Friday, 14 July 2017

(The Star) From Sungai Buloh to Kajang in 84 minutes

Cheras and Kajang residents will have easier rail access to popular areas in Kuala Lumpur when the final phase of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line starts its run on Monday.

The completion of the entire MRT line, with the final stretch being from Semantan to Kajang, is expected to change the lives of city folk drastically, especially the 1.2 million living along its alignment.

Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Relations director Datuk Najmuddin Abdullah said there were 44 shopping malls, 11 education institutions and a few hospitals within 500m radius from 31 stations along this line.

“One four-car MRT train can carry 1,200 people comfortably and the service makes it easier for the public to get to their intended destinations,” he said during the media preview at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur.

The final phase includes 9.5km underground and 20.5km elevated sections with 19 stations, seven of which are underground.

Commuters can now travel the entire 51km line from Sungai Buloh to Kajang within an estimated time of 84 minutes.

There will be seven interchange stations in the SBK Line — Sungai Buloh, Muzium Negara, Pasar Seni, Merdeka, Bukit Bintang, Maluri and Kajang.

Karakashian (left) and Najmuddin briefing members of the media on the MRT SBK line.

The construction cost of the entire line was RM21bil.

SBK project director Marcus Karakashian said the project was within budget and it served the public effectively as there were no existing public rail transport connecting the north-west and south-east parts of the Klang Valley.

With 42 trains in operation, Karakashian promised commuters a smooth rail travel.

“Delivering the entire project in about six years is a mammoth task. With all the passion and effort put in, I am really proud of it,” he said.

During the preview, guests were taken on a walkabout of the Muzium Negara, Bukit Bintang and Pasar Seni stations.

In the train, the dynamic digital route map informs commuters on the next stop and features the entire SBK line. There is even a television screen next to the map for leisure.

The SBK Line will operate from 6am to midnight daily with a four-minute headway during peak hours (7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm).

Commuters can expect a seven to 15 minute headway during non-peak hours, weekend and public holidays.

Seven park-and-ride facilities at the Maluri, Taman Midah, Taman Suntex, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Bukit Dukung, Sungai Jernih and Phileo Damansara stations will be opened in conjunction with the launch.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will officiate at the completion of the service on July 17 at the Tun Razak Exchange station and ride on the train to the Stadium Kajang station.