Sunday, 2 July 2017

(The Star) All on track for launch of MRT phase two

PETALING JAYA: Everything is already in place with only two weeks to the full opening of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) MRT line, the first among the three-line Klang Valley MRT system.

Prasarana Malaysia Bhd is ready to deploy its fleet of dedicated MRT feeder buses – 300 of them – to serve commuters living around the line that is expected to attract at least 400,000 commuters daily.

According to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), by July 17, the country will be one step closer to its target of having 40% of all journeys in the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley region to be on public transport by 2030.

In fact, SPAD chief executive Azharuddin Mat Sah is quietly confident that the 40% target can be surpassed before 2030.

A 40% modal share means four out of 10 trips in future are made using public transport.

Click to view full graphic 

In years to come, the public transport backbone of the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley region will be formed by three MRT lines, three LRT lines, two bus rapid transit (BRT) lines, three KTM Komuter lines, the KLIA Ekspress and Transit, as well as a sole monorail line.

However, only 20% of the estimated 68,000 RapidKL concession fare card holders – those who enjoy half-priced bus and train rides – have traded in their old cards for a new version based on Touch ’n Go.

According to Prasarana, the window to exchange the remaining old cards, estimated to be around 54,000 pieces, is now only 14 days.

This implies that Prasarana needs to process nearly 4,000 cards daily so that no one is left out.

The last day to change the card is July 15, 48 hours before the Prime Minister opens phase two of the SBK line.

As of 7pm yesterday, Prasarana’s four concession card migration centres – at the Pasar Seni, Sri Rampai, Subang Jaya, and Awan Besar LRT stations, have processed more than 3,000 concession cards.

These four centres run from 7am to 7pm daily, up to July 15, with new concession card applications available only at Pasar Seni.

Whether enjoying concession fares or not, many people are already excited over July 17.

Penangite Xiandi Ooi, 20, who used to study at Taylor’s College here, gushed: “I am super excited about it! I have been using the MRT line and it has been very comfortable to commute in especially because it links to many of the working spaces around Kuala Lumpur.

“The opening of phase 2 will definitely further the convenience to public transport users because of its greater coverage,” said the enthusiastic green ambassador of the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry who will soon leave for Peking University for her degree.

The 51km-line connects to the KTM Sungai Buloh station at the northern end, and with the Kajang KTM station at the southeast end.

It comprises a 41.5km elevated portion with 24 stations, and a 9.5km underground segment with seven stations.