Why the LRT isn’t worth the switch

AS a resident of Puchong, I was delighted that the LRT line has been extended to our township and would benefit almost half a million residents in one of the fastest developing locations in Klang Valley.

I was excited that there was finally a reliable alternative for me to go to work instead of driving.

I live in Puchong and I work in Bandar Sunway and recently decided to switch to public transport by making use of the newly-opened LRT extension project.

On my very first trip last week, I was shocked that a one-way trip from Puchong LRT to Sunway via the Sunway BRT Line cost me a whopping RM9.

This is already the cheapest fare as I used the cashless option.

Therefore, for a return trip, it would cost me RM18.

This is not even inclusive of the park-and-ride charges at the LRT station which is RM4 per entry and also the price of fuel from my house to the LRT parking.

On average, a daily commute with public transport costs me about RM25 per day which works out to roughly RM500 monthly if I work 20 days per month. This is ridiculous.

When I drive I only pay RM4 for toll daily for both ways and I spend about RM150 per month on fuel. Parking at my office is also free.

By driving I only spend about RM10 daily in contrast with RM25 for public transport.

Some of my neighbors in Puchong have also complained that the fare from any LRT stations in Puchong to those in Subang cost an average of RM12 for a two-way trip.

I don’t understand how in the world driving is cheaper than public transport.

RapidKL should know that roads from Puchong to Subang are massively congested (pic) and the LRT could potentially reduce thousands of cars daily.

But with the high fare, who would want to use the LRT? The fare should be set at maximum of RM3 per trip.

The hassle and long commute time on the LRT or BRT is another setback.

An average journey on the LRT from Puchong or Kinrara to Subang will take at least one hour and commuters have to go through the hassle of changing trains at Putra Heights.

A commuter like myself heading to Bandar Sunway will have to change to the Sunway BRT again at the USJ7 LRT station.

With two interchanges and the travel time, it takes more than an hour for me to reach my office.

This is a nightmare since Puchong is right next to Subang at a distance of less than 10km.

If I were to drive, it would take me under 10 minutes in off peak periods and 30 minutes during peak periods – way faster than using the public transport.

Some of the coaches that arrive at the stations are also packed and you will be lucky if you could even stand inside.

I was also frustrated that the application process for discount cards for students and senior citizens is another hassle.

One has to go all the way to Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur to apply for the card and wait for two weeks if you qualify.

They should set up more concession counters in more LRT stations.

The way I see, the LRT extension only benefits those that do not own a car or do not drive.

Trying to get people to switch from driving to using the LRT is clearly a silly thing when the LRT is more expensive, more troublesome and more inconvenient to users.

I can’t help but feel sorry for those using the newly-opened LRT line to travel between Puchong and Subang.

The expensive fares and long travelling process coupled with frequent breakdowns of the LRT have left me so traumatised that I will avoid using it for the time being.



Related story:

Excuse me, the LRT suits me to a ‘T’

letters , LRT