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Electric commuter train or commuter rail tourism essay

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Electric commuter train or commuter rail is a passenger rail transport service between a city center and commuter towns that draw large numbers of people who travel on a daily basis. Commuter trains are usually optimized for maximum passenger volume, in most cases without sacrificing too much comfort and luggage space, though they seldom have all the amenities of long-distance trains. This service provided by the government in order to give more convenience towards people for urban and rural areas to move (White, 2002). The service is able to meets the requirement and desire through the perception of Malaysian citizen towards the service quality of commuter train by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB). The service quality in the commuter train can be measured by SERVQUAL dimension which is focuses in term of tangibles, reliability and responsiveness (Parasuraman et. al., 1985). According to Wiki, SERVQUAL was originally measured on 10 aspects of service quality: reliability, responsiveness, competence, access, courtesy, communication, credibility, security, understanding the customer and tangibles. It measures the gap between customer expectations and experience.

The service quality of the commuter train becomes important issue in order to have better and comfortable environment. The service quality of the public transport in that area seems unsatisfied and average level, which are physical facilities in term of cleanliness and comfortableness, punctuality, frequencies and responsiveness of the driver and conductor of the public transports. Is it the services quality of the commuter train is really implemented well in this country whether in urban or rural areas? This is because more allocation provided to reconstruct the quality of public transport. Therefore these researches try to investigate the perception of the Malaysian citizen towards the service qualities of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB).

Background of the study

In Malaysia, KTM commuter is the one of the electrified commuter train service that operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB). It was first introduced in 1995 to cater people especially in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding suburban areas and it is a popular mode of transport for people who are working in Kuala Lumpur as they can travel to the city without being caught in traffic congestion. KTM commuter is currently the most profitable passenger service offered by KTMB, contributing RM84. 63 million to group revenue in 2006, higher than KTM Intercity’s profit of RM70. 94 million in the same year (Nathan and Darshini, 2007). KTM commuter has attracted a significant number of passengers in the transportation market. According to the Ministry of Transport Malaysia 2008 Statistics; the annual ridership for KTM commuter was 36, 557 millions of passengers (MOT, 2008).

This study is important for KTMB generally and KTM commuter specifically to improve their services especially trains services. Having the information gathered from this study, they can look for effective ways in overcoming these problems and be more competitive in their services since the respondents for this study are KTM commuter customers themselves. From the findings of this study, the management can be made aware of the problems that they are facing everyday and the come up with proactive actions to provide better services to the customers. In return, the customers will enjoy a better quality of services in the future.

Research objectives

The objectives of the study are:

To assess the service quality perceived by passengers of Malaysian citizen who ride the KTM commuter

To examine factors influencing the good services provided by KTM commuter.

Problem statement

The current issues and problems regards in the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) public transports is the time arrival and time travel delaying. Many customers or passengers when went and used that service they was not satisfied with the service quality provided by this KTM B after used the KTM commuter service in term of punctuality and frequencies of train arrive. This issue showed even the public transportation is modernized and in the urban areas but service quality is still lacking and not well implemented. This will lead to negative perception and not satisfy the consumer using the public transports (Karen Thompson, Peter Schofield 2002). The problem of time arrival delaying was related with the other problem which is the space in the KTM commuter. This is because insufficient space to carry more passengers and others whereby the congestion occurred. Nowadays people out there mostly using a public transport like commuter as their transport so, the chance of increase passengers are higher than before. So when the space of KTM commuter limited and crowded it will become worse to passengers to use and went it.

Significant of the study

Today the need for an efficient and effective public transportation service like KTM commuter is becoming more importance in order to overcome these problems especially in the Klang Valley. Besides that, many transportation companies are competing with each other to attract as many customers and gain more profit. It is imperative that KTM commuter needs to become more progressive and aggressive to compete with the competitors because nowadays, customers are becoming more demanding with the quality of the service. The want value for money that is they expect the service quality that they received from the service providers equals or exceeds what they had paid for (Mitra Lagerstrom, 2002). Reliability is focusing on frequencies and punctuality of the public transport arrives on time and able to meet the perception expectation of the user. Reliability means the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately (Parasuraman, et. al., 1988). The measuring arrival of the public transport at the destination on time is of limited usefulness and will give positive impact towards the public expectation and perceptions. The punctuality measured in term of time arrival and departure is important elements in reliability service quality of dimension.

