MRT3 project to start earlier: Liow

KUALA LUMPUR: The Mass Rapid Transit Third Line (MRT3) project is currently at the early discussion stage with the stakeholders, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the ministry was of the view that a world-class people's infrastructure project like MRT3 must be sped up despite the completion of MRT2 in 2024 followed by the commencement of MRT3 in 2027.

"Looking at the benefits derived from previous projects like the Light Rapid Transit (LRT), KTM Komuter, KL Monorail, and the MRT1 and MRT2 lines we feel it is good that we implement the MRT3 project before the stipulated time.

"This is because the project takes five years to complete. It is 2017, so we can already start planning from now," he told reporters after opening the "Sustainable Urban Transport Summit 2017" here today.

The first phase of the MRT project is the 21km Sungai Buloh-Semantan line, which became operational on Dec 16, last year.

The operation of the second phase of the MRT from Semantan to Kajang launched on July 17, completes the 51km Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line which passes through 31 stations, including seven located underground.

The SBK MRT line is integrated with the LRT, Monorail, and KTM Komuter services.

The MRT3 route will go through high-density areas in Greater KL and will connect more existing stations to complete the public transportation network in the federal capital.

Liow said he had discussed with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak on the matter and the latter was in concert with the proposal to speed up the MRT3 project before the stipulated date.

"Regardless, we need to take into account the opinions of other parties including the Economic Planning Unit, Public Land Transport Commission and the Prime Minister's Department. I am confident the MRT projects (1,2, and 3) are capable of catering to the public's needs," he said.

Earlier, in his opening speech, Liow said: "Sustainable urban transportation is a national agenda for a better community and a crucial aspect of a nation's development.

"With sound and careful planning of the transportation network, we can create more corridor-oriented townships, with more mass transit links, thus reducing the travel distances from one location to another and the distances to the stations," he said. — Bernama