In addition to a train system, Kuala Lumpur has a monorail system. It’s fun to ride, but it’s really slow in comparison to a train, which makes me wonder why they bothered to build it at all. I suppose the answer is that the distance between the stops is so short that having a train run that route wouldn’t make sense. Also, the route is very curvy.
The stations are almost identical to train stations. You have to get in line and buy your ticket, then you insert the ticket into the turn-style, wait for it to pop up from the center of the machine and grab it as you walk through.
The ticketing system that Kuala Lumpur uses for its trains and monorail is absolutely ridiculous. The lines of people waiting to buy a ticket are sometimes incredibly long to the point that they block other pedestrians trying to use the sidewalks outside the station. They need to get with the times and do what Singapore does and just use a prepaid transit card. It’s much, much more efficient.
Anyhow, you go up to the platform, wait for the monorail to show up and then go about your business.
The monorail cars themselves are nice. There’s plenty of seating and space to stand. It also has a lot of windows so you can see the area around you. When the monorail takes a sharp turn, the track and the whole monorail tilts, which is a little unnerving. Better than walking or taking the cab though.
Some interesting things to note are that the train platforms don’t have what I like to call “dummy doors” around the tracks. There is a waist-high railing, but they expect people to use common sense when it comes to standing to close to openings where the monorail doors open. I guess they don’t have any issues with people trying to leap in front of the monorail to kill themselves. The actual train stations, on the other hand, which are underground, do have the extra doors. I think that’s more for keeping the air conditioning in the station than anything else. New York City should follow that example. It gets hotter than Satan’s anus in those train stations in the summer.
There are signs on the platforms warning you to be wary of pickpockets. As the monorail train approaches people have a tendency to push towards the openings where the doors will open. When people start packing close together like that, it’s a great opportunity for people to get pickpocketed.
I know that from personal experience. Some little punk ass kid tried to pick my pocket while I was waiting for the monorail this past trip. He was wearing a coat draped over his shoulders to hide the fact that his opposite hand was reaching from under the edge of the coat to try to get into my pocket. Tough luck for the bastard that I’m not an oblivious idiot… and that I wore shorts with pockets that button.
I knew something was up with the kid because when I moved he kept moving up next to me. When I felt the tug at my pocket I pushed him away from me. He should feel glad that I didn’t accidentally push him in front of the monorail while trying to get him away from me. Even if the monorail hadn’t hit him it’s a long way down to the ground.
So, ya, keep an eye on your belongings while you’re there. Most of KL is pretty safe looking, but so is Singapore and people are getting stabbed in broad daylight here now.