State exco Ng says fresh master plan to complete Selangor’s transportation ecosystem and reduce personal vehicles on the road
by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE Selangor state government is hoping that Putrajaya will agree to incorporate the state’s Public Transportation Master Plan 2035, which was submitted four years ago, into the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
Local government, public transport and new village development executive councillor (exco) Ng Sze Han (picture) said the fresh master plan is expected to complete the state’s transportation ecosystem and reduce personal vehicles on the road.
The grand design comprises 446km of 12 Fixed track public transport corridors, of which most are railways accounting for 316km of new and extensions of existing rail tracks surrounding urban areas.
Ng said the plan, involving some RM64 billion worth of investment, is the key to improve the lives and livelihood of its six million residents.
“This master plan consists of 12 corridors. It is Selangor’s initiative to achieve a sustainable transport plan focused on improving its transportation system.
“In view of the scale of this master plan, the implementation must be supported and approved by the federal government,” Ng told The Malaysian Reserve.
He noted that RM64 billion is a huge allocation, more than one fifth of the total allocation in the 11MP. But Ng stressed that the implementation of the master plan is significant to the state’s growth, which now contributes more than 24% to the national GDP annually.
He said although several rail lines are being constructed — including Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT3), the second Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 (MRT2) and KTM Komuter — Selangor’s public transport system is still not truly connecting its citizens, from the first mile to the last mile destinations.
As such, the master plan proposed new lines for LRT and MRT circles, while a few spur lines on top of the existing line are to ensure better efficiency and ridership.
New circles are MRT Circle Line 1 around Kuala Lumpur, Ampang and Petaling Jaya, LRT Circle Line 2 North (Rawang-Shah Alam), LRT Circle Line South (Shah Alam-Putrajaya) and LRT Circle Line 3 (Johan Setia-Klang-Nilai).
Besides rail routes, the master plan also proposed the extension of the bus rapid transit routes in Subang Jaya and Petaling Jaya (PJ), which would subsequently need more buses.
“We take PJ as an example. The entire PJ needs 106 bus routes and there are only 62 so far. We need another 44 routes as the ideal situation is four buses per route.
“So, in PJ alone, we need additional 174 buses for the people’s convenience,” Ng said. In the master plan, Selangor also proposed two different KTM freight lines — one at the northern part of the state from Serendah to Klang, while the other from Klang to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Sepang) to Senawang.
Ng, who is also in charge of the local government portfolio, said if there is no improvement in the transportation system, it would be hard for the state to cater to the continuous growth of its population.
Half of Selangor’s six million residents are in the labour market. According to statistics, some 8.4 million people are expected to reside in Selangor by 2040, while there are now 1.5 million people living in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, many of which are working in Selangor.
In 2015, the World Bank (Malaysia Economic Monitor) — Transforming Urban Transport reported that working class Malaysians are estimated to waste about one million hours annually stuck in traffic.
The bank said this translates to a total of RM20 billion annually — attributed to fuel waste, carbon emission and hours that can be used to do work in the office.
“So, can we imagine if the public transport system is really efficient?
“Not only workers, but businesses, from small entrepreneurs to big conglomerates, can benefit as every single person will be more productive, hence increasing competitiveness and standard of living.
“That is why we need to cut this congestion waste,” Ng said.
As of now, he said the public transport ridership rate in Selangor is slightly above 20%, higher than the current rate reported at the national level.
Through the master plan, Selangor also aims to have 60% of its population using public transport, higher than what was set at the national level of only 40% within the next decade.
Ng also said Selangor is ready to lead some projects, upon green light from the federal level. Among others, he said, is the much anticipated development of the Serendah-Port Klang rail bypass, estimated to be worth some RM5 billion.
The specialised project for cargo freight, if materialised, will improve the efficiency of freight movement from Serendah to Port Klang, which currently shares the same line with passenger trains through busy stations in the city centre.
“It is also a lower cost compared to having the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) through Bentong. Additionally, we will have two routes that can have cargo connectivity, from the east (ECRL) and from the northern part (Serendah Bypass),” Ng added.
The 12MP is expected to be tabled anytime when the Parliament reconvenes.