KUALA LUMPUR: There is a need for a fare hike for the Express Rail Link (ERL) one-way trip to KL International Airport from January as the prices have not been revised in more than 14 years, said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.
He said the hike was part of a cost rationalisation plan by ERL, which operates the line that runs from KL Sentral to KLIA and KLIA2.
The Government, he said, had agreed to allow the fare increase after 14 years because ERL’s previous applications were not approved by the Government.
“They were making a loss all this while, and after 14 years, operational costs have also gone up,” Aziz told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
On why the fares were not increased in stages, he said that ERL had been able to justify its operational costs, which had doubled in recent years.
He said the fare increase effective Jan 1, from the current RM35 (KL Sentral – KLIA) to RM55 for a one-way journey, did not necessarily apply to all commuters as there were travel cards with discounts of up to 40%.
Aziz also said that the published price of RM55 was meant primarily for foreigners and non-frequent users.
“If you want cheaper (fares), there are three travel card packages offered by ERL, with up to 40% discount from the published price,” he said.
Asked if the ministry would request ERL to review its decision, Aziz said the matter needed to be referred to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
ERL said the latest revision was approved by the Government via SPAD in accordance with the Land Public Transport Act.
The company announced the fare hike on Monday, saying that the new prices were still discounted as they had originally been authorised to revise the fare to RM64.
It said it would offer passengers discounts in various ways to reduce the impact.
For example, those who buy the new 44-trip monthly TravelCard would enjoy discounts of between 17% and 83%, while those who buy tickets via the mobile app or from ERL kiosks would enjoy 10% off.
Meanwhile, the Public Transport Consumers Association wants the Govern-ment to set up a tariff review committee to look into the justification for various fare hikes.
“We urge the Government to create a body that reports to the Prime Minister, a tariff review committee comprising all stakeholders with the simple objective that all public transport providers must be able to have a reasonable justification for tariff or fare hikes,” said its president Ajit Johl.