KL-MRT-1

Next year will see the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line – as well as two Light Rail Transit (LRT) line extensions – begin operations, and the new rail-based services should get more Malaysians commuting via public transport rather than by car in the next couple of years, The Star reports.

The first phase of the 51 km-long MRT SBK Line is set to start running in December, with stations to open up from Sungai Buloh to Semantan, near Pusat Bandar Damansara, and estimates suggest that around 400,000 people will be utilising the trains on the MRT Line 1 when the Phase 2 – from Semantan to Kajang – is operational by mid-2017.

Ahead of that, the 18.1 km-long Ampang Line LRT extension is set to begin running by March, with the 17.4 km-long Kelana Jaya line extension to follow by mid-year. According to the publication, a RapidKL source said both line extensions – which end and link up at the Putra Heights station – could see an additional 310,000 people using them on a daily basis.

LRT rail pix Bernama

Currently, ridership is around 225,000 on the Kelana Jaya line and 173,000 on the Ampang Line each day, according to the Transport Ministry’s third quarter figures.

Bus services are also set to be improved on as part of the government’s transit drive push. Outside the Klang Valley, regular MyBas stage bus services have been planned for Kuala Terengganu, Ipoh and Kuching next year, the report adds.

A new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line to link Kuala Lumpur to Klang is also on the cards – construction is set to get underway next year, and the KL-Klang BRT is expected to be completed by 2018. The plan will see the line – which will be 34 km long and will have 25 stations along the route – run along the Federal Highway, running in the middle on dedicated lanes.

BRT bus

The next stages of public transport infrastructure development include the MRT 2 project, which will span 52 km from Sungai Buloh to Serdang. The government says that MRT 2 will benefit two million people and will incur a cost of RM28 billion. Construction will start in the second quarter of 2016 and the project is expected to finish in 2022.

There will also be an LRT 3 line from Bandar Utama in Damansara to Johan Setia in Klang. This 36 km-long line is set to benefit another two million Klang Valley residents at a cost of RM10 billion. Work will start next year and will go on till 2020.

Members of the public who were interviewed by the publication expressed high hopes for the new services. What do you think? Will the new MRT and LRT line extensions get more cars off congested roads in the Klang Valley?