Dukong to Taman Maluri is above ground, so we had a wonderful view from high up.
Before long, we reached our destination which was the Cochrane station. We were going to IKEA Cheras which is across the road from the Cochrane station.
As the MRT is still new, I would like to highlight a few things that ought to be considered.
There should be more signboards and clearer directions. At Bukit Dukong, we had a few false encounters like driving into non-parking areas because parking signboards were placed at inappropriate places.
It would also be helpful if there were some written information like where certain roads from the station are going to. There was no information at the parking ticket dispenser about parking charges.
According to a post that had gone viral, a driver who took a ticket ended up paying RM21 for a 5-hour parking, when the fee per entry using a TouchnGo, costs RM4.30.
The driveways to the various parking levels have sharp turning corners and kind of narrow. As you turn the corner to reach the level, you have to assume that there is nothing around the corner.
Aside from those few things, the parking levels are airy and bright and having the green lights to indicate available parking lots is great. Inside the station, it is fairly straightforward although at the Cochrane station, one signboard pointed at one direction which actually leads to a wall!
And it would be nice if there is a proper pedestrian bridge or traffic light outside the Cochrane Station for pedestrians to safely walk across the main road to get to IKEA Cheras and MyTown shopping mall.
However these are the observations of one mother. More importantly, the MRT is providing an opportunity for new learning for Nicholas in his journey to be more self-reliant and confident.
“ A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu.
** Cover pic is of Nicholas and his mum, Ang Nei.