Mixed reaction to LRT extension lines

Commuters can switch to the Sri Petaling LRT line at the Putra Heights station. — Photos: YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

COME June 30, the final stretches of the Kelana Jaya and Sri Petaling Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines will be completed and operational.

From 6am onwards, residents of Subang Jaya, Puchong and Shah Alam can take the LRT all the way to Gombak via the Kelana Jaya Line and to Sentul Timur through the Sri Petaling Line.

The connecting station for both lines will be the Putra Heights Station.

The Sri Petaling Line was operational since early this year with the exception of the Puchong Perdana and Puchong Prima stations.

The two Puchong stations, together with 13 more from Putra Heights to Lembah Subang, will be the final additions to complete the two lines.

There are three interchange stations along the latest addition – Putra Heights station where commuters can switch to the Sri Petaling LRT line; Subang Jaya station that connects passengers to the KTM Komuter network; and the USJ 7 station which interchanges with the Bus Rapid Transit (Sunway Line).

The fare table is ready and will be implemented immediately.

Speaking on the positive impact of the LRT extension line, Prasarana spokesman Azhar Ghazali said it would be a significant cost-saving measure for those who opt not to drive.

“While we will not have a special promotion in conjunction with the opening, commuters can enjoy savings by taking up our SMART7 and SMART30 packages.

“For example, if you are working in KLCC and staying in Saujana Putra or Putra Heights, every morning you will face massive traffic jam along Elite and NKVE during morning peak hours.

“You will also need to spend on petrol, car maintenance and pay a RM5.20 toll one way (Putra Heights – Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim).

“But if you park your car at Putra Heights LRT Station and take the train you just pay RM3.40 (SMART30) for one way,” he said.

Each station is equipped with elevators, escalators, toilets and a surau as well as a customer service office.

The Ara Damansara station has the most number of parking bays for cars – 743.
The Ara Damansara station has the most number of parking bays for cars – 743.

As for park-and-ride facilities, no charges would be imposed for all users for the first month, afterwhich it would cost commuters RM4 a day.

Although only five stations were equipped with carpark facilities, Ghazali added that Alam Megah would have 92 parking bays.

Public transport users and Subang Jaya residents have proclaimed a mix of joy and curiosity about the upcoming stations.

Freelance educator Andy Darrel Gomes, a frequent traveller to Subang Jaya, looked forward to the new line connecting more places of interest.

“Previously, many places in Subang Jaya were accessible only via bus which are usually very congested and we usually end up standing throughout the long journey because of the traffic congestion.

“The number of transits via different vehicles to get to a place is also tiring and time consuming. This new LRT line will really help,” he said.

Living near two LRT stations, USJ 2 resident of 20 years Gareth Tan said he was looking forward to saving time and fuel once the train services commenced.

The Subang Jaya station currently does not have parking facilities for vehicles.
The Subang Jaya station currently does not have parking facilities for vehicles.

“I am excited at the prospect of a convenient public transport system that will take me directly to Kuala Lumpur, allowing me to save on fuel and the typically high parking charges in the city.

“Even if it takes 60 to 90 minutes for a one-way trip, it is a dependable measure of travel time compared to fighting the traffic directly to Kuala Lumpur or to an LRT station in Petaling Jaya,” he said.

However, SS16 resident Ruebni Karunakaran said the reduction of traffic congestion still depended on how smoothly passengers used the drop-off facilities, as not all stations were equipped with parking bays.

“There might be a traffic jam caused by cars dropping off or waiting by the LRT stations to pick up people,” she said.

Bicycle parking

With 130 bicycle parking lots available throughout the Kelana Jaya Line extension, passengers have the alternate option of cycling to the LRT stations.

Stations with parking facilities for bicycles have a railing where cyclists can securely lock their bicycles.

As for taking bicycles on the LRT trains, Azhar said only foldable bicycles were allowed on board.

“Folding bicycles are allowed on the train during off-peak hours which is after 9am and before 5pm, and after 8pm on weekdays and anytime on weekends,” he said.

He added that there would be no fee imposed on cyclists using the parking facility.

Responding to the facilities provided, Cycling Kuala Lumpur and Bicycle Map Project project coordinator Jeffrey Lim said the parking facilities provided ought to be more secure.

“If the Kelana Jaya line is supposed to be a transport mode and promote cycling as a form of collaborative transportation, it needs to provide a cycling hub with secure and sheltered parking bays.

“People who commute by bikes also need to be able to commute during peak hours.

“Perhaps they can allow full-sized bikes off-peak hours, and throughout the day during weekends,” he said.

Subang Alam station has parking facilities for cars, motorbikes and bicycles.
Subang Alam station has parking facilities for cars, motorbikes and bicycles.

Parking woes for Subang Jaya folk

Seven out of the 12 new stations along the Kelana Jaya Line presently do not have parking facilities for cars.

The situation had raised concerns among Subang Jaya folk, primarily those living within the SS18 and USJ vicinity.

Living near the SS18 station, which only has drop-off facilities, protem chairman of the SS18 Rukun Tetangga Dr Hamidah Merican said the absence of a carpark would affect the safety and serenity of her neighbourhood.

Residents are worried that commuters would park their cars along SS18/6 and in front of their homes indiscriminately.

“We are not happy with this. Our quaint neighbourhood will see an increase in number of vehicles plying our streets.

“Our streets will no longer be safe for our children to ride their bicycles and this may lead to an increase in crime too,” she said, adding that the resident association was now pressed to install boom gates to keep their streets safe.

USJ 6 Rukun Tetangga deputy chairman Lee Yap Juan said the park-and-ride facility was necessary to manage the traffic around the neighbourhood.

“In the initial blueprint, as agreed by residents, there was supposed to be a multipurpose carpark facility built to service USJ 7 and Taipan stations.

“The absence of this facility will definitely cause a lot of congestion especially for USJ 6 residents,” he said.

In an effort to alleviate potential traffic congestion, Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) corporate communications officer Azli Muhammad Azli Miswan said the council planned to increase traffic enforcement and provide additional Bas Selangorku services to the LRT stations.

“We also plan to have more parking bays at the multistorey carpark in SS15 which is close to the LRT station,” he said.

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