Prasarana Malaysia is expecting a gain in daily ridership across its rail and bus services to 1.2 million in March 2023, when the MRT Putrajaya Line is expected to open in full, from 722,000 last year, Bernama has reported.

An estimated 100,000 people will benefit from the services in the first year of the line’s full opening, and demand is expected to increase year-on-year, Prasarana president and group CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah told the news wire. “The opening of the Putrajaya Line will be one key milestone for Prasarana this year,” he said.

The exact date for the opening of Phase Two of the Putrajaya Line will be announced by Mass Transit Corporation (MRT Corp), Azharuddin said. “Rapid Rail (a subsidiary of Prasarana), as the operator, and MRT Corp, as the asset owner, are currently running extensive testing of the service, the president and group CEO continued.

Originally slated for a January deadline, MRT Corp announced last month that the 38.7 km-long section of the Phase 2 alignment of the Putrajaya Line is expected to be completed in March this year. This section consists of 15 elevated stations and nine underground stations.

Further afield in terms of plans for 2023, Prasarana aims to increase service reliability especially for its rail systems, which means that public transport users can expect improved peak-hours ridership through an increase in train frequencies to more acceptable levels, he said.

“For the LRT Kelana Jaya Line, most trains on this line are currently undergoing a special inspection and overhaul programme,” Azharuddin said, noting that only fit and safe trains would be released for service.

Train frequency is expected to improve to three minutes between arrivals by September 2023 on the LRT Kelana Jaya Line, while peak hour frequency on the MRT Kajang Line is expected to improve to four minutes by August 2023, according to the report. This is due to progressive wheel replacements from June 2022 to December 2024, which is required due to wheel deterioration that is happening more quickly than expected, he said.

As for the KL Monorail, arrival frequency will increase to five minutes in the fourth quarter of the 2023 financial year, Azharuddin told the news wire. Four-car trains have been in service since May 23, 2022, and the continuation of this through 2023 will result in higher efficiency and reliability, he added.