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KUALA LUMPUR – Over half a million existing Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), monorail, and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) commuters and thousands of new users are expected to take advantage of the 50 per cent fare discount starting tomorrow until Aug 31, 2017.

Commenting on the above announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the launch of the second phase of the Sungai Buloh – Kajang MRT (MRT SBK) today, Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd, the official operator of the MRT service in the Klang Valley, said the fare system would be adjusted to give 50 per cent rebate for all MRT, LRT, monorail and BRT services from tomorrow.

Rapid Rail Chief Executive Officer Datuk Ir Zohari Sulaiman urged the public to use the free MRT phase two service from Kajang Station to the National Museum Station until the end of service hours today (July 17), with the last train departing the Kajang Station and National Museum at 11.30 pm tonight.

Zohari said more than 1,200 Rapid Rail staff have been assigned to operate the SBK MRT service, which was expected to attract up to 10 times the number of current MRT users.

In anticipation of the increase in passengers, especially at integrated and connected stations, Rapid Rail has been renovating several major stations, including the KL Sentral LRT Station.

He said the newly-renovated East Wing of the KL Sentral LRT Station now functioned as the second entrance to the KL Sentral LRT Station and was equipped with a customer service office, 17 automatic gates, four escalators, closed circuit cameras, 11 token machines and Touch ‘n Go facilities.

Zohari also reminded MyRapid cardholders to change their cards to the new MyRapid Touch’ n Go cards to ensure a smooth journey between the LRT system and the new MRT system.

“MyRapid cardholders (black cards) can switch their cards to MyRapid Touch ‘n Go cards for free at most LRT, BRT, and monorail stations until July 31.

“Concession card holders, including senior citizens, disabled people and students can change their MyRapid concession card at the Subang Jaya LRT Station, Awan Besar LRT Station, Sri Rampai LRT Station and the MyRapid Concession Card Centre at the  Pasar Seni station from 7am to 7pm daily,” added Zohari. – BERNAMA

KAJANG – Some of the  MyRapid Touch ‘n Go card recipients have expressed their happiness at getting the cards in conjunction with the launch of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)  Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line.

Comprising 100 individuals from the lowest 40 per cent household income group (B40), they were also grateful to the government for the successful implementation of the country’s modern transportation network.

Twenty out of these individuals, including the disabled, received the cards as a personal contribution from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and handed over by the Prime Minister himself at a ceremony in Stadium Kajang here today. The monetary value of the cards were, however, not announced.

One of the card recipients, Rilycca Wong Kit Ting, 20, a student at the Bangi Industrial Training and Rehabiliation Centre (PLPP) for the disabled, said the card would make it easier for her to use public transport after this.

“I feel very lucky today. This card is very useful and save money for me to travel,” she told Bernama here today.

Mohd Alif Aiman, 19, who studies at the same training centre, said he was very happy to meet face-to-face with the Prime Minister for the first time.

“I have never met the Prime Minister and I am thankful to MRT for inviting me to come and join in the ceremony,” he said, adding that it would be his first time riding the MRT using the card, which was easy and cost-saving.

Sam Immanuel S. Salvan, 20, a PLPP office management student, said the MyRapid TnG card would make it easier for him to use public transport, such as travelling back to his home in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.

The Prime Minister launched the MRT SBK second phase at the Tun Razak Exchange underground station today, which saw the new train service serving as a new agent of change in the national public transportation landscape.

The B40 group comprises those with a household income of RM3,900 and below and the donated cards will enable them to utilise all Rapid KL services, Light Rail Transit  (LRT), MRT and other services that offer the use of the MyRapid TnG cards as part of efforts to ease their financial burden. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today launched the second phase of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line and said it would be the beginning of many more ‘infra-rakyat’ (people’s infrastructure) projects in the country.

The Prime Minister said these projects included the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Second Line, Bandar Utama-Johan Setia LRT3, East Coast railway, Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail and upgrading of the monorail and Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) systems.

“All these will be implemented by the government. When the MRT3 or MRT Circle Line is ready, by 2027, we will see a fully-integrated public transportation system in Kuala Lumpur. That’s our dream.

“Based on track record, we (the government) can achieve this objective,” he said at the launch of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line second phase at the Tun Razak Exchange underground station here.

Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Cabinet ministers and MRT Corp CEO Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar were also present at the launch.

Najib said that since taking over the leadership of the country, he realised that Kuala Lumpur, as the federal capital, needed an efficient and a reliable transportation system network at affordable rates for all the people.

“We have learned from the experience of other capital cities in this region; the traffic congestion is so severe that an individual is forced to spend eight to 10 hours daily on the road.

“Before Kuala Lumpur faces such a predicament, we have to take measures to avert that situation (of traffic congestion)  because the signs are already there, especially when it rains,” he said.

