Public transport in Kuala Lumpur
- 1 History of public transport in Kuala Lumpur
- 2 Local transport
- 3 Transit hubs
- 4 Regulation
- 5 Future expansion and extensions
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
History of public transport in Kuala Lumpur
There are several bus operators operating in Kuala Lumpur, linking the city centre with the suburbs of the Klang Valley. The main operator is the government-owned Rapid KL, which stands for Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd. Rapid KL took over the operations of the two main bus operators, Intrakota and Cityliner.
Other operators include Metrobus, Selangor Omnibus, Len Seng, Transnasional/Kenderaan Klang-Banting, Triton, Permata Kiara and others.
Kuala Lumpur's rail-based transit system consists of two Light Rail Transit lines (rapid transit), three commuter rail lines (including the Rawang-Tanjung Malim shuttle service), one monorail line and an airport rail link to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which consists of an express and a transit service.
Initially, different companies operated the various systems and having developed them separately at different times. As a result, many of the lines do not integrate well, making transferring from system to system inconvenient for passengers. Moving from one system to another often require a lot of walking, stair-climbing, escalator-use and even crossing busy roads. For example, the KL Monorail's "KL Sentral" station is a 140-metre walk away through a busy bazaar and a busy road. There is also no common ticket for all systems, forcing commuters on continuing journeys to buy new tickets when transferring.
Since 28 November 2011, the paid areas of the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT lines, as well as the KL Monorail from 1 March 2012, had been integrated physically under a common ticketing system. This enables commuters to transfer between lines at certain interchange stations without buying a new ticket each time, provided that they do not exit the paid area. This is currently possible at Titiwangsa station, Hang Tuah station and Masjid Jamek LRT station.
The Touch 'n Go stored value farecard is accepted as mode of payment on the RapidKL Bus, LRT and monorail lines, as well as the KTM Komuter, easing the hassle of buying separate tickets for travelling on different networks.
Also, RapidKL Rail, the operator of the three LRT lines as well as RapidKL Bus (which cover about 70% of the Klang Valley's bus network), has come up with a daily bus ticket which cost as low as RM1, and integrated transit daily pass which can be used on both its rail and bus services that costs RM7.
The KL monorail had proposed to extend its line to Sungai Buloh from its Titiwangsa station but this was not approved. However, extensions for the Kelana Jaya Line and the Ampang Line were approved. Approval was also given to construct a new Kota Damansara-Cheras Line.
Metered taxis can be hailed throughout the city. However, traffic jams, especially during rush hour are fairly common in KL and it might be difficult to get a taxi during rush hour. There have been many incidents of taxi drivers charging extravagant fares, especially among tourists, therefore, tourists are advised to travel with taxis who charge fare according to meters, or insist on using the meter.
For intercity travel, the main transit hubs in Kuala Lumpur are:
- Pudu Sentral — a major intercity bus terminal located in the city centre. A new bus terminal, Plaza Rakyat is planned to replace neighbouring Pudu Sentral. However, the construction has been halted indefinitely. There is an LRT station nearby that connects the building.
- Putra Bus Terminal — serving buses heading to the East Coast destinations. Nearby rail connections are at PWTC LRT station and Putra Komuter station.
- Pasar Rakyat — a new bus terminal to take away some of Pudu Sentral's load.
- KL Sentral — Kuala Lumpur's main railway station.
- Duta Bus Terminal — for buses operated by Transnasional and Airport Coach (bus services to KLIA)
Local rail transport
- KL Sentral — a modern multi-modal transport hub served by KTM Komuter, LRT, KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit as well as local buses and those to KLIA
- Masjid Jamek — an LRT interchange between Kelana Jaya line and Ampang line.
- Bandar Tasik Selatan station — a train interchange between the Ampang Line, KTM Komuter service and ERL Transit.
Local bus terminals
KL Sentral, Titiwangsa, KLCC, Maluri, and Medan Pasar form Rapid KL's bus interchanges in the city. Meanwhile, private bus operators are mostly based at the Jalan Tan Cheng Lock area which includes Pasaramakota, Central Market, Bangkok Bank, Medan Pasar, Kotaraya, Sinar Kota and Puduraya.
