KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — New Light Rail Transit (LRT) routes in the Klang Valley set to take off this year will be a boon to commuters and a testament to the government’s continued commitment to improve urban transportation.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Ampang LRT Line extension of Sri Petaling-Putra Heights passing through Kinrara Puchong, will be operational by end-March.
Meanwhile, the 17.4 km Kelana Jaya-Putra Heights line will start operations in the middle of this year.
The Sri Petaling-Kinrara route has been operating since last October with its four new stations at Awan Besar, Muhibbah, Alam Sutera and Kinrara BK5 commanding an average daily ridership of 195,000 passengers.
Despite the economic challenges confronting the government in the face of plunging oil prices, forcing a recalibration of the 2016 Budget, it has been steadfast in ensuring that high impact infrastructure projects continue.
Besides providing a more convenient ridership to a greater number of commuters, the LRT project also brings about economic spin-offs such as new shopping malls, office buildings as well as provide jobs and business opportunities.
The extended Ampang Line will bring in an additional 195,000 passengers in daily ridership, including 40,000 from the newly-opened stations.
The extended Kelana Jaya LRT line will provide the largest ridership of 265,000 passengers daily.
The Kelana Jaya LRT Extension project (LEP), is scheduled to be opened on June 30 and connects the current Kelana Jaya station to Putra Heights.
The opening of the Kelana Jaya LEP is also expected to boost ridership for the BRT-Sunway Line, with its connectivity at Station 7. The BRT-Sunway Line currently manages an average of 6,700 passengers daily.
True to his word, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been unwavering in ensuring these projects get off the ground quickly, as implementation of major infrastructure projects such as the LRT extension and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) remain the country’s top priority in improving urban transportation.
While the Ampang LRT line extension will be operational at end-March, phase one of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line from Sungai Buloh to Semantan will be completed in November.
This undoubtedly will take the convenience of urban transport to a significantly higher level.
It is also estimated that in the first quarter of 2016, construction works for the MRT 2 Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line will begin, as well as the LRT 3 Bandar Utama-Klang Line, towards scheduled operations in August 2020.
This, combined with the massive multi-billion ringgit MRT running from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, will reportedly generate a gross national income (GNI) of between RM8 billion-RM12 billion.
The success of these projects, culminating from years of hard work, undoubtedly represents the government’s commitment to revolutionise urban transport in the country.
It will provide Malaysians with better public transportation alternatives, especially for the 7.2 million people in the Klang Valley area today and 10 million by 2020.
In the long-run, an average of RM21 billion in GNI per annum will be generated over the next decade.
The MRT projects will also create some 130,000 jobs, while pushing up the value of property, as the better connectivity will result in appreciation from being in the vicinity of stations.
It is clear that the government under Najib’s stewardship is living up to its promises in undertaking and completing on time infrastructure projects for the well-being of the people.
Last year, the prime minister announced that the 18.1 km Ampang LRT line project would begin operations in March 2016, while the Kelana Jaya-Putra Heights line project of 17.4 km will be fully operational by the middle of this year.
Looking ahead, Prasarana Malaysia Bhd President and Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Azmi Abdul Aziz had said the decision to continue with high impact infrastructure projects to improve transportation was important, in respect of the government’s aspiration to enhance the productivity of the people and national revenue, while increasing public transport ridership to 40% in 2030.
Just last week, the asset owners and operators of the country’s LRT, monorail and bus services in the Klang Valley, Penang and Kuantan celebrated a new milestone, as daily ridership surpassed the one million mark.
The LRT3 will connect Bandar Utama to Klang via Shah Alam, while the 56 km-long Klang Valley MRT (KVMRT) Line 2 will connect Sungai Buloh and Putrajaya.
It is abundantly clear that the public living along these areas can’t wait for the LRT and MRT lines to be completed as it will make it more convenient for them by reducing their travelling time significantly and enhancing the quality of their life.