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KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Dec 2016:
Planning ahead to avoid potential teething problems when the new Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) takes on public passengers from 6am tomorrow, all rides will be free till Jan 16.
This is a smart strategy to nip in the bud all complaints from commuters while MRT operator Prasarana Negara Bhd addresses any challenges which may arise due to human behaviour patterns and unforeseeable pitfalls.
During the MRT service launch today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak the MRT and feeder bus service will be free for one month until Jan 16. “This gives an opportunity to the people to try the new, modern and efficient public transport facility.”
After all, given the massive infrastructural undertaking, Prasarana is operating only the first phase of the route – which involves 12 stations between Sungai Buloh and Semantan – covering a distance of 21km.
It covers the stations of Sungai Buloh; Kampung Selamat; Kwasa Damansara; Kwasa Sentral; Kota Damansara; Surian; Mutiara Damansara; Bandar Utama; Taman Tun Dr Ismail; Phileo Damansara; Pusat Bandar Damansara and Semantan.
A total of 120 feeder buses will also be provided through 26 routes in and around the 12 MRT stations.
The second phase, which covers a distance of 30km and involving 19 stations from Semantan to Kajang, is expected to be fully operational from July 2017.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) – which just delivered the first phase of the maiden MRT project – said extra savings can be accrued from the initial target cost by skipping the land acquisition process.
Chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar said savings arising as a result of excluding land acquisition from the first phase of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) MRT line could probably be more than the RM2 billion announced earlier.
“It could be more, because initially we budgeted for land acquisition. What the team did was to go beyond the acquisition, where some mutual agreements were made with land owners without acquiring (the land), that’s why we saved some money.
“By the time phase two is completed by the end of next year, we will know the actual figure.”
Shahril urged commuters to fully make use the trial period. “Have a feel of the system, it will benefit all of us. Once it starts, we will have more than 8,000 bays at the park-and-ride facilities.
“Use it, don’t waste it, because the government invested a lot of money on the MRT and its facilities for the people.”
As for phase two of the SBK line, which would cover the underground and southern elevated sections until Kajang, Sharil said it was progressing well and should be ready for operations by July 2017.
“We are very confident that phase two can commence operations by July 31, 2017, insyaAllah (God willing).”
As for MRT Two, which is also known as the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) line, Shahril said construction of the project was now underway.
“Out of 10 main packages, seven have been awarded. Total awarded contract now amount to RM27 billion. The remaining three packages will be announced by early March.”
MRT Corp had estimated the total cost of the SSP MRT line at between RM35 billion and RM40 billion.