KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19: Malaysia is to start work on a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in Kuala Lumpur next July, premier Najib Razak announced Saturday, in an bid to ease congestion on the city’s transport network.
The 36 billion ringgit (11.5 billion dollar) project, part of the government’s economic transformation plan, will link the city’s disparate commuter lines, Najib said.
The new line from the city’s northwestern perimeter to the southeast will pass through many densely populated suburbs that are not served by the present innercity light rail transit systems.
Much of the city’s workforce catchment area is currently not served by the rail network, forcing commuters to take to the city’s congested roads, creating daily gridlock.
“The Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT line will serve a catchment area of about 1.2 million people,” Najib said in a statement.
The line will take six years to complete, Najib said, and is expected to transport more than 400,000 passengers every day, as well as creating 130,000 jobs during its construction.
With the introduction of the MRT, 50 percent of transport users will be using rail as their main public transport, Najib said, reducing congestion and making travel easier.
In September, Najib unveiled an initiative to transform the economy over the next decade, with the aim of creating 3.3 million jobs and propelling the country towards developed-nation status.