LRT presents new year gift for commuters

COMFORTABLE: The new four-car train calling at Bangsar Station, Kuala Lumpur. The new coaches can carry 800 passengers, twice the number of the existing two-car trains. – Bernama photo

PETALING JAYA: Commuters yesterday received a New Year gift from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) which rolled out its new four-car trains for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system.

The new coaches can carry 800 passengers, twice the number of the existing twocar trains.

“This is our New Year gift for the public.They can travel in more comfort now,” said Prasarana group managing director Datuk Idrose Mohamed during a ride for journalists on the new coaches from Kelana Jaya to Bangsar.

The four-car trains will be used during peak hours, in the morning and evening, and the two-car trains during the off-peak periods.

Housewife Teo Joo Pheng was the first to board the train at the Kelana Jaya station at 10.

30am today and was taken aback by the media attention when Idrose shook her hand.

The new train has wheel chair – friendly features and door alarm lights to help the hearingimpaired.

“I want to go to Pasar Seni but I’m afraid of the traffic jam on the road and it is hard to find a parking space.

Normally I’d drive, but today I decided to board the LRT as it is more convenient and comfortable now,” Teo, 51, said.

Idrose said the introduction of the new trains was speeded up, with a prompting by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who took a ride on the LRT on April 25 and asked for an urgent improvement in public transportation.

“We have ordered 35 sets of the four-car train and three sets went into operation today.Some have not arrived yet while some are still being tested,” he said.

“The two-car train carries about 400 people, so with the four-car train, we should be actually doubling the capacity to about 800 people. In peak or rush hours, we can carry a maximum of 950 people,” he said.

The improvement is in line with the government’s “People First, Performance Now” approach and National Key Result Area (NKRA) target of increasing public transportation usage to 25 per cent in the Klang Valley.

Prasarana is the operator of the public transportation network that includes the Ampang and Kelana Jaya LRT lines, KL monorail and bus service in the Klang Valley.

The four-car trains are the latest version of the Bombardier advanced rapid transit driverless train designed in Canada, 65 per cent of which is assembled in Mexico and 35 per cent in Malaysia.

Idrose said the remaining sets would be delivered in stages by the local partner, Bombardier-Hartasuma, until 2012.

“We are targeting April 2011. We’ll have 70 sets, that is 35 sets of the current twoset trains which will be refurbished and 35 sets of four-car trains,” he added. – Bernama

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