PUTRAJAYA: Beginning April 1, all Malaysians using the KTM Komuter service will enjoy a 20% discount on the fares, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook announced today.

The Cabinet, at its meeting today, gave the approval to a proposal by the ministry to help reduce the cost of living of Malaysian commuter users and increase ridership as well, he said, adding that the initiative would be reviewed annually.

Loke said the 20% discount was expected to reduce revenue for Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) by RM43 million annually and this would be met by the Railway Assets Corporation (RAC).

The discount would benefit some 94,000 commuters daily on five routes, namely Padang Rengas-Butterworth; Butterworth-Padang Besar; Port Klang-Tanjung Malim; Seremban-Batu Caves and Sungai Gadut-Tampin.

It is learned that foreigners would not enjoy the discount and that a mechanism was being worked out on the charging of the different fares.

“Malaysian citizens who use the cashless transaction system at commuter stations, and are already enjoying a 20% discount, will get another 20%discount, meaning they get a discount of 40%,“ he told a press conference at the ministry here.

The initiative would certainly benefit those who use the KTM Komuter on a daily basis, he said, adding that the government came up with the initiative because the cost of transportation was the third highest factor contributing to the cost of living.

Loke said the discount initiative was expected to increase the number of KTM Komuter users to between 120,000 and 130,000 passengers.

“The purpose of this discount is also to boost ridership. Of late, the number of KTM Komuter users has dropped due to railway upgrading projects that have jeopardised the frequency of the trains.

“If the passengers had to wait for 20 minutes previously, now they have to wait for 40 minutes. Many people complain about the train delays,“ he said.

On another matter, Loke said the ministry planned to increase the feeder bus services between the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations and residential areas.

He said he was aware of the complaints from residents in Semenyih, Selangor, about the MRT feeder bus services and the ministry had plans to increase the services in the area. — Bernama