The Prime Minister said a good transportation system network can benefit the people by enabling them to save time and travel costs, enhance productivity and the spirit to work while also reducing the cost of living.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line was completed earlier than the scheduled end of July and had helped to save RM2 billion from the initial targeted project cost of RM23 billion.

He also said that bumiputera companies comprised 50 per cent of the companies engaged in the implementation of the project and bumiputera traders made up 51 per cent of the traders allotted business premises at the MRT stations.

“Our move to incorporate the bumiputera agenda in the MRT project did not affect its smooth implementation because only those properly qualified were given the opportunity. We did not give to our cronies,” he said.

Najib said the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line is 51km in total and has 31 stations, and would benefit 1.2 million Malaysians besides tourists visiting the federal capital.

He said the project could have a positive effect on the environment because 160,000 vehicles were expected to be off the roads, thus reducing 752,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission annually.

The Prime Minister also announced a 50 per cent discount on the fares for the MRT, LRT and Monorail services for all users from tomorrow to Aug 31 in conjunction with the independence anniversary of the country.

The second phase of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line has 19 stations, seven of which are underground.

These are the Muzium Negara, Pasar Seni, Merdeka, Bukit Bintang, Tun Razak Exchange Centre, Cochrane, Maluri, Taman Pertama, Taman Midah, Taman Mutiara, Taman Connaught, Taman Suntex, Sri Raya, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Batu Sebelas Cheras, Bukit Dukung, Sungai Jernih, Stadium Kajang and Kajang stations.

Each train has four coaches with a total capacity of 1,200 passengers per journey, and the daily number of passengers are expected to be 400,000.

The trains operate at a frequency of 3.5 minutes during the peak periods. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The full opening of the Mass Rapid Transit Service (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang Route (SBK) on Monday creates a level of connectivity that has never been enjoyed by the country, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri .

She said, with the opening of the second phase of the MRT, students and staff of 40 schools and educational institutions will be able to use the public transport service.

“The opening of Phase Two of the MRT is proof of the government’s commitment in fulfilling the promises to the people under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” she said in a statement issued by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

The second phase of the SBK route, between Kajang and the National Museum involving 19 stations, is scheduled to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister on Monday.

The first phase of the route between Sungai Buloh and Semantan, which has 12 stations, started operating on Dec 16 last year, It ferries an average of 15,000 passengers per day.

Nancy noted that the implementation of the MRT project as a whole is a proof of the government’s commitment to the aspiration of making the land public transport system more inclusive.

“We want to see the public transport system in the future become more inclusive and tailor-made to meet the needs of certain groups such as people with disabilities, families with young children and senior citizens,” she said. – BERNAMA

 

KUALA LUMPUR – Road closures in several areas along Cheras-Kajang Highway will be extended for 14 more days to facilitate MRT construction works, starting Tuesday.

MMC-Gamuda KVMRT (T) Sdn Bhd, which is the project delivery partner in a statement said the closure among others were to facilitate reinstatement of street lighting, permanent signage and road marking works.

Areas to be closed from 10 pm to 5 am include the stretch for both Kajang and Kuala Lumpur bound from KM14 until KM15.5, near exit 703 Telekom interchange and exit 704 Bandar Tun Hussein Onn interchange, as well as from KM13.3 until KM14.7 nearby Kampung Sungai Raya.

Other than that, the slip road at exit 702 Hulu Langat interchange, exit 703 Telekom interchange, and  exit 704 Bandar Tun Hussein Onn interchange will also remain closed during that period.

Also affected is the stretch from KM 10.6 until KM 11.6 Kajang-bound from Cheras Hartamas entering Cheras Kajang Highway until the slip road entering FRU Complex at Batu 7, where there will be a two-lane closure, while another three lanes at the area will remain open.

In addition, some of the areas are to be closed from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and 10 pm to 5 am.

These include partial lane closure at both the Kajang and Kuala Lumpur bound at Exit 701 PGA Interchange,  as well as at the slip road from Taman Kota Cheras entering Cheras–Kajang Highway, Kuala Lumpur-bound.

The motorcycle lane at Batu 9 and Batu 11 toll booths both Kuala Lumpur and Kajang-bound will also continue to be closed from 9:00AM to 4:00PM and from 10.00PM to 5.00am, and  during this period all motorcyclists are advised to use the left-most lane near the toll booth.

— BERNAMA

 

KUALA LUMPUR – The construction of seven underground stations of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line phase two has proven that local talents including architects, designers and engineers are capable of undertaking a very challenging world class project.

These 261 local skilled workers can say: “Not an easy task but we did it,”

One of the youngest engineers involved in this project,  Izyan Syahirah Hasanuddin, 26, said various factors have to be taken into account in planning and building the underground stations and among them were the geological settings underneath the city.

