The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), despite its huge cost, has increased the public transport modal share in Greater Kuala Lumpur (GKL).
But it needs to expand to cater to the mobility of eight million people living in the GKL region.
Both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan have realised there is a missing rail link between Putrajaya and Kajang but offer no holistic solution.
The proposed Kajang-Putrajaya direct-connection rail link leaves tens of thousands of residents unconnected in Dengkil, Sepang, Bandar Rinching, Semenyih and Kajang Selatan. The government cannot increase the GKL public transport modal share to 40% by ignoring tens of thousands of existing and future residents.
The MRT 2 SSP should be extended from Putrajaya to UiTM Dengkil, Pekan Dengkil, Bandar Seri Putra, KTM Bangi, Bandar Rinching, Semenyih, Kajang Selatan, Kajang Prima before merging with MRT Kajang (MRT 1).
The MRT extension will pass through some of the most rural and low-income communities in South Selangor. The new connectivity will allow them to seek better jobs in towns and cities.
Most civil servants working in Putrajaya reside in Bangi, Dengkil, Bandar Seri Putra and Semenyih. They rely heavily on private transport to commute to work due to the absence of a reliable public transport network.
With this extension, they could commute to Putrajaya Sentral before hopping on the NadiPutra transit buses. NadiPutra would see an increase in ridership and revenue by serving the last-mile connectivity.
The large-scale residential project in Semenyih and Bandar Seri Putra is set to increase the population along the proposed MRT extension. More Selangorians are now moving further away towards the south. Meanwhile, the working class is forced to fork out more for fuel and toll to travel to the city.
The MRT extension would relieve them of their financial misery.
The RM24 billion savings from MRT 2 and LRT 3 should be channelled into building the MRT extension lines. This would be cheaper than developing a whole new rail system.
The cost of new train sets and depots can be avoided by extending train sets from MRT 1 and 2. It makes very little sense to develop a rail network or monorail for Putrajaya with a population of 92,640 without exhausting its bus capacity.
Sharan Raj is vice-chief of PSM Youth.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.