PETALING JAYA: The first two MRT lines in the Klang Valley will not only reduce environmental pollution, but are also expected to prevent about 200 deaths from road accidents in each year of operation.
A study by the International Institute for Global Health of the United Nations University (UNU) estimated that the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang and the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya lines would avert 183 deaths and 9,604 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) every year.
DALYs is defined as the number of years in productive life lost due to early deaths or disability from disease or injury, according to researchers Prof Jamal Hisham Hashim and Kwan Soo Chen.
They observed that the two MRT lines would deduct 552,000 trips and 5.6 million kilometres travelled on city roads by private vehicles.
“Air pollution would be reduced to a point where it can prevent five deaths and 104 DALYs annually.
“Avoided traffic accidents would further prevent 88 deaths and 6,300 DALYs a year.
“Increased walking by commuters to and from the MRT stations would further prevent 90 deaths and 3,200 DALYs annually,” they said in a statement yesterday.
The study was done in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Cambridge University.
From a public survey conducted as part of the research, 77% of respondents used private transportation while less than 15% commuted by public transport currently.
“An equivalent of 227,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year in emissions can be avoided by the shift from private transport to the two MRT lines.
“Therefore, besides reducing carbon dioxide emissions to combat global warming, the MRT is a convenient way to reduce urban air pollution and road traffic accidents, as well as inducing a healthy lifestyle among commuters,” said the researchers.
The study findings will soon be published in the Journal of Transport and Health.
The Sungai Buloh-Kajang stretch, the first of the three MRT lines planned for the greater Klang Valley, will come into operation on July 17.