She said the underground alignment for the MRT SBK Line navigated past two distinctly different geological settings which were the Kenny Hill Formation (sedimentary rock and sand formation) and Kuala Lumpur Karstic Limestone Formation.

“Fifty percent of the underground alignment was in the form of extreme karstic limestone and in order to dig the tunnel, we had to maintain the equilibrium of the sub-surface geological system containing underground reservoirs and water-filled cavities.

“It is very challenging as any disturbances from underground activities could cause karstic sinkholes and ground subsidence. To overcome that, 10 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) were used to dig in the ground as the TBM is the most efficient machine in clearing ground – be it all rock, all soft soil, or all sand,” Izyan told Bernama when met at the Cochrane underground station recently.

Extreme karstic is a geological formation consisting of weakly soluble bedrock such as limestone eroded by mildly acidic water over millions of years, leaving behind an elaborate labyrinth of unstable caverns, cliffs and pinnacles in the depth of Kuala Lumpur city.

She said the most physically and mentally taxing moment was during the intervention process which required her to temporarily stop the TBM to look at the underground cavity being dug.

“You cannot imagine how I felt when I faced temperatures of 38 degrees Celcius, the nauseating smell of dirt and the darkness with limited movement in the tunnel,” said Izyan who holds a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

Izyan said that she was thankful for the opportunities given to her in undertaking the task although it was a very specialised field, usually dominated by men and more often by foreigners.

Another engineer, Ismail Bukhari Wan Ibrahim, 27, who joined the MRT project when he was 23, right after graduation, said: “It was almost impossible for fresh graduates to land such a post abroad, so when MMC-Gamuda Sdn Bhd made the offer, I could not refuse,”.

“For me, it offered a unique learning platform and each day it gave me a new experience, knowledge and problems to solve in a more critical and analytical manner,” said the Construction Management graduate from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Shah Alam.

The underground stations for the 9-5-km underground SBK Line which cost of RM8.23 billion are Muzium Negara, Pasar Seni, Merdeka, Bukit Bintang, Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Cochrane and Maluri.

Meanwhile, MMC Gamuda KVMRT Architectural Manager, Tricia Low Yi Ching said among those seven underground stations, TRX was the deepest station for the  MRT SBK line with a depth of 45 metres, equivalent to a 13-storey of building.

“There are seven levels at the  TRX station while the  Cochrane, Bukit Bintang, and Merdeka station have four levels, Pasar Seni  three and Muzium Negara two.

“The general concept for these underground stations was inspired by the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge, a pure quartz dyke found in the Klang Valley ,which the multi-faceted characteristic of the quartz and its kaleidoscopic reflections symbolise Malaysia’s multiracial and multicultural society,” said Tricia.

Apart from that, the stations are also strategically located in areas which are currently being developed and would be developed for example at the Merdeka station, the new tower KL118 would be built nearby.

She said designing the underground stations’ interiors was also another challenge as they needed to design proper layout for ventilation and emergency exit routes.

“In order to allow perfect ventilation in and out of the stations, we need to create a sustainable layout at entrances, said Tricia who has 12 years working experience.

Tricia said the design for all underground stations have taken into account the flash flood factor in the city so that its operation would not be affected should the problem arise.

“Historically, flooding does occur at the station areas. Hence, we have installed flood boards below the floor in order to prevent the water from entering the stations,” said Tricia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is scheduled to launch the second phase of the SBK line on July 17, allowing the train to run the entire 51km alignment from Sungai Buloh to Kajang.

–BERNAMA

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

KUALA LUMPUR – Pos Malaysia Berhad (Pos Malaysia) will continue the issuance of train-themed stamp series with the latest edition featuring Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).

The stamp series will be available from Monday in conjunction with the commencement of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line service.

Head of Pos Malaysia Stamp and Philately Unit Diyana Lean Abdullah said the MRT stamp collection will comprise stamps featuring the MRT train with passengers (90 sen), MRT elevated stations (80 sen) and MRT train with its feeder bus (60 sen).

However, only 304,000 pieces of 60-sen stamp and 132,000 pieces for each 80-sen and 90-sen stamp will be issued,” she said during a media preview of the stamp series at the Pos Malaysia headquarters here today.

Diyana said a miniature sheet for the stamp series with the perspective view of the quality of manufacturing and design of the MRT train will also be available at a price of RM5.30 each.

“Other philatelic products featuring the MRT to be issued are the first day cover (FDC) at a price of 55 sen with free brochure and a folder set priced at RM6.35 each.

A complete folder set of the stamp series can be obtained at RM69.85 each,” she said.

Diyana said there will be 35,000 pieces of miniature sheets, 45,000 pieces of FDCs and 3,300 set of folder sets to be made available from Monday.

