KUALA LUMPUR: Pupils in school uniforms aged up to 12 and people with disabilities (PWDs) will be able to enjoy free Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) train rides from Feb 15.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke (pix) said this initiative could be implemented through savings of RM15 million a year following the suspension of the KTM commuter service from Subang Skypark to KL Sentral effective from the same date.
He said the free ride offer was for the northern sector commuter train services and Klang Valley as well as the inter-city services for the Gemas-Tumpat route.
According to him, this will also benefit 150 primary school pupils using the train services from Dabong to Kuala Geris in Kelantan daily, with a fare of RM1 per trip.
“Further discussions will be carried out to expand the free train ride for secondary school students after this, depending on financial ability,” he told reporters after distributing 2023 Chinese New Year celebration packs to passengers of the north-bound electric train services (ETS) and the commuter in KL Sentral today.
Loke said the Subang Skypark-KL Sentral commuter train services, which began in 2018 and cost RM15 million a year, had received less than encouraging response.
He said studies and collection of data on the services, which involved 32 trips per day, found that an average of between 80 and 100 passengers boarded the train daily.
“Sometimes, the train is empty. There is no demand yet, perhaps after the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah di Subang Airport is upgraded there may be a higher demand,” he said.
Loke said the four trains used on the route would be redeployed, with two sent to the north to increase the number of trips and two more for the Klang Valley commuter line.
He also thanked the KTMB management for taking the initiative to add more ETS trips in conjunction with the 2023 Chinese New Year celebrations.
Meanwhile, KTMB said in a statement today 99 per cent of the 99,900 ETS tickets for trips from Jan 18-27 had been sold as of 8 am today. - Bernama