Prasarana is purchasing 27 new light rail transit (LRT) trains from Bombardier Hartasuma at a cost of RM1.7 billion, The Star reported. The new four-coach trains will be acquired in stages until 2023, and these are meant to replace trains that have been in service for more than 20 years, it said.

“The new trains are meant to accommodate the increase in ridership as we expect an annual increase of 5% to 7%. We hope that with the new trains, the arrival frequency can be reduced from three to 2.5 minutes, Prasarana chairman Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said, noting that Prasarana currently operates 74 four-coach trains and 35 two-coach trains.

The four-coach and two-coach trains have capacities of 700 passengers and 240 passengers respectively. Despite a drop in ridership of 40% with the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) from March 18, chairman Tajuddin is optimistic that passenger volumes will increase within two months.

The group’s busiest transit line, the Kelana Jaya line from Gombak to Putra Heights, accommodated 300,000 passengers daily before the MCO. According to Tajuddin, Prasarana recorded RM59 million in profits last year, an increase from RM21 million recorded in 2018.

Meanwhile, the construction of Prasarana’s new headquarters in Lembah Subang is to be reviewed, the chairman said. “I will discuss the matter with the management as it is unsuitable to have the headquarters located so far away from the capital city. We will still ensure the ongoing project will be completed, but we will identify a different use for it,” he said.