There are also several suburban bus hubs that serve as terminals and interchanges.
Traditionally, most bus services, whether local or intercity used to originate from the city centre, especially in the areas around Jalan Cheng Lock. Recently, transport operators have decided to unilaterally move operations elsewhere. For example, executive bus operators, especially those headed for Singapore, have chosen to depart from other less congested locations like the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, KL Sentral, Bangsar and Petaling Jaya. Rapid KL itself has shifted operations to its city hubs. The government meanwhile has been half-heartedly encouraging buses to use other newer terminals like Pasarakyat and Duta Bus Terminal.
The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station ceased to serve intercity trains in 2001 when operations shifted to neighbouring KL Sentral. Many other operations such as KTM Komuter services and postal services by Pos Malaysia are however still maintained.
The public transport system is regulated by various authorities, including the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) of the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development, the Ministry of Transport and local governments such as the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur and the other city and municipal councils.
There is no single body that regulates the whole sector.
The Integration and Restructuring of the Public Transport System in the Klang Valley (Inspak) steering committee, established in July 2003, is tasked with encouraging greater use of public transportation to reduce traffic congestion and initiate the establishment of the Klang Valley Urban Transport Authority as the regulatory authority for public transportation in the Klang Valley. Little has been said about the establishment of this authority ever since.
Rapid KL was established in 2004 by the Ministry of Finance to provide an integrated public transport system in the Klang Valley incorporating rail and bus services as part of Inspak. It holds quasi-regulatory powers in the sense that unlike other bus operators, it has much greater freedom to set its own routes. Furthermore, its fare structure differs from that set by the CVLB.
Future expansion and extensions
LRT line extension
On 29 August 2006, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak announced an RM10 billion plan to expand Kuala Lumpur's public transport network. The plan included extending the existing Kelana Jaya Line from Kelana Jaya to USJ and the Ampang Line from Sri Petaling to Puchong and USJ. The plan also will see a new light rail transit line being constructed between Kota Damansara to the northwest of Kuala Lumpur and Cheras which lies to the southeast of Kuala Lumpur. On September 15, 2009, the operator has revealed the alignment and the location of new stations regrading the line extension for public input.
The Star, a local newspaper reported a new 40 km route from Cheras to Kota Damansara which traverse the city center through Bangsar, KL Sentral, Pasar Seni and Masjid Jamek stations. The new line is expected to be ready by 2012, however, as of July 2009, no construction has started.
On June 2010, Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak announce plans to build three Mass Rapid Transit lines which compromise a Sungai Buloh to Cheras, Sungai Buloh to Serdang and a loop line around the city's edges. Length of the lines is to be between 180 kilometers to 200 kilometers with a carrying capacity of 2 million people a day. Expected cost of the project is RM36 billion. It is not sure whether the line is part of the Kota Damansara-Cheras Line or a completely new line.
Greater KL Mass Rapid Transit System
A 156 km long Mass Rapid Transit system will be built within 20 km radius from the city center under the 10th Malaysia Plan and Economic Transformation program. The system consists of three lines, each will be integrated to current rail systems in Kuala Lumpur. The three new lines are expected to cost RM35 billion, making it one of the most expensive projects in Malaysia's history.
- Rapid KL Launches Integrated Smart Card Ticketing System
- Mergawati Zulfakar (30 August 2006). "Rail travel expansion". The Star. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
- Leong Shen-Li (2008-06-15). "Kota Damansara-Cheras rail line right on track". The Star. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- CIMB Research (2010-06-14). "Construction Sector (CIMB Reaseach); maintain overweight". The Edge Dailyy.
- Razak, Najib (2010-06-10). The Tenth Malaysia Plan, 2011-2015 (Speech). Dewan Rakyat, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "KL to get landmark MRT in world-class city bid". Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- Kuala Lumpur Mass Rapid Transit Website (KL MRT Website)
- iMetro - Interactive transport guide of Kuala Lumpur transport system
- Journey Planner - Kuala Lumpur Rail Transit Journey Planner
- iPhone Train App - Kuala Lumpur Train Guide
- iPhone Taxi App - Kuala Lumpur Taxi Guide