Theoretical framework



Service quality








Research hypothesis

There are three hypothesis developed in this study:

Hypothesis 1 : There is a significant difference between dimension of tangible and service quality of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB)

Hypothesis 2 : There is a significant difference between dimension of reliability and service quality of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB)

Hypothesis 3 : There is a significant difference between dimension of responsiveness and service quality of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB)

Task 2 (LOC 3 : AC 3)


Literature review is a documentation of a comprehensive review of the published and unpublished work from secondary sources of data in the areas of specific interest to the researcher. Past research on the phenomenon under investigation must play key role in the process of problem formulation.

Literature review

Customer satisfaction

According to our team survey , most of the people satisfied with KTMB services meanwhile there are some services that KTMB are not doing well in their job customer satisfaction are important because customer are judging by services based on pricing that KTMB create. KTMB also have to improve their services based on doing a survey, give a recommendation to customer itself, on other hand the customer also have to give their opinion on what there want or like.

Customer loyalty

Customer loyalty always follows satisfaction, which is determined from the service quality offered by the KTMB. It is also one of the most frequently used indicators to measure the success of a marketing strategy.

Research methodology


The word methodology is the method that any researcher used with appropriate steps, method, technique and tools together with the approaches taken in the research process.

Data collection

Primary data

Primary data is used for this research and the data is obtained using self-administered questionnaires. The questionnaire comprised of two sections. The first section is designed to capture the respondents’ demographic. The questions asked in this section are related to the respondents’ gender, nationality, ethnicity, age, marital status, and occupation. The second section is designed to measure the customers’ perceptions towards various dimensions of services performance in KTM commuter service.

The questionnaires are distributed among customers on board the train and those waiting for trains in the stations between 8 October to 10 October 2010. The sample for this study consists of 50 respondent in Batang Benar station.

Secondary data

According Kotler and Armstrong, secondary data can be defined as information that already exists somewhere, having been collected for another purpose. It may be available from internal sources, or may have been collected and published by another organization. Secondary data usually can be obtained more quickly and at lower price than primary data as researchers can gain the needed data in form of government reports and statistics, company reports and accounts, articles or journals in internet and reports in newspapers. Besides, the data that has been collected can be used to get a new perspective on the current study, to compare the work from previous findings or to use as a reference for future study. The table below shows the secondary sources that will be used in carrying out the research.




Literary work by professionals that relates to the food and beverage industry, guides on conducting research projects, as well as information on data of previously conducted research.


The internet offers unlimited sources of information that caters to all topic areas.


Journals are a good source of secondary data, as they may contain vital information of a certain period of time.

Past Research

Data from previous research can be used to compare the statistics and other information

Task 3 (LOC 3 : AC 4 and LOC 4 : AC 1 and AC 2)

Here are more ideas as to how to solve the problem on transportation. This research can understand for simplicity why KTMB designate their routes Seremban-Rawang and Sentul-Port Klang. But being so rigid about it can lead to adverse effects.

Most people who take the KTM commuter are doing it to get in and out of the city (e. g. Subang Jaya-Sentral). Or users who just want to travel down the line (e. g. Seremban-Kajang). Although there must be people who use it to cross the Klang Valley (e. g. Seremban-Rawang), they are not in the majority. The way the service routes are designed, it seems silly why these trains have to make one full journey back and forth each branch for every run.

Actual fact, delays at one part of the system can lead to other trains being delayed elsewhere, further down the line. For example, a Rawang-Seremban service might be delayed simply because somewhere in Kajang, there is a delay. In other words, researcher suggesting that the operations of these services should be made somewhat a bit more independent to each other.

KTMB should consider introducing a variety of routes. Other than that, at not so busy hours, they should maintain their current service routes, as usual. But at peak hours:

Seremban-Tasik Selatan – Passengers take the Sri Petaling LRT or KLIA Transit to continue their journeys.

Rawang-Bank Negara – Passengers take the Sri Petaling and Ampang LRT to continue their southward journeys.

Reduce service on the Sentul KTM branch – passengers can hope off at Bank Negara to continue on the Sri Petaling and Ampang LRT.

Introduce express services that bypass not-so busy stations.

Introduce services that start and terminate at busy stations like Subang Jaya, Serdang etc.

Construct a Komuter station at Abdullah Hukum to allow westerly passengers to bypass Sentral (and finally putting Abdullah Hukum to good use).

Continue serving the usual full Rawang-Seremban and Sentul-Port Klang routes but at low frequencies.

With the savings of “ rolling stock”, couple those together to serve busy routes.

