KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is in talks with Singapore to increase the Tebrau Shuttle service to 36 trips daily next year, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The Transport Minister said this would mean an extra five trips per day, adding that there was great demand for the shuttle train service.
“We are discussing this (matter). Hopefully, Singapore will approve,’’ he told reporters after distributing festive goodie bags to commuters at KL Sentral here yesterday.
He said Singapore had previously limited the trips of the shuttle.
“Thanks to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who discussed the matter with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, we managed to increase the frequency of the service recently,” Liow added.
Both countries worked with Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Bhd to increase the frequency of the shuttle from 26 trips to 31 daily from Tuesday, in time for the Chinese New Year.
The shuttle runs between JB Sentral in Johor and Woodlands, Singapore.
As all KTMB Intercity trains now terminate at JB Sentral station, the shuttle is the only way to travel between Malaysia and Singapore by train, with the journey across the Causeway taking just five minutes.
Liow said it was becoming popular for Malaysians to use the railway to return to their hometowns to celebrate the festive period.
“About 80% of tickets offered by KTM for the Chinese New Year were sold out,” he said, adding that a total of 170,000 tickets were offered between Feb 10 and Feb 23.
He said the ministry encouraged more people to use the rail during festive seasons, when there were usually over 200 road fatalities, with an average of 19 deaths daily.
On the general election, Liow reiterated that he would defend his Bentong parliamentary seat.
“I have been working hard in Bentong. I have shown a comprehensive blueprint for Bentong’s development into a satellite town of Kuala Lumpur and a garden city,” he said.