MALAYSIA: Prime Minister Najib Razak officially launched the MY Rapid Transit project on July 8, granting approval for the Sungai Buloh - Kajang Line.

The 51 km metro line is the first of three totalling 156 km planned under the Greater Kuala Lumpur initiative which aims to put the country's economic and financial hub amongst the 'top 20 most liveable and economically vibrant cities' in the world.

MY Rapid Transit is being promoted and will be owned by government infrastructure body Prasarana, which said the project 'marks an important milestone in the nation's history'. The SBK Line is scheduled to open in 2017, serving a population of 1·2 million to increase mobility as 'an enabler of economic growth for the whole nation'.

Three months of public consultation led to adjustments to the proposed alignment to minimise the impact on property and the environment. The number of stations has been reduced from 35 to 31, of which eight will be underground. There will be four interchanges with KTM Komuter, Ampang LRT and Kelana Jaya LRT services. A fleet of 58 four-car trains is planned, and the end to end journey time will be 88 min.

Land transport authority SPAD expects at least 50% of Klang Valley commuters to switch to public transport, reducing traffic congestion and increasing productivity.

Prasarana has now begun land clearance, and is undertaking tendering with the aim of construction starting in November. Funding will come from state sources.

  • At the launch SPAD announced it is conducting feasibility studies for similar projects in Johor Bahru and Penang.