SEPANG: The passenger capacity of KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit will increase by 50 per cent with the addition of six trains tomorrow.
After unveiling the trains at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) would also increase the frequency of KLIA Transit from tomorrow onwards, to be at par with KLIA Ekspres.
“With a total of 18 trains, we are hopeful that we can offer better service and comfort to passengers, win their trust and increase ridership,” he said.
“ERL has extended its services to some 88 million passengers and reduce traffic congestion.”
The trains were manufactured by CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Company Ltd. ERL bought them in 2014 to accommodate strong passenger demand and boost comfort.
ERL is targeting a five per cent increase in daily ridership this year from 23,900 last year.
“Since the fare hike in 2016, ridership has fallen by 19 per cent.
“Passenger numbers have risen slightly. We hope to increase it further this year,” said Liow.
He said he hoped the government would provide improved connectivity for the people by boosting services and introducing new projects such as High Speed Rail (HS)s.
“Besides connecting Singapore and Malaysia through HSR, which is expected to be completed in 2026, we are now in discussions with our Thailand counterparts to expand HSR to Bangkok and eventually to China.
“The Transport Ministries of both countries have established a committee to discuss the initiative. The discussion is currently in the initial stages.”
In conjunction with the launch of the six trains today, Liow also announced that ERL would be offering free train rides on KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit to families with children under 12 this weekend.
On a separate matter, Liow said the recent delays in Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd’s (KTMB) train services was due to the closure of one of its tracks.
“In an effort to provide efficient train services to the people, the government has allocated RM14 billion to upgrade KTMB’s services
“We have closed one of the train tracks for upgrading and maintenance works to be carried out.
“I hope the people will understand and bear with us as we promise the services will be much better after the upgrade is completed.”