A new LRT line, an expansion of current lines: Kuala Lumpur ambitious plan to increase the share of public transport for commuters starts to pay off…
Talks, construction, delays, complaints, resilience of some communities: it is all past as Kuala Lumpur light rail and underground rail network is expanding at fast pace bringing a welcome alternative to the metropolis crowded streets and unfriendly taxi drivers.
Kuala Lumpur recently inaugurated a new LRT line which is getting dep in to the Klang Valley. Since July1, 13 new LRT stations connect Klang Valley to the centre of Kuala Lumpur. The line extension pass among others through Damansara and Subang Jaya. It connects at Putra Height with the extended Sri Petaling Line, providing a loop for commuters. Early next week, the Ampang Line will also be fully operational with a total of seven stations providing conections to Kuala Lumpur northeast.
The city wants to be on par with all major metropolises around the world and increase the share of public transport from its current 20%/25% to 40% by 2020. Some 70 LRT/MRT/Suburb Train and Monorail stations are already offering a dense network of rail lines. The development is remarkable. Just 20 years ago, they were only three dozens of rail and LRT stations available to the public.
Two other major projects are taking shape. The first KL MRT line between Sungai Buloh and Kajang was launched in 2011 and is due for completion by the end of 2016 for the first phase before to be fully operational by 2017. This will be a particularly important rail line for tourists as the MRT will pass through KL Sentral, the National Museum, Pasar Seni/Central Market-where it will connect to the exisiting LRT line, Merdeka Square and the popular area of Bukit Bintang finally closing a gap in public transport services. The new MRT will have 31 stations along a distance of 51 km.
Another LRT is in development for connecting Shah Alam and Klang city to the Damansara area. It will stretch over 37 km with 26 stations. The line could be finished around 2020. Another important extension is KTM (Suburb train service) from Subang Jaya to the old Subang Airport. The 8km line will begin at the Subang Jaya KTM Komuter station and end at the Skypark Terminal station located in front of the airport’s Terminal 3. Work for the extension started this year. The airport used to be the main airport for Malaysia capital city until the opening of KLIA in 1998. It now welcomes over three million passengers a year, mostly on Firefly air services.