KUALA LUMPUR: More operators are needed to improve the intercity rail transport services to benefit commuters, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.
He said besides KTM Bhd (KTMB), the availability of other operators would ensure competitiveness in the industry.
“Train is still the cheapest mode of transportation for the rakyat,” he said.
“As such, we feel that it should be opened up to more players.
“We will make this move viable so that commuters can continue to enjoy efficient, timely and cheaper services as compared to other public transports,” he said after launching the Blossom Arts Festival 2016 at Wisma MCA yesterday.
Liow added that he fully supported the call by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for KTMB to offer 50% discount for students and those aged seven to 18.
He said the Land Public Transport Commission should ensure that KTMB abided by the decision as the recent fare hike was “unpopular”.
“We are also in the midst of fine-tuning KTMB into a more competitive agency,” he said.
Early last month, KTMB announced the implementation of a new fare structure for commuters with the highest increase being RM7.10 for a single trip.
The fare hike took effect on Dec 2.
Passengers using Touch ‘n Go cards can get up to a 20% discount while those buying weekly and monthly tickets can enjoy up to 20% and 30% discounts.
Only KTM Komuter lines in the Klang Valley were affected by the revision.
Fares for KTM Intercity routes remained unchanged.
Starting this month, children below two could ride for free while those between the ages of two and six will be given 50% discount.
Previously, the free rides were given to children up to the age of four.
The 50% discount was applicable only to children between the ages of four and 12.
Students from primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher learning will continue to enjoy 50% discount on the fares.