Monday, October 1, 2012

Govt aware of need for better public transportation in Klang Valley


KUALA LUMPUR: Ten major public transportation projects are under study and implementation in the Klang Valley as the government realises the people's need for an improved public transportation system, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan said today.

He said the projects were improvement of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu commuter service and upgrading of the monorail system and extension of its route from Kuala Lumpur Sentral to Taman Gembira.   
"Other projects are an MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) track from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, over a distance of 51km with 31 stations, which is expected to be ready in 2016 and the extension of the LRT route from Kelana Jaya to Putra Heights, over 17km with 13 stations, scheduled for completion in 2014.    
"The extension of the LRT route from Seri Petaling to Putra Heights (17.7km), with 12 stations, is expected to be completed by 2014, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Kuala Lumpur to Klang (33km), with 25 stations, is expected to completed by 2014 as well as BRT from Setia Jaya to Persiaran Subang, Sunway (5.5km), with seven bus stations.  
"Projects at the study stage are the MRT Route 2 over a distance of 29km, with 22 stations, as well as the MRT Route 3 which is expected to cover 36km with 24 stations," he said when replying to a question from Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) in the Dewan Rakyat.    
Kok, who said that many places were not served by buses, taxis and the LRT, had wanted to know the plan to improve the public transportation system in the Klang Valley, as well as the problems and obstacles faced in implementing the plan.
Ahmad Maslan said the government was improving the bus network system along the entire MRT corridor by targeting about 30 per cent expansion in its network as feeder bus service.
He said the government had carried out a detailed study last year and, consequently, several transportation projects were proposed.   
"The proposed extension of the LRT route from Kelana Jaya to Klang, the extension of Monorail Phase 1 from Taman Gembira to Sunway, Putrajaya Monorail and BRT from Kuala Lumpur to Ampang, Ampang to Kepong, Putrajaya to Kajang, Damansara to Kinrara, Kota Damansara to Shah Alam, Shah Alam to Putra Heights, Putra Heights to Putrajaya and Kerinchi to Alam Damai," he said.    
He said, however, that the government would be carrying out feasibility studies on the four proposals before any final decision was made.
He said there were sufficient taxis in the Klang Valley, with 34,623 in service while Putrajaya was served by 193 taxis.  
Ahmad Maslan said the government was facing several issues in improving public transportation in the Klang Valley, including financial constraints.
He said the problem arose when return on investments for the companies involved were slow in coming.   
"The problem also involved finding suitable routes so that there would be minimal acquisition of private land.   
"Public objections have also become a problem for us as in the case of the MRT projects in Jalan Sultan and Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI)," he said.  
Ahmad Maslan said various measures had been taken to handle the objections, among others through Public Private Partnership, Private Finance Initiative and loans by Infrastructure Fund through the Finance Ministry and guaranteed by the government.  
He said the government had also identified and ensured that only capable and outstanding companies were selected to carrying out the public transportation projects.   
"We have also given priority to bumiputera companies, such as the MRT project with at least 40 per cent of the MRT Phase 1 project offered to bumiputeras," he said.   
He said that from the aspect of route problems, various public hearings had been held to ensure that there was minimal private land acquisition, whereby about 70 per cent of the projects were on government land and only 30 per cent involved private land.   
"Meetings with the public were frequently held to ensure that the projects proceeded smoothly and fairly, such as in the case of the objections to the Jalan Sultan and TTDI MRT where more than 20 meetings were held with the residents involved," he said .

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