Heavy 'losses' of MRT Corp not solely for financial gain but positive economic impact, says Loke


KUALA LUMPUR: The heavy financial “losses” of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Corp Sdn Bhd reflects its true purpose in supporting long-term socio-economic growth for the country and people, says Anthony Loke.

The Transport Minister said MRT Corp’s incurred losses were due to the high capital expenditure costs to construct both MRT 1 (Kajang line) and MRT 2 (Putrajaya line), as well as low ticket rates and the ongoing subsidised My50 unlimited travel pass.

“These public projects require a large amount of capital expenditure. They were also not constructed with the aim to recoup the same costs quickly over a short period of time.

“The success of these public projects was never meant to be purely determined by its financial performance but also based on its overall positive impact on the economy and the people,” he told a press conference at Parliament on Wednesday (July 10).

This comes after the release of the Auditor General’s 2024 report last week which revealed that MRT Corp had suffered accumulated losses of RM57.624bil since it was established in 2011.

However, the same report noted that the company’s loss before tax was actually on a downward trend, having decreased from RM3.67bil in 2021 to RM857mil in 2022 to RM181.5mil last year.

The report also said both MRT 1 and MRT 2 continued to fail in meeting ridership targets, which Loke attributed to Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns in 2021.

“We can see that ridership has been on a consistent rise since the 2021 low average of 61,000 ridership daily due to the lockdowns.

“Ridership on MRT 1 has risen significantly with a daily average of 139,000 in 2022, 204,000 in 2023 and 239,000 as of May this year.

“MRT 2 ridership has also increased from a daily average of 23,000 since its launch in 2022 to 93,000 in 2023 and 140,000 as of May this year,” he said.

To further boost ridership, Loke said the government had already approved the purchase of 310 new buses to help resolve last-mile transportation issues, which are expected to be delivered by December this year.

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MRT Corp , losses , ridership , MRT 1 , MRT 2 , Anthony Loke

   

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