Integrated Stations for Convenience and Seamless Travel
Not too long ago, whenever thunderstorms and heavy rain struck Kuala Lumpur in the evenings, one can hear the long sighs of frustration among many commuters.
These are the people who needed to change trains for their journey and the thought of getting wet from the rain sputters; having the need to get out of the interchange stations to continue their journey, gives them a deep dreaded feeling.
If one were at Hang Tuah station – either travelling on the Ampang LRT Line or on the elevated track of the KL Monorail, he or she would need to walk out of the station, make a short walk on the sidewalk and take the stairs – to take the other train in continuing with the journey. It will be the same scenario at Titiwangsa LRT and Monorail stations – you would need to walk out.
Masjid Jamek LRT station would be the most challenging, though.
One would need to cross the busy Jalan Tun Perak to continue from the Ampang LRT Line to the Kelana Jaya LRT Line and vice versa. Imagine if there is heavy rain, one inevitably would be stuck at the station and wait for the rain to stop.
Above all that, there was a need to get different tickets when boarding Ampang LRT Line and Kelana Jaya LRT Line, previously known as STAR and PUTRA respectively, and the KL Monorail.
“Undoubtedly, there were plenty of hassle and inconvenience