KUALA LUMPUR (March 16): Major public transportation players in the country have pledged their support towards Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3), given the megaproject's beneficial outcomes.

This is after Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong in his speech said that the government is looking for ways to integrate all the train lines in the Klang Valley — Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), Monorail, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTM) and the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).

"MRT3 will also expand the public transport coverage network in the Klang Valley and will provide access to transit rail for communities that currently do not or have less access to public transport services," he said at the MRT3 Circle Line Project media conference on Wednesday.

Prasarana Malaysia Bhd president and group chief executive officer (CEO) Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah said Prasarana, as the country's rail services owner-operator, sees the MRT3 helping the public ecosystem in the country, especially in the Klang Valley.

"Because of the pandemic, we faced many challenges where at its height, Prasarana's ridership before the pandemic was about 1.25 million a day. In the worst months of the crisis, our ridership was less than 300,000. Of course, now it is improving.

"With the MRT3 line, we believe we are confident that we will be able to achieve the 40% model share set by the government by 2030 and our ridership will increase more than two million a day by the time it is completed," he said.

Mohd Azharuddin further noted that MRT3 is a complete rail system in the Klang Valley as it provides connectivity across major rail lines.

"For Prasarana, we operate five of these lines towards MRT, namely MRT Kajang (MRT 1), MRT Putrajaya (MRT 2), LRT Ampang and Sri Petaling, LRT Kelana Jaya and also the KL Monorail.

"Why these lines are important is because they enable people, the passengers to interchange to go to their destinations faster, and they enable economic programmes.

"We also support the proposal by MRT3 regarding ensuring the transit oriented developments (TODs) along the lands surrounding the stations, especially on affordable housing. In this regard, our view, the ridership will significantly improve with the completion of MRT3," he said.

KTM chief operating officer Mohd Zain Md Taha said some of the reasons why the country's largest railway company supports this development is because KTM Komuter and electric train services can also expand their connectivity, especially for the city area and areas that are not served by KTM Komuter.

"With the integrated concept, the mobility of the passengers will be increased along with the seamless movement of passengers throughout their destinations," he said.

As for Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak, he concurred with the views of Mohd Azharuddin and Mohd Zain.

"We will have four major interchanges for ECRL stations. We have three with KTM, one in Temerloh, Serendah Baru and Jalan Kastam respectively. Of course, the important one for the passengers will be in ITT Gombak where it will be connected with the LRT Kelana Jaya Line," he added.

Edited by Lam Jian Wyn

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