Roping in ehailing, taxis to plug public transport gap

SUNGAI BULOH: Talks are being held with ehailing and taxi companies to improve first and last mile connectivity with the Klang Valley’s public rail system, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

This comes as ridership continues to remain low ahead of the completion of the MRT2 Sungai Buloh-Putrajaya line by mid-March.

“The feeder bus system has yet to resolve the problem as not all areas have feeder bus routes.

“So we are looking at other approaches which include holding talks with ehailling and taxi companies to solve this problem,” he told a press conference after taking a ride on the MRT2 from Putrajaya Sentral to Damansara Kwasa during a trial run yesterday.

He said the Land Public Transport Agency is currently looking at implementing a ride-sharing pilot project where ehailing and taxi companies offer commuter rides to the MRT stations at lower fares.

Loke said ridership for public transport such as the MRT (mass rapid transit) could be further increased if first and last mile issues are resolved.

He said this when asked what could be done to increase the use of public rail transport in the Klang Valley.

He acknowledged that the target of getting at least 40% of commuters to use public transport has yet to be achieved – it is currently below 20%.

Meanwhile, Loke said a specific launch date for the 57.7km MRT2 line from Sungai Buloh to Putrajaya will be fixed once trial runs and fine-tuning are completed.

The first phase of the RM30.53bil project was officially opened to the public on June 16 last year, with the 17.5km line covering 12 stations from Kwasa Damansara to Kampung Batu.

“The completion of the second phase of the project will see an additional 24 stations opened.

“This will bring it to a total of 36 stations from Putrajaya Sentral to Damansara Kwasa,” he added.

Loke also said 10 interchange stations will be located along the line, with the Titiwangsa station to be developed as a public transport hub.

“The Hospital Kuala Lumpur station is also considered one of the main stations on the route.

“It will allow more patients and visitors to travel to the hospital.

“The station will have a 400m travelator for visitors and patients’ convenience,” he added.

According to Loke, 107 feeder buses will serve MRT2 stations.

MRT2, which will operate 47 train sets, is expected to have a ridership of 200,000 passengers a day within a year or two of its launch.

On the MRT3, Loke said the Finance Ministry is expected to approve the project soon.

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