KUALA LUMPUR: The Klang Valley’s public transport network received a significant boost with the addition of 12 MRT stations with the Phase 1 opening of the Putrajaya MRT line from Kwasa Damansara to Kampung Batu.
The unveiling was performed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob at the Kampung Batu MRT station here yesterday, who heaped on further good news by announcing a month’s free rides for services operated in the Klang Valley by Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and KTM Bhd.
“Starting yesterday, commuters can use for free, all trains and buses operated under the Rapid KL brand, as well as KTMB’s Komuter services (including the Skypark Link from Subang Jaya to the Subang airport).
“Leave your cars at Park N Ride and #JomNaikMRT,” he said in reference to the parking facilities at selected LRT and MRT stations.
All the 12 MRT stations are supported by MRT feeder buses, along with Rapid KL and GoKL buses (for Kampung Batu MRT).
At a press conference at the Sri Damansara Sentral MRT station after the launch, Ismail Sabri said the free rides would cost the government some RM155mil, with RM140mil for RapidKL services and RM15mil for KTMB.
The Bera MP expressed hope that the free rides would encourage more people to use public transport to move about amid the worsening traffic jams in the city now that life is slowly returning to normalcy as the country moves to the endemic phase of Covid-19.
“Sometimes traffic congestion takes up to one to two-and-a-half hours,” Ismail Sabri said, adding that Phase 2 of the Putrajaya MRT line is expected to be ready for service by next January.
“It is expected to benefit 150,000 to 200,000 passengers (daily) when it’s completed. Aside from facilitating travel, it will also lend a positive impact to the areas near the MRT stations,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said the comprehensive provision of public services was prioritised under the principle of Keluarga Malaysia.
“The government will ensure no one is left out from tasting the fruits of the nation’s development,” he said.
The first phase of the Putrajaya line began carrying passengers at 3pm yesterday from Kwasa Damansara all the way to Kampung Batu, a distance of 17.5km, passing through Kampung Selamat, Sungai Buloh, Damansara Damai, Sri Damansara Barat, Sri Damansara Sentral, Sri Damansara Timur, Metro Prima, Kepong Baru, Jinjang and Sri Delima, over 28 minutes.
MRT passengers can change over to KTM stations at Sungai Buloh, Sri Damansara Timur (to Kepong Sentral) and Kampung Batu.
During peak hours, the trains will arrive every four minutes, with each train capable of ferrying up to 1,200 passengers.
Meanwhile, Rapid Bus is adding further enhancements to its bus services today after the successful debut of a pilot programme called Bus Skip Stop Xpress that aims to help make commuting in the Ampang area more convenient.
The trial period from May 16 to Aug 16 provides non-stop bus services from the Ampang LRT station all the way to Ampang Park and KLCC, with buses matching morning and evening peak hours when it comes to travel directions.
Two more Bus Skip Stop Xpress will be added this evening for Kelana Jaya line users, with the first from Pasar Seni to Universiti, and the second from KLCC to Wangsa Maju.
The details will be posted on Rapid KL’s social media channels.