Beyond just the construction of Mass RailTransit (MRT) Line 2 which has started, we will also be having Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) starting construction in March 2017. According to a few media reports, the LRT3 project’s Phase 1 will be completed by August 2020 (this is only 3.5 years away) while the completion of the whole project within six to seven months thereafter. Prasarana Malaysia Bhd’s President and group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Azmi Abdul Aziz said, “We already completed some parts of the land acquisitions and would see some early phase of the project to start as early as March.” Need to know a bit more? Here’s the official website. In brief, this is a 37-km line linking 31 stations between Bandar Utama to Johan Setia in Klang. There was an earlier article about it here: LRT3: bandar Utama to Johan Setia Klang, updates
The most important thing I found out from all the articles is that Prasarana is also looking at the contribution from non-fare revenue. They believe it MUST be increased. They are thinking of doing this through property development and retail. For example joint-ventures with property developers and getting more retail outlets into its stations. It is looking at all the light rail transit (LRT) and monorail stations which will be transformed to be transit-oriented developments with more retail offerings such as convenience services and products, as well as other retail attractions. Currently, the contribution from this non-fare segment is 20 percent and it is looking to increase this to 30 percent for 2017. By 2020, the target is to increase this to 50 percent. (YES, definitely a tough one but realising this is very important. Hong Kong’s Mass Rail Transit (MTR) Corporation is the best example on how to run a successful public transportation company. It has been successful with its property ventures. Here’s one of the articles explaining why. MTR’s property development aspects
I am really positive with how Klang Valley would become when all these are completed. Connectivity means more economic activity. However, we should also be aware that it’s important that all these new public transportation infrastructures are operated profitably or with as little subsidy as possible. The reason is simple, if this is a public transportation, once fares are set, it is extremely hard to increase it. This is despite the fact that operations costs would rise every year. Any operator relying solely on tickets to cover all its operations costs would likely fail and need government subsidy continuously. Some of the projects that Prasarana is venturing into? A 40-storey high rise building above the Dang Wangi LRT station, residential and mixed developments at Jalan Klang Lama and Melawati bus depot. It has also brought in retail outlets, convenience stores and ATM’s into some of its stations. In fact it is also the operator of the Metro Southern Line in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, and technical collaborations with the Bangkok and Jakarta MRT. (Yes, Malaysia is ahead than these countries). Happy reading and perhaps even moving to Klang in a few years time? I think properties there are still more affordable than many popular hotspots within Klang Valley today.
written on 3 Feb 2017
Next suggested article: MRT and rental starts at the same time. Good.