There’s dissatisfaction over KTM’s removal of fare concessions for children aged seven and above on its Komuter service, which isn’t surprising as it comes so soon after the general price increase.

Those aged seven and above will now pay the full adult fare, which also means that the previous discounted price for school and college students has been abolished. Before this, those in school uniforms and tertiary students with identification could purchase tickets that were nearly half the published rates.

KTM raised fares from 11 sen to 15 sen per km on December 2. Commuters will now have to fork out up to RM7.10 more for tickets, but KTM claims the new fare structure is favourable to those who use the service for longer distances. The rail operator also said that its service was on time for 97% of the time and safer than riding motorcycles.

The company said that the move to raise Komuter prices would not increase profits but rather lessen the losses that the service is incurring. Its president Lt Col (Rtd) Sarbini Tijan said KTM is expected to make losses of RM55 million this year despite the fare increase, the first such revision since February 2003.

KTM Komuter six-month reroute

Sarbini added that the firm had requested RM200 million this year to cover the funding gap for all its operations, and the government had only allocated RM60 million. As such, the fare hike is anticipated to reduce the funding gap for its Komuter service component from RM150 million to around RM106 million.

Separately, KTM has announced a reroute of the Komuter service to facilitate infrastructure upgrade and track rehabilitation work, a six-month trial that starts on December 15.

The train from Tanjung Malim (and Rawang), which previously went all the way to Sungai Gadut (and Seremban) will now end at Port Klang. The train from Batu Caves, which formerly went to Port Klang, will now terminate at Gemas (via Seremban). One can change trains at the usual four downtown KL stations – Putra, Bank Negara, Kuala Lumpur and KL Sentral.

Click here for the new KTM Komuter fare structure, in detail.