The delays experienced by KTM commuter users seem to be with regards to clashing intercity and freight trains, and usually this is most severe in KL, from the Jalan Bangsar Junction to Jalan Kuching. Naturally the most sensible thing would be to schedule all trains, and make sure they follow their schedules. But they don’t, for reasons sometimes beyond KTM’s control.

There is the issue of different “ grades of service” on “ different lines”. KLIA Transit, being the most posh, followed by the LRTs and Monorail and the KTM commuter at the bottom. And with this, also have different fares for similar journeys.

For example, for the journey

Bandar Tasik Selatan to KL Sentral

Komuter – RM1. 00

KLIA Transit – RM4. 20

Sentul to Bandaraya/Bank Negara (although Sentul KTM and LRT are at different places)

Komuter – RM1. 00

LRT – RM1. 40

It is also inevitable that KTM has to

Improve on its scheduling and also further computerization with traffic control.

Increase in capacity by acquiring more rolling stock to articulate the current trains and to have more train sets in service.

Improve its station quality as well as integration with other rail lines.

C: UsersANNA HBCRDesktopKlktm. gif


To find effectiveness of KTMB as a public transportation

KTMB was an effective way to travel as a public transportation. KTMB was the respondent’s choice as a public transportation to travel around Rawang-Seremban, Sentul-Port Klang. Alternative public transportation that the respondents choose was bus.

To identify the areas covered by KTMB

KTMB covers the area that the respondents were going therefore it showed that the respondent were happy and satisfied with the areas covered by KTMB. The areas that had been covered by KTMB was close to the respondent workplace and to Mid Valley which one of a top spot for tourist and people to shop and hang out.

To compare the fare of KTMB with other public transportation

The researcher found out that the respondent were satisfied with the ticket price of KTMB compared with the price of other public transportation. The factor that many respondents were satisfied was the fare price is cheaper than taking other public transportation. KTMB was close to the place that many respondents were going therefore KTMB was the majority respondents’ choice of transportation.

To analyze the frequency of travelers using KTMB transportation

The researcher found out that the travelling frequency for KTMB was adequate for respondents as many of the respondents used this service to travel around Rawang-Seremban, Sentul-Port Klang. Important factor would be that the respondents used this service because their workplace is situated in KL Central, Mid Valley and etc also to avoid traffic jams.

Gantt Chart for Research Project Proposal


Start Date

Duration (days)

End Date





Survey Methodology




Literature Review:








Government Publications




Questionnaire Preparation




Interview and Survey




Tally and Analyze Survey Questionnaire




End Discussion and Conclusion









Survey Methodology

Literature Review:


Government Publications

Questionnaire Preparation

Interview and Survey

Tally and Analyze Survey

End Discussion and Conclusion

Start Date

Duration (days)

Task 4 (LOC 4 : AC 3)

Conclusion and recommendation

Findings of this study have important practical to management of quality of the Malaysian rail services. This study demonstrates the usefulness as a measure of service quality. The measurement scale also serves to identify symptoms and the underlying problems that inhibit the effective provision of quality services in rail transport.

Once the attributes of rail services from the customers’ perspective are more clearly known and understood, its service providers will be in a better position to anticipate consumer requirements rather than to react to consumer dissatisfaction. The attributes of reliability and tangibles have been identified by respondents to be the most important dimensions of service quality. These two dimensions were also found to have the highest gap (perception minus expectation), implying that customers’ expectation of reliability and tangibles dimensions of the railway services are not met by KTMB. Although these findings cannot be generalized to the overall passenger profile, KTMB should use it as an impetus to assess their services, particularly to study ways of improving on their reliability and tangibles dimensions.

KTMB management could start by improving on staff training, especially to train their staff to be more professional and courteous when dealing with customers. The public confidence of KTMB has to be gained and the best way is for the management to look at improving on aspects such as reliability of services, improving physical facilities, training of staff and communicating precise information on train schedules.

In view of the intense competition in the transport sector with the opening of the North-South Highway, it is imperative that the management of KTMB carry out more research to discover any shortfalls in service quality and to take necessary corrective measures in case of a shortfall. This could ensure that the service quality of KTMB provides the best to its consumers in order to compete effectively with other modes of transport. As the consumer plays a key role in the definition and evaluation of the quality of rail services offered, managers of KTMB should incorporate consumer expectations and perceptions in the formulation of effective long-term marketing strategy.

KTM should improved the train service in terms of the punctuality and provide a suitable frequency (for example: every 10 minutes) to reduce congestion at the stations especially during peak hours. This study also recommends that future researchers should come out with the focus groups to compare the opinion between KTMB users with other transportation mode users.

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