SEPANG: Both the KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit will be able to accommodate 50% more passengers with six newly launched trains, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Liow said Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), which operates the services, had purchased the new trains from China-based Changchun Railway Vehicles Co Ltd (CRRC).
He said ERL’s existing fleet of 12 trains had now increase to 18.
“Two new trains will be operating on KLIA Ekspres while another four on the KLIA Transit,” he said.
Liow said KLIA Transit’s frequency during peak hours will be increased effective today.
“With the increase from three to four services per hour, the KLIA Transit will now be on par with the KLIA Ekspres,” he said at the launch of the new trains at KLIA.
Liow added that the KLIA Transit’s frequency is expected to improve from the current 20-minute intervals to 15 minutes.
During off-peak hours, frequency of train departures will also be improved from 30 to 20 minutes, Liow said.
The new KLIA Ekspres train is fitted with 192 seats on board while the KLIA Transit train can accommodate up to 350 commuters, including 144 seated passengers.
ERL chief executive officer Noormah Mohd Noor said a 5% increase in ridership is expected following the launch of the new trains.
She noted that ridership suffered a drop of over 15% when fares were increased from RM35 to RM55 for a one-way trip from KL Sentral to KLIA in 2016.
She, however, said ERL was expecting ridership to increase to nine million passengers this year compared to 8.5 million last year with the introduction of the new trains along with collaboration with ride-hailing services Grab and Uber.
“We are also looking to work with airlines to make these trains an option for travellers when they booked their tickets online,” she said during the press conference.