Public transport in Kuala Lumpur

Public transport in Kuala Lumpur

Public transport in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley covers a variety of transport modes such as bus, rail and taxi.

Unlike in most other major Asian cities, utilization rates are low. Currently, only 16 percent of the population uses public transportation. [cite news | first =| last =| author =| coauthors =| title = Prasarana to buy trains worth RM1.2bil| url =
format = | work = | publisher = The Star| pages = | page = | date = October 13, 2006| accessdate = 2006-10-22
] Commuters cite poor quality of service as the main reason for the low usage. Other reasons are because 80% of Kuala Lumpur residents do not originate from Kuala Lumpur and hence drive their own private vehicles when moving into Kuala Lumpur. Recently, however, ridership of the public transport system has increased due to the hike in petrol prices. The government is planning to extend the system to accomadate this increase.

History of public transport in Kuala Lumpur

In the 19th century and early 20th century, most Kuala Lumpur citizens and tin miners used rickshaws, elephants, sampans and bull- or horse-drawn carriages as basic public transportation.

From the 1960s to the 1990s, the Mini-Bus Service or "Bus Mini" was a popular public transportation in Kuala Lumpur.

Transport modes

*Bus transport
**RapidKL Bus
**Len Ngiap
**Len Seng
**Mega Coach
**Selangor Omnibus
**SJ Bus
**Sri Indah/RM Transport
**Transnasional/Kelang Banting
**KL Hop On Hop Off Bus

*Rail transport, including
**RapidKL Rail
**KTM Komuter
**Express Rail Link (ERL)
*Taxi transport
*Other intercity services

Local transportation


Metered taxis can be hailed throughout the city. However, traffic jams, especially during rush hour are fairly common in KL and it might be difficult to get a taxi during rush hour. There have been many incidents of taxi drivers charging extravagant fares, especially among tourists, therefore, tourists are advised to travel with taxis who charge fare according to meters, or insist on using the meter.


There are several bus operators operating in Kuala Lumpur, linking the city centre with the suburbs of the Klang Valley. The main operator is the government-owned Rapid KL, which stands for "Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd". Rapid KL took over the operations of the two main bus operators, Intrakota and Cityliner.

Other operators include Metrobus, Selangor Omnibus, Len Seng, Transnasional/Kenderaan Klang-Banting, Triton, Permata Kiara and others.


Kuala Lumpur's rail-based transit system consists of two Light Rail Transit lines (rapid transit), one monorail line, two commuter rail systems consisting four lines, and an airport rail link.
* Light Rail Transit lines operated by RapidKL Rail:
* The sole monorail line known as the KL-RTS-KML.
* commuter rail lines:
**KL-RTS-SPL, KTM Komuter
**KL-RTS-RSL, KTM Komuter
**KL-RTS-RKL, KTM Komuter
**KL-RTS-KTL, commuter rail service with three additional stops to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, operated by Express Rail Link (ERL)
*KL-RTS-KEL, non-stop service to the airport, operated by Express Rail Link (ERL)

Different companies operate the various systems and developed them separately at different times. As a result, many of the lines do not integrate well, making transferring from system to system inconvenient for passengers. Moving from one system to another often require a lot of walking, stair-climbing, escalator-use and even crossing busy roads. For example, the KL-RTS-KML's "KL Sentral" station is a 140 m walk away through a busy bazaar and a busy road.

There is also no common ticket for all systems, forcing commuters on continuing journeys to buy new tickets when transferring. However, the LRT, monorail, RAPID KL BUS and KTM Commuter now accept the Touch 'n Go stored value farecard, easing the hassle.

Also, RapidKL Rail, the operator of the three LRT lines as well as RapidKL Bus (which cover about 70% of the Klang Valley's bus network), has come up with a daily bus ticket which cost as low as RM1, and integrated transit daily pass which can be used on both its rail and bus services that costs RM7.

The monorail is also planning to build a few more stations and tracks which is the Sungai Buloh Line (continued after Titiwangsa). New extension for KL-RTS-KEL & KL-RTS-APL & new line KL-RTS-KCL.

Transit hubs

Intercity travel

For intercity travel, the main transit hubs in Kuala Lumpur are:

*Puduraya — a major intercity bus terminal located in the city centre. A new bus terminal, Plaza Rakyat is planned to replace neighbouring Puduraya and the construction is undergoing. There is an LRT station nearby that connects the building.
*Putra Bus Terminal — serving buses heading to the East Coast destinations. Nearby rail connections are at PWTC LRT and Putra Komuter.
*Pasar Rakyat — a new bus terminal to take away some of Puduraya's load.
*KL Sentral — Kuala Lumpur's main railway station.
*Duta Bus Terminal — for buses operated by Transnasional and Airport Coach (bus services to KLIA)

Local rail transport

*KL Sentral — a modern multi-modal transport hub served by KTM Komuter, LRT, KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit as well as local buses and those to KLIA
*Masjid Jamek — an LRT interchange between Kelana Jaya line and Ampang line.
*Bandar Tasik Selatan station — a train interchange between the Ampang Line, KTM Komuter service and ERL Transit.

