Putrajaya justifies RM40b bill for Klang Valley MRT

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

The government justified today its RM40 billion Mass Rail Transit (KVMRT) as the Klang Valley needs to match other major cities to alleviate road traffic congestion.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan told Parliament today the Klang Valley has less than 2km of rail per million residents, a coverage that is less than five per cent of other major cities.

“But other major cities such as London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore have more than 40km per million,” the Pontian MP said.

He said that only 17 per cent of residents living in and around the capital used public transport compared to at least 50 per cent in those other cities due to the low level of rail coverage.

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad had asked if any study was made on whether residents would switch over from road vehicles to public transport after the KVMRT is completed.

“From a study I obtained, only 20 per cent of residents will benefit from the MRT. What is the government’s target?” the Selangor PAS deputy chief said.

But Ahmad said the government has studied and surveyed residents in 2006, 2008 and 2010 and found that over 50 per cent of residents will use the KVMRT.

“We didn’t just think of this yesterday. We are spending RM40 billion for three lines because the number of vehicles in the Klang Valley is increasing by 500,000 every year,” he said.

He added that the first line, a 51km stretch from Sungai Buloh to Kajang (SBK), will service 1.2 million residents with a maximum capacity of 440,000 passengers per day.