More accessible for all
Modern trams and BRT have low floors so they can easily be boarded at street level, with no need to build costly elevated station infrastructure, which is unfriendly to those who are mobility impaired, e.g., the elderly, the disabled, those with wheelchairs, push chairs, or just those carrying heavy shopping. When you design for those with impaired mobility, everybody benefits. The proposed station infrastructure for the LRT will have 2 levels, the 1st level a ticketing concourse, the 2nd level the platform, so for the mobility impaired this will mean getting 2 lifts just to reach the platform. Compare this with a street level platform which can be easily boarded by all.
Low floor tram and BRT
Smaller footprint and friendlier for our environment
Large LRT and monorail elevated guideways and large station infrastructure will forever alter the nature of our built environment. Its elevated nature not only impedes access, but costs significantly more and takes significantly longer to construct, disrupting daily lives for longer, it would takes up significantly more space in our built environment, requiring additional land acquisition and much greater tree loss.
It is estimated that almost 3,000 trees will be lost by constructing the LRT and monorail lines in the SRS proposal.
The proposed elevated structures in George Town, overshadowing our historic townscape may also threaten our heritage listing with UNESCO, a key driver of the tourism industry which generates almost 50% of our GDP.
LRT station (left) Monorail station (right)
How many homes and businesses will need to give way to the 70+ elevated stations across the LRT and monorail lines being proposed?
Tram station (left) BRT station (right)
Quieter and less vibrations
In KL the LRT exceeds maximum noise levels set by the Department of Environment and a number of locations require noise mitigation measures. However these mitigation measures have not always been to the satisfaction of residents.
Modern trams on the other hand are quieter, particularly where the trackbed is covered by a layer of grass. The Alstom Citidas Light Rail vehicle for example is nearly four times quieter than auto traffic, generating noise levels that are lower by about five decibels.
More flexible and easier to expand
Modern generation trams can run at grade or elevated, they can run in their own right of way or they can run in mixed traffic. Crucially, they can switch between any of these running modes making them the most flexible type of rail.
As LRT is too heavy to expand further around the island, and requires areas of high population density to sustain it, it cannot be expanded over time, which is why SRS proposed monorail; however monorail, running point to point, is the least flexible form of rail, and most difficult to branch or extend in the future. Modern tram vehicles are more manoeuvrable, flexible require only a 11m turning radius compared to the LRT’s 135m, hence reducing the extent of land acquisition.