PETALING JAYA: The launch of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), which begins operating from 6am tomorrow, marks a historic moment for the country and is set to be a game-changer for all future plans. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, in launching the service, said it is among the most modern of its kind in the world and is set to put Malaysia a step closer to being a first class country. "Today is not only a special day for us, but is much more than that, because the rakyat, in the Klang Valley specifically, will be able to enjoy this service, among the most modern in the world. "And mind you, no country can be regarded as a developed nation without a having a modern and efficient public transportation system," he said during the launch, at the Kwasa Damansara MRT station, here, today. The launch today marks the start of the Phase One of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (MRT SBK) Line, which covers 12 stations and spans 23km from Sungai Buloh to Semantan. Najib noted that the project has set a benchmark as it was not only completed on time, but well below its budget of RM23 billion. "In the five years since this project started, not once did it deviate from its projected timeframe. Other projects like the building of schools and district hospitals have always been over its schedule, but not this mega project. "It also only costs RM21 billion. As a finance minister, I am very happy about this," he said. Najib also announced that commuters riding the MRT will be able to commute the service for free for a month beginning tomorrow. He said the offer includes the some 120 feeder buses deployed to service the 12 stations, and that fares would only be collected beginning Jan 17. "As a gift to all Malaysians heading into this new year, and for them to try out this service, I am announcing that Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd (the train operator) will provide free MRT service to all commuters for a month starting today (Friday)," he said. Among others present for the launch were Nepal Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa. The first phase which commences tomorrow will operate through 12 stations namely Sungai Buloh, Kampung Selamat, Kwasa Damansara, Kwasa Sentral, Kota Damansara, Surian, Mutiara Damansara, Bandar Utama, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Phileo Damansara, Pusat Bandar Damansara and Semantan. Phase Two of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (running 28km along 19 stations from Semantan to Kajang), meanwhile, is scheduled for operations beginning July 2017. Each MRT train serving the SBK line will be made up of four cars and can accommodate up to 1,200 passengers per trip, with daily ridership estimated to be about 400,000 when Phase Two is completed. Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd has announced that the fare will start from as low as RM1 for a single stop and topping out at RM5.50 based on the cashless fare structure for the full distance between Sungai Buloh and Kajang (31 stations). The cash fare structure will begin at RM1.10 with the maximum being RM6.40. For Phase One from Sungai Buloh to Semantan, meanwhile, commuters will be charged RM3.40 for the full 12 stations on the cashless structure and RM3.90 for cash. The public can obtain full details on the MRT fare structure through Rapid KL's official website at www.myrapid.com.my, as well as all MRT stations.