KAJANG – Commuter Kamarulzaman Kamaruddin believes he could save more than RM200 a month and cut travel time between his home and workplace by more than two hours when the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Semantan-Kajang service begins next week.
“I usually spend about RM350 on petrol and toll monthly. And that’s only on working days. On the MRT, I’ll only have to fork out RM128 monthly for the trip between Sungai Jernih station and Muzium Negara station,” he told Bernama when met at Sungai Jernih station here.
The 48-year-old private sector employee who resides in Taman Selamat said the savings of RM222 meant a lot to him and his family.
“For now I am forced to set off as early as 6.30 pm from my home in Taman Selamat in order to reach my office in KL Sentral by 8 am.
“By MRT, I can reach Muzium Negara station from Sungai Jernih station in about 40 minutes, compared to driving for more than two hours. Altogether a return trip is 160 minutes lesser for me,” he said.
A random survey by Bernama found that residents in Kajang could not wait for the new MRT service to begin and one thing for sure is that they have given their thumbs up to the government for the initiative that would ease their transportation burden.
Residents working in the city have lamented about traffic congestion which caused them to endure one to more than two hours of travelling time despite the fact that the distance from their home is only 30 kilometres, which normally takes 40 minutes.
“I cannot wait to go to work by MRT; furthermore at my age, I cannot stand driving for too long. I am very thankful that the MRT station is very near my workplace,” said Kamarulzaman.
He said he would save the extra RM222 monthly for a holiday with his family.
“I will also be able to send my child to school before going to work. Presently, the burden rests on my wife,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to spending more time with the family.
Meanwhile, Siti Norbayah Jamil, 31, said when asked what she thought about the Semantan-Kajang MRT service to be launched by Prime Minster Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on July 17, that it could potentially reduce traffic congestion in Kajang as against the area’s ever growing population.
“If residents in Kajang choose MRT as their main mode of transport, then the traffic congestion particularly during peak hours would surely be minimised.
“Besides that, it will also save time and reduce all that stress of being on the road for a long period,” she said.
Aliza Yasmin Shahbudin, 20, who is studying mechanical and electrical engineering at Yayasan Pelajaran MARA in Beranang here, said MRT would allow her to travel home to Taman Maluri, Cheras conveniently and quicker.
“All this while, I have been taking the commuter train from Kajang, disembarking at KL Sentral and taking a train on another line before using the bus to reach home. Sometimes the journey takes almost three hours.
“I was very excited when I heard about the direct line from the MRT station in Kajang to MRT Maluri station. This means I don’t have to change trains or take a bus,” said Aliza who regularly commutes to the federal capital to obtain reference material in Japanese.
Traders based near MRT stations were equally excited about the government’s latest transport development project.
Sardi Salim who manages a satay restaurant near Stadium station said from then on, local residents and tourists could conveniently come to his eatery without having to drive and think about where to park.
“It is so convenient for the public to come here as the MRT Stadium station is so near and just opposite our restaurant. I believe the facility would help to boost our business which we started in 1992,” he said.
The opening of the Semantan-Kajang line next week would complete the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line which stretches 51 kilometres and runs through densely populated areas like Kajang and Cheras as well as popular tourist attractions such as Muzium Negara and Pasar Seni.
Construction of the SBK line costing RM23 billion, began on July 8, 2011, and will serve the corridor of 1.2 million residents. – BERNAMA