LRT and monorail fare hike a possibility by third-quarter of the year

KUALA LUMPUR: A fare hike for LRT and monorail services is a possibility by third-quarter of the year as Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will submit a paper to the Cabinet next month on the proposal.

Government sources told theSun that SPAD officials have been preparing a proposal paper for the Cabinet since last week, detailing the fare review justification, mainly the increase of operating cost by more than 28 times since 1996.

"Prasarana Malaysia Berhad as the asset owner and operator for LRT and monorail through Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd has been exposed to increased electricity tariff by Tenaga Nasional Berhad, at least three times in the last seven years. There is also the huge cost of procuring new rolling stock in the last 36 months for the existing Ampang and Kelana Jaya lines and together with the extension lines," the source said.

He said Prasarana will spend RM960 million to replace the existing coaches with 50 new light rail vehicles and undertake upgrading for new technology in the next four years.

Another government source who wished to remain anonymous said the proposal paper will also highlight the consequences of the fare hike on Klang Valley commuters as well as economic deficits for the government should the current fare structure remain.

The last fare revision for rail services under Prasarana was last conducted in 2002.

When contacted by theSun, SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar confirmed that the commission has received a formal request from Prasarana for a new fare structure.

"We are studying the details and we will present it to the Cabinet next month. Anything that concerns the people especially on fares, SPAD has been instructed not to make any decision about it and to let the Cabinet decide," he said.