Local bus terminals

KL Sentral, Titiwangsa, KLCC, Maluri, and Medan Pasar form Rapid KL's bus interchanges in the city. Meanwhile, private bus operators are mostly based at the Jalan Tan Cheng Lock area which includes Pasaramakota, Central Market, Bangkok Bank, Medan Pasar, Kotaraya, Sinar Kota and Puduraya.

There are also several suburban bus hubs that serve as terminals and interchanges.

Legacy terminals

Traditionally, most bus services, whether local or intercity used to originate from the city centre, especially in the areas around Jalan Cheng Lock. Recently, transport operators have decided to unilaterally move operations elsewhere. For example, executive bus operators, especially those headed for Singapore, have chosen to depart from other less congested locations like the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, KL Sentral, Bangsar and Petaling Jaya. Rapid KL itself has shifted operations to its city hubs. The government meanwhile has been half-heartedly encouraging buses to use other newer terminals like Pasarakyat and Duta Bus Terminal.

The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station ceased to serve intercity trains in 2001 when operations shifted to neighbouring KL Sentral. Many other operations such as KTM Komuter services and postal services by Pos Malaysia are however still maintained.


The public transport system is regulated by various authorities, including the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) of the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development, the Ministry of Transport and local governments such as the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur and the other city and municipal councils.

There is no single body that regulates the whole sector.

The Integration and Restructuring of the Public Transport System in the Klang Valley (Inspak) steering committee, established in July 2003, is tasked with encouraging greater use of public transportation to reduce traffic congestion and initiate the establishment of the Klang Valley Urban Transport Authority as the regulatory authority for public transportation in the Klang Valley. Little has been said about the establishment of this authority ever since.

Rapid KL was established in 2004 by the Ministry of Finance to provide an integrated public transport system in the Klang Valley incorporating rail and bus services as part of Inspak. It holds quasi-regulatory powers in the sense that unlike other bus operators, it has much greater freedom to set its own routes. Furthermore, its fare structure differs from that set by the CVLB.

By 2007, passengers have access to Touch 'n Go TnG ticketing system on RapidKL systems, KL Monorail, and KTM Komuter. [ [ Rapid KL Launches Integrated Smart Card Ticketing System] ]

Future expansion and extensions

LRT line extension

On 29 August 2006, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak announced an RM10 billion plan to expand Kuala Lumpur's public transport network. The plan included extending the existing Kelana Jaya Line from Kelana Jaya to USJ and the Ampang Line from Sri Petaling to Puchong and USJ. The plan also will see a new light rail transit line being constructed between Kota Damansara to the northwest of Kuala Lumpur and Cheras which lies to the southeast of Kuala Lumpur. No details of the alignment of the extensions nor the locations of new stations were revealed. [cite web |url= |title=Rail travel expansion |accessdate=2007-06-22 |author=Mergawati Zulfakar |date=30 August 2006 |publisher="The Star"]

The Star, a local newspaper reported a new 40 km route from Cheras to Kota Damansara which traverse the city center through Bangsar, KL Sentral, Pasar Seni and Masjid Jamek stations. The new line is expected to be ready by 2012, however, as of July 2008, no construction has started. [cite news| title= Kota Damansara-Cheras rail line right on track| url=| publisher=The Star| author= Leong Shen-Li| accessdate=2008-07-05| date=2008-06-15]

entul-Batu Caves KTM Komuter expansion

A km to mi|7.2|abbr=yes, four-station extension from the Sentul station to Batu Caves has been approved. The project - which will cost RM515 million - will include electrification, double-tracking and refitting the existing old track, signalling, communications, as well as construction of new stations at Sentul, Batu Cantonment, Batu Village, Taman Wahyu and Batu Caves. Site possession was given to contractor YTL Corporation Berhad on November 17, 2006, and the project is to be completed in 30 months' time in May 2009. The Sentul station is part of the Sentul Raya masterplan development under YTL. [cite web|title=Landasan Berkembar Elektrik Sentul-Batu Caves (Sentul-Batu Caves double tracking and electrification) |url= |date= |accessdate= 2007-06-14 |format=html]


ee also

*Transport in Malaysia
*Transportation in Kuala Lumpur
*Rapid KL buses
*KTM Komuter

External links

* [ iMetro] - Interactive transport guide of Kuala Lumpur transport system
* [ Journey Planner] - Kuala Lumpur Rail Transit Journey Planner

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