Bigger fleet to boost services

KLANG: The Kelana Jaya LRT line is set to receive 27 new light rail transit trains beginning July 2023, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Of the total, he said eight of the new trains are scheduled to begin operations in stages from July next year, with the remaining 19 to enter the line by December 2024.

“As safety is our utmost priority, the trains must first undergo the due safety processes and run for several thousand kilometres before being allowed to operate.

“The trains will also undergo very stringent checks and commissioning tests, among others, before entering the line,” he said yesterday after witnessing the trains’ final assembly and bogies’ assembly process at the Hartasuma Sdn Bhd production facility in Pulau Indah.

The upcoming trains are under the Kuala Lumpur Additional Vehicle (KLAV) 27 project valued at RM1.72bil. It was done in a consortium between Hartasuma Sdn Bhd and Alstom S.A., a global rolling stock manufacturer.

Dr Wee said that another five trains were scheduled to resume operations along the line next month in addition to the 34 currently operating daily.

“This will result in the waiting time (for trains) gradually being reduced to between four and five minutes. In December, more trains will be added here which gradually reduces the waiting time to about three minutes,” he said.

Smooth progress: Dr Wee (front row, right) posing with other officials after witnessing the LRT trains’ final assembly and bogies’ assembly process at the production facility in Pulau Indah, Port Klang. — KK SHAM/The StarSmooth progress: Dr Wee (front row, right) posing with other officials after witnessing the LRT trains’ final assembly and bogies’ assembly process at the production facility in Pulau Indah, Port Klang. — KK SHAM/The Star

He also noted that the month-long free rides initiative on all public transport services in Klang Valley saw a 16% increase in the daily average ridership which was equivalent to 765,743 passengers daily.

“Of the total, an average of 607,786 passengers rode the train daily, in addition to 157,957 passengers using the bus daily.

“This recorded an 18% and a 11% increase in the average daily ridership of the trains and buses, respectively,” he said.

He also noted that the most frequented stops during the free ride period were the Masjid Jamek, KLCC, Pasar Seni, and KL Sentral LRT stations, along with the Bukit Bintang MRT stations.

“With this data, we can also plan public transportation initiatives in a more optimal manner alongside paying more attention to these popular stations,” Dr Wee said.

The free rides, which began from June 16 until July 15, were announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in conjunction with the launch of the first phase of the Putrajaya MRT, which began operations that day.

The free rides comprised 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).

Dr Wee noted that initiatives by Hartasuma Sdn Bhd to collaborate with institutions such as Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia were crucial towards developing industry professionals.

Earlier at the event, Hartasuma Sdn Bhd co-founder and executive director Tan Sri Ravindran Menon said bogie assembly for the first eight trains under the KLAV 27 project was done in Mexico with the remaining 19 assembled at the facility in Pulau Indah.

Also present were Transport Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Razali Mohamad, Hartasuma Sdn Bhd chairman General (Rtd) Tan Sri Zulkiple Kassim, its managing director Datuk Abdul Rahman Abdul Halim, co-founder and director Datuk Aisamar Kadil Mydin Syed Marikiah and Prasarana Malaysia group president and chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah.

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