The Klang Valley must be able to provide an efficient and equitable city structure that allows all members of the community equal accessibility to all areas and facilities so that everyone may enjoy the maximum benefits of city living. The current public transportation system in Kuala Lumpur consists of bus, light rail, monorail, airport express rail link and commuter rail. There are several initiatives based on the Greater Kuala Lumpur Land Public Transport Masterplan underway to achieve a sophisticated public transportation system.
TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENTS: THE FOCUS OF PROPERTY DEVELOPERS
Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) are seen as the way forward for a fast developing metropolis such as Kuala Lumpur. Many of Malaysia’s leading developers are now focussed on building townships that are centred on a mass transit hub in our cities and suburbs. Residential and commercial components housing retail and recreational facilities are connected to the transit hub creating a pedestrian friendly urban locality that enjoys reduced carbon emission and traffic congestion. Amongst developers making large investments in TODs which contribute to the development of a sustainable city is Sime Darby with its developments in Subang Jaya and Bukit Kiara. In April this year, Crest Builder Holdings Berhad and Prasarana Malaysia Berhad announced their plans to jointly develop Latitud8, Malaysia’s first TOD.
MRT TO FACILITATE A FIVE FOLD INCREASE IN RAIL RIDERS
One of the biggest public transportation projects undertaken by the government is the Greater Kuala Lumpur’s Mass Rapid System (MRT). The 3-line, 150 km MRT in Kuala Lumpur (KL), which comprises two northeast-southwest radial lines and one circle will become fully operational by July 2017. The KL MRT system will radically improve KL’s poor and sorely inadequate public transportation coverage. The new lines will increase Greater Kuala Lumpur’s rapid rail network from 15 km per million people in 2010 to 40 km per million people once completed. A five-fold increase in rail riders, in line with the government’s target for public transport usage in the Klang Valley of 40% by 2020 from 18% in 2009 is expected. Only an efficient and well-planned system such as the MRT can move large numbers of people during the morning and evening rush hours in a large city.
GREATER INTER-CITY CONNECTIVITY WITH LRT EXTENSIONS
Kuala Lumpur’s inter-city connectivity has also been improved with the recently completed LRT extensions. The Kelana Jaya LRT extension runs from Lembah Subang – Kelana Business Centre, through Subang, USJ, Alam Megah and ending at the hub in Putra Heights. The Ampang LRT extension line commences from the Sri Petaling station, passing through Puchong, Kinrara and ending at the hub in Putra Heights. In August this year, Prasarana Malaysia Berhad also announced its plans to build LRT Line 3 to service the western region of Greater Klang Valley. It will be operated on sustainable technology and will feature the implementation of rainwater harvesting technology, noise reduction system, better energy management system as well as natural ventilation in the station’s design.
KTM KOMUTER: A MORE ECONOMICAL WAY TO TRAVEL
KTM Komuter, the first electrified commuter train service in Malaysia was introduced in 1995 to cater especially to commuters in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding suburban areas. The KTM Komuter train network covers more than 280km length of railway network that accommodates 57 stations. The service operates on a daily basis with two lines for the Central Sector, namely, the Seremban – Batu Caves Line and the Tanjung Malim – Pelabuhan Klang Line and was further expanded in 2015 with the introduction of the Northern and Southern Sectors.
For the Northern Sector, the first of the two lines to operate was the Kamunting – Butterworth – Gurun Line. The KTM with its lower fares and a more leisurely is integrated to Kuala Lumpur’s other main transportation lines through transit hubs such as Bandar Tasik Selatan TBS, KL Sentral and the Tanjung Malim Stations. It also conveniently allows passenger to switch to LRT lines and the KLIA transit services.
Over RM70 billion investments in land public transport infrastructure projects have been made by the government in the last five years. Projects such as the LRT and MRT which are seen as catalysts for economic growth have been the priority. More importantly land and public transport system and policies have been designed to become more commuter-centric and responsive to fundamental demographic changes. Commuters in Kuala Lumpur must be convinced that public transport can serve their needs, and get them to their destinations reliably and comfortably for Kuala Lumpur to become the envisioned city of the future.
This article was first published in the iProperty.com Malaysia November 2016 Magazine. Get your copy from selected news stands or view the magazine online for free at www.iproperty.com.my/magazine. Better yet, order a discounted subscription by putting in your details in the form below!