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Time to introduce a RM100 public transportation pass in the Klang Valley

In October 2017, I had written about the lack of an increase in the ridership of the LRT, MRT and KTM Komuter despite the billions of Ringgit of investment poured into new projects.[1] The recently released Quarter 3 2017 rail statistics[2] by the Ministry of Transportation confirmed my fears that the LRT and MRT ridership spike in July and August 2017 due to the half-price fares were only temporary.

The Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT line reached a peak daily ridership of 135,112 in the month of August when fares were 50%. But once the fare discount period was over, the daily ridership dropped down to 103,345, which is significantly less than the target of 150,000. Similarly, the daily ridership for the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT lines spiked up to 262,606 and 195,536 respectively in the month of August but once the discount period was over, the daily ridership numbers fell down to 219,568 and 157,533 for the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT lines respectively. In fact, the LRT ridership numbers for the month of September is even lower than that for March 2017 which averaged 238,602 and 169,057 for the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT lines respectively. (See Figure 1 and Table 1 below)

Figure 1: Daily ridership by month (January to September 2017) for the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT lines, the SBK MRT line and the KL Monorail

Source: Ministry of Transportation, Rail Statistics

Figure 1: Daily ridership by month (January to September 2017) for the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT lines, the SBK MRT line and the KL Monorail

Type of Service JAN FEB MAC APRIL MEI JUN JULAI OGOS SEPT
LALUAN KELANA JAYA 211,913 220,418 238,602 223,057 223,869 212,253 231,159 262,606 219,568
LALUAN AMPANG 151,459 155,140 169,057 158,500 160,816 154,485 157,242 196,536 157,533
LALUAN MRT SBK 23,471 12,532 13,786 12,927 13,057 12,288 62,344 135,112 103,345
KL MONORAIL 56,172 54,359 57,140 53,488 48,291 44,430 42,253 43,441 34,656

Source: Ministry of Transportation, Rail Statistics

The drop in the daily ridership on the LRT and MRT clearly shows that passengers are price sensitive. This is why it is necessary to introduce an affordable monthly public transportation pass to allow passengers to have unlimited rides on the LRT, MRT, Monorail and Rapid KL buses as a way to increase public transportation usage. Rapid used to have a RM150 monthly travel pass for the LRT but this was eliminated as part of the LRT fare hike in Dec 2015.

Pakatan Harapan has proposed in our alternative budget to introduce a RM100 unlimited travel monthly public transportation pass. I am confident that with the introduction of this pass, public transportation usage especially on the LRT, MRT and Rapid buses will increase significantly, perhaps even beyond the daily ridership figures set in August 2017 when the LRT and MRT fares were reduced by 50%.

DAP Assistant National Political Education Director & MP for Serdang
Media statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 11th January 2018