THE LRT stations along the Ampang Line are now being upgraded and refurbished to make them more accessible and convenient for commuters.
The stations will have ramps, lifts, rain protectors, surau, toilets, tactile pavement and disabled-friendly features.
At present only the Kelana Jaya station is disabled-friendly while the Ampang station is being upgraded in phases.
The move by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd comes under the National Key Result Areas initiative to increase public convenience.
Stations like Plaza Rakyat, Cahaya, Cempaka, Pandan Jaya and Pandah Indah have already been upgraded in March.
Work at the stations in Maluri and Miharja are scheduled will be completed in September, while the ones in Chan Sow Lin, Pudu, Sentul, Sentul Timur, Salak Selatan, Bandar Tun Razak, Sungai Besi, Bukit Jalil and Seri Petaling are scheduled to be completed in December.
The stations in Bandaraya, Sultan Ismail and PWTC are scheduled to be completed in October while Ampang and Bandar Tasik Selatan should be completed by January next year. The total cost of the upgrading work is RM60mil.
Prasarana group director (infrastructure development) Nor Hassan Ismail said there were obstacles in the work being carried out because operations of the stations could not be affected.
“We have to relocate lifts because of utility cables, hence the design has to be modified accordingly.
“We will also include the integration of the Masjid Jamek, Titiwangsa, and Hang Tuah stations. At present, we have workers helping the disabled when boarding and disembarking the trains.
“We hope the ridership will increase as we are able to cater up to 33,000 passengers per hour, which is almost at the MRT level,” he said.
He added that they had about 15,000 disabled people using the service based on the sale of tickets.
Nor Hassan said the Ampang station was not disabled-friendly probably due to cost.
He said there was at least RM1bil in difference between the cost of the Kelana Jaya and Ampang Line.
Prasarana had taken over the Star LRT and Putra Line in 2002 and renamed them in 2005 with RapidKL as the operator.
The Ampang Line began its operations in 1996 and has 25 stations covering 27km. It has about 170,000 ridership during weekdays.