After riding the first phase of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line on its opening day, we came away happy to have a modern train line connecting many points of interest and areas that previously had no rail connection. However, our stops at certain stations, namely Bandar Utama and Mutiara Damansara, raised some questions on accessibility and infrastructure surrounding the stations.
As updated in our original post, we went for a ride from Pusat Bandar Damansara to Bandar Utama this afternoon and encountered a very tricky path to get to First Avenue and 1 Utama. As the link bridge to the mall is still under construction, one has no choice but to cross over to the “1 Powerhouse” building, which is the park and ride facility cum feeder bus station. It is opposite Sri Pentas along Persiaran Bandar Utama.
From here, it’s a short distance to the hotel and mall, but heavy construction along Persiaran BU and Dataran BU means that the otherwise short walk to 1U is not straightforward. One must navigate pass unfinished walkways along Persiaran BU towards Shell and walk certain stretches on the road itself, which is rough and narrow due to the construction (see pic below). As predicted, the link bridge and construction surrounding the station is out of MRT Corp’s hands.
The company clarifies that linkways and bridges linking MRT stations with private property are being built by the respective property owners, at their own cost and construction schedules, as per the agreements with MRT Corp. On the train company’s part, its stations were designed to accommodate these linkways.
There are a few examples of such linkways, besides the much needed Bandar Utama bridge mentioned above. There will be one linking the Mutiara Damansara station to The Curve, one connecting Surian station to Sunway Nexis and Tropicana Gardens, and one linking the Kg Selamat station to the upcoming D’sara Sentral (Mah Sing) and SqWhere (SDB) developments in Sungai Buloh. All are yet to be completed.
“While the best efforts were made to coordinate with the private property owners for the completion times of these linkways, the construction schedules were ultimately beyond the control of MRT Corp,” the company said in a statement.
So for now, to get to 1U (old wing) safely, take the T812 feeder bus from the 1 Powerhouse. There’s also a T809 bus from Mutiara Damansara station entrance B that goes to the mall. It is understood that 1 Utama is also providing a free shuttle service from the Powerhouse to the mall. Walking to The Curve/Ikea from Mutiara Damansara is much less hazardous; take exit B and get to the mall via the Royale Chulan Damansara hotel like we did.
As for the other linkways, the condos and mixed developments are currently under construction, so there’s no need for the bridges to be ready at this point in time.