MRT not a gamechanger yet, says DAP lawmaker

Ong-Kian-MingPETALING JAYA: DAP’s Ong Kian Ming says that while the MRT is not a gamechanger as proclaimed by some quarters, it is still a boon for commuters in the Klang Valley.

The Serdang MP admits that with the new MRT Sungei Buloh-Kajang system in place, the area of coverage in the Klang Valley has increased.

“Some people have commented that MRT is a ‘gamechanger’. I don’t quite agree, at least for now.

“I see the MRT as being part of the greater rail network. However, the MRT trains are a much more pleasant experience compared with the LRT.

“The stations are larger and better designed, there are more Park & Ride facilities available and the trains are wider,” Ong said.

He said this after relating his personal experience of taking the train on Saturday.

“I parked at the Kajang MRT and took the train to Muzium Negara and then to Pasar Seni before going back to Kajang.

“I have also seen many of the MRT feeder buses going to previously unserved housing areas in my parliamentary constituency to connect passengers to the Cheras Batu 11, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Taman Connaught and Bukit Dukung MRT stations, just to name a few,” Ong said

He added that it could be more appropriate to call the MRT a gamechanger only after Line 2 and Line 3 has been built and opened.

“For now, I will do my part in encouraging the voters in my constituency to use public transportation especially the MRT.”

He also proposed for MRT commuters to be all eyes and evaluate the challenge that he says MRT must face up to in servicing the public.

“After the initial fanfare and trains packed with ministers, MRT has to now ensure accessibility, affordability and integration,” Ong said.

He believes that MRT has done a decent job in its feeder bus network that connects nearby housing areas to its stations.

“The bus routes can be downloaded from the MRT website although as far as I know, the routes and the bus schedules have not been installed at the bus stops yet,” he said, calling for an MRT app which will show these bus routes.

“In terms of affordability, dollar for dollar, our LRT and MRT fares are still more expensive than Singapore especially since Singapore practices integrated fares where a journey from home to work involving a bus trip and an MRT trip counts as one trip whereas in Malaysia, one has to pay separately for a bus trip, an LRT trip and an MRT trip.”