Monday, 17 July 2017

(NST) SBK MRT "a proud achievement" which will save commuters cost, time: PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Today, 17.7.2017, marks yet another historic milestone in the development of the country’s public transportation system with the launch of the much-awaited Phase 2 of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak described the MRT SBK line as the country's pride and a "game changer" in the public transportation system that will bring about significant changes to the people's lives.

Najib said Kuala Lumpur needed a modern and efficient transportation system that would reduce traffic congestion, especially during peak hours and the rainy season.

The answer to this is the MRT, he said, adding that it will save commuters costs and time, thus increasing productivity.

"The MRT SBK Line 1 will see 160,000 vehicles off the road, which translates to significant reduction in carbon emission.

"It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes (to travel by bus) from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, whereas it only takes 88 minutes via the MRT.

"While it would cost RM54 if one takes an Uber ride from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, an MRT ride costs only RM6.40 in cash and RM5.50 for Touch N' Go users," he said in his speech at the MRT Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) station here today.

Najib was also proud to announce that the project was completed two weeks ahead of the scheduled time and with a lower budget.

"The original cost set for this project was RM23 billion, but we managed to complete it with RM21 billion. We saved almost RM2 billion. This is indeed a proud achievement," he said.

Najib attributed the success of the project, which will benefit some 1.2 million commuters, to the transparent manner in which the tender was awarded.

"It can be said that the system and manner in which the tender was awarded is the best the government has done," he added.

The first phase of the MRT SBK line, from Sungai Buloh to Semantan involving 12 stations, has been in operation since Dec 16, last year.

The second phase stretches from the Semantan station to the Kajang station. This phase includes a 9.5km underground section and 20.5km of elevated stretches.

The 19 stations of Phase 2 include Muzium Negara, Pasar Seni, Merdeka, Bukit Bintang, TRX, Cochrane, Maluri, Taman Pertama, Taman Midah, Taman Mutiara, Taman Connaught, Taman Suntex, Sri Raya, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Batu Sebelas Cheras, Bukit Dukung, Sungai Jernih, Stadium Kajang and Kajang.

Each train set has four cars, allowing a total passenger capacity of 1,200, with a frequency of 3.5 minutes between each train.