She said Pos Malaysia had produced several collections featuring trains and railways in Malaysia including the 100 Years of Malayan Railway stamps (1985) , Modernisation of Rail Transport stamps (1998)  and Express Rail Link stamps (2002).

Diyana also encouraged stamp collectors to open up the Standing Order Deposit Account (SODA) to facilitate their purchasing of the latest stamp series.

“Those who interested to be part of the SODA community could sign up at any post office nationwide or via online at www.posonline.com.my.

“They also can log on to www.pos.com.my or visit the nearest Pos Malaysia outlet or the Stamp Gallery at Level Two, Pos Malaysia Headquarters, Dayabumi Complex,” she added. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has given the thumbs-up to the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line.

The prime minister said he and his family had the opportunity  to tour and test out the second phase of the MRT project, to be fully operational on July 17, yesterday.

“I am satisfied with the world-class MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line which is developed, carried out by thousands of our own people since 2010.

“To all those involved, be proud of your achievement, recall the sacrifices, energy, time that should have been spent with family and friends. This is the product of your sweat and tears! I, myself, am proud with all of you,” said Najib in a post on his official blog, najibrazak.com, today.

Najib said during the tour of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line, he was also accompanied by his blogger friends who were excited to experience the train ride which passed through several underground stations.

He said the smooth MRT service refuted allegations by some residents, especially in the urban areas, that the MRT project, carried out since 2010, would affect their locality.

“Clearly it is not true with many of our people now getting a more holistic benefit of connectivity,” said Najib.

Najib said his vision was to see a modern transportation system that would not only connect all the areas in  the Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, but also a reliably efficient system.

“Do you know that our train has a high frquency rate at 3.3 minute during peak hour for every train which has a capacity of 1,200 people at one time,” he said.

The prime minister was also awed with the uniqueness of the MRT underground stations, each with their own identity, and also shared his experience using the feeder bus service to shutter passengers to nearby areas at a fare of only RM1. – BERNAMA

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR – Mass Rapid Transit Corp (MRT Corp) has projected a drop of 160,000 vehicles entering the Klang Valley daily when its Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line comes into full operation starting July 17.

Its Strategic Communication and Stakeholder Relation director, Datuk Najmuddin Abdullah is optimistic the MRT service for the SBK line could reduce the number of vehicles entering the city.

He estimated a drop of about 160,000 vehicles daily if 400,000 people were to  use the MRT train service every day.

“One MRT train with four cars can carry 1,200 people comfortably. Imagine the space needed for 1,200 cars on the the road, that alone will create a traffic. But if these 1,200 users abandon their cars at home and take  the train, imagine the space that can be emptied on the road and we can save a lot of the by product from that space saving,” he told Bernama.

He said since the first phase of the SBK line,  covering 21 kilometres from Sungai Buloh to Semantan, came into operation in December last year, MRT recorded nearly two million people having used the service.

Najmuddin said MRT had even built a total of 14 multi-storey and open-air car parks with 8,000 bays at several stations along the 51km long SBK Line to encourage more people to take the train when commuting into the city.

In addition, he said, there would be a total of 300 feeder buses, each with a capacity of 62 passengers, to shutter people to the nearest station at a frequency of 10 minutes.

“Rapid Rail, the MRT operator, has forecasted  an increase of ten folds in the number of users this coming months, from an average of 15,000 passengers a day to 150,000 passengers once we open the phase two from Semantan to Kajang,” he added.

He said another factor which would encourage the public to commute using MRT was the reasonable and affordable fares of the service.

For instance, he said, a trip from Sungai Buloh to Kajang would only cost RM5.50 by Touch N’ Go and RM6.40 for cash payment and its travel time is about 80 minutes.

“Imagine if you are driving from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, the travel time, the cost of your petrol, tolls, and the stress that you have to go through.

“Travelling by MRT gives you a lot of benefits, the economic benefit, the saving that you get, your time, health benefit,  less stress, and travel in a comfortable manner,” Najmuddin said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is scheduled to launch the second phase of the SBK line on July 17, thus  allowing the train to run the entire 51km alignment from Sungai Buloh to Kajang.

The second phase will consists of 19 new stations, of which seven are located underground.

The 19 new stations are Muzium Negara, Pasar Seni, Bukit Bintang, Tun Razak Exchange Centre, Maluri, Cochrane, Taman Pertama, Taman Midah, Taman Connaught, Taman Mutiara, Suntex, Sri Raya, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Batu Sebelas Cheras, Bukit Dukung, Sungai Jernih, Merdeka, Stadium Kajang, and Kajang station.

Each train set serving the SBK line will have four cars, allowing a total capacity of 1,200 passengers per trip with daily ridership estimated at 400,000 passengers. The trains will run at a frequency of 3.5 minutes. – BERNAMA