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Thursday July 15, 2010

MRT to give high economic investment return

Gamuda Bhd group MD Datuk Lin Yun Ling sheds some light on the proposed MRT project in an interview with StarBiz

STARBIZ: Can you elaborate on how the “wheel and spoke” network for the proposed MRT is easier for future expansion?

Lin: The “wheel and spoke” network consists of a rail line circling the city centre and several radial lines that converge in the city centre. For future expansion, we can just add another circle or radial line.

This network model is now being used in cities like Singapore, Moscow, Berlin and London. From our research, the system is applicable in Kuala Lumpur.

Besides the network system, what other advantages that you can highlight from the proposed MRT project?

Well, I think it would be the gap that we are filling for the areas not covered by the current rail networks. We have placed the stations in most-densely-populated areas to be connected right to the middle of the city centre.

Our proposal includes two radial lines and a wheel circling the city centre. The first radial line is from Damansara to Serdang and the second from Kepong to Cheras.

Both lines will converge in the city centre, at Dataran Perdana near Jalan Tun Razak, also near to the soon-to-be-developed Kuala Lumpur International Financial District.

Important places in the city centre such as Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Berjaya Times Square are also included.

What are the positive outcome expected from this project?

Although the commercial investment return (IR) is quite low, economically the IR is quite high.

Obviously, these include less travelling time, reduction in traffic congestion that will lead to lower fuel usage, less pollution and reduced road accidents.

Will the MRT be connected to the existing light rail transit (LRT) system?

Yes, we have included that in our proposal. We have planned for the change from one line to another or from platform to platform to be convenient for commuters.

We also suggested the proposed MRT and the existing LRT use a single-ticketing system.

StarBiz: Do Gamuda and MMC interested to be the MRT operator?

Lin: No. We are only interested in some parts of the construction but our proposal includes operational aspects as well.

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