Next week’s full opening of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line is good news for all who work and live in the Klang Valley. Many workers – whether from areas with already opened stations looking to connect to KL city, or from south Klang Valley – can finally give up driving to work.

Even those who are not yet ready to make the switch from driving to train-riding would feel the difference, if MRT Corp’s projection of 160,000 fewer vehicles entering KL daily with the full opening of the MRT SBK line is correct. That’s based on the estimation of 400,000 MRT riders per day, Bernama reports.

“One MRT train with four coaches can carry 1,200 people comfortably. Imagine the space needed for 1,200 cars on the road – that alone will create a traffic jam. But if these 1,200 users leave their cars at home and take the train, imagine the space that can be saved on roads,” MRT Corp strategic communications and stakeholder relations director Datuk Najmuddin Abdullah added.

Najmuddin said since the first phase of the SBK line opened in December last year, nearly two million people have rode on the line from Sg Buloh to Semantan. “Rapid Rail, the MRT operator, has forecast that there will be ten times the number of current users, from an average of 15,000 to 150,000 passengers a day once we open phase two from Semantan to Kajang,” he revealed.

He added that to encourage commuters to use MRT, the company has built 14 multi-storey and open-air car parks with 8,000 bays at several stations along the 51 km SBK line. There would be 300 feeder buses, each with a capacity of 62 passengers, operating at 10-minute frequencies. Another pull factor is the reasonable fares.

“Imagine if you are driving from Sungai Buloh to Kajang – the travel time, petrol cost, toll charges and the stress that you have to go through. Travelling by MRT gives you many benefits. You save time, money and its benefits your health with less stress and more comfortable travel,” Najmuddin said, pointing to the fare of RM5.50 from Sg Buloh to Kajang (with Touch n Go, cash fare RM6.40).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will launch the second phase of the SBK line next Monday (July 17) which will connect Sg Buloh all the way to Kajang, through the city centre. The second phase consists of 19 new stations, of which seven are underground.

The 19 new stations are Muzium Negara (which connects to KL Sentral), Pasar Seni, Bukit Bintang, Tun Razak Exchange Centre, Maluri, Cochrane, Taman Pertama, Taman Midah, Taman Connaught, Taman Mutiara, Suntex, Sri Raya, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Batu Sebelas Cheras, Bukit Dukung, Sungai Jernih, Merdeka, Stadium Kajang and the Kajang terminus station.

GALLERY: MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line Phase 1