All systems go for LRT3 in 2020

Greater accessibility: An artist’s impression of the LRT3 project.

Greater accessibility: An artist’s impression of the LRT3 project.

Petaling Jaya: The Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) project, the latest light rail project in the Klang Valley, is targeted to commence operations on Aug 31, 2020.

The LRT3 will consist of 26 stations (25 elevated and one underground) spanning over 37km starting at Bandar Utama and terminating at Johan Setia in Klang.

The alignment will pass through Klang, Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya, which have been identified as areas with high demand.

Total transit time from Bandar Utama to Johan Setia is expected to take 58 minutes.

The LRT3 will connect with the MRT1 line, the KTM Komuter Port Klang Line, the LRT Kelana Jaya line as well as the future BRT Federal Line in five locations.

It will be complemented by a feeder bus network that effectively expands the catchment area to 3km from each station.

Stations will also have facilities such as bus and taxi lay-bays and 6,000 park and ride bays.

Launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Aug 24, 2016, the project is expected to increase the capacity of the transport network in the Western Corridor of the Klang Valley and service over two million commuters in 2020.

“The LRT3 is testament to the Government’s relentless effort in improving liveability in Greater Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley by easing traffic congestion, providing better accessibility and substantially improving and integrating the urban public transportation for the people,” said Najib during the LRT3 launch at Stadium Malawati earlier in August.

Sustainability is a key theme of the LRT3, the project features green technology in Malaysia.

Key features include rainwater harvesting technology, noise reduction and energy management systems as well as natural ventilation.

Emphasis will be placed on transit-oriented developments (TODs) that integrate housing, office and retail elements within walking distance of public transportation.

“What we are planning is for LRT users to have all their activities, both private and social, within that area (transit-oriented developments),” said Prasarana Malaysia Bhd group managing director Datuk Azmi Abdul Aziz.

“We can see the developments coming together, such as the LRT and the MRT. This is a journey that we will continue to do in a consistent manner.

“It will benefit the areas of development, the region and the country.”

The need for the LRT3 was identified in the Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) Urban Rail Development Plan (URDP).

The URDP identified both future population growth along the Western Corridor as well as the need to complement the existing KTM Komuter Port Klang Line in providing access to Shah Alam from both Klang and Kelana Jaya.

The LRT3’s project owner is Prasarana Malaysia Berhad which is also the asset owner and operator of the country’s two LRT networks and the KL Monorail; in addition to the bus services of Rapid Penang, Rapid Kuantan, Rapid Kamunting and Rapid KL.

Upon completion of the project, Prasarana will take over from the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) and assume responsibility for the operations of the LRT3.

The PDP for the LRT3 is MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between MRCB Bhd and George Kent (M) Bhd. MRCB is currently the largest developer and pioneer of Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) in Malaysia, while George Kent is the largest home-grown railway system specialist in Malaysia.

The PDP’s role will be to oversee the construction of the project while assuming the risks of any delays or associated cost overruns.

The LRT3 will be introducing several technologies, including the first use of the U-Trough technology in Malaysia.

Internationally recognised as the latest, most efficient and economical response to the needs of urban development, the “U- Trough” allows for viaduct spans of up to 30m to be pre-cast in a centralised, controlled site and eventually assembled at the construction sites along the alignment.

“I understand that a new technology known as ‘U-Trough’ will be used, which is an improvement over the conventional system currently being used in our country.

“This is expected to speed up the process and timeframe in terms of its implementation,” said Najib.

Compared to traditional methods using segmented box girders this has the advantage of being faster (one day for the erection of each span compared to three days for traditional methods), cheaper (the cost of installation of the spans can be reduced by up to 50% (ringgit per linear metre) compared to traditional methods), have a better visual impact (the rail level is lowered by between 1.0 and 1.5 metres) and have better safety characteristics (fewer people are needed in the erection process as the works involved to match cast segments and post tension the span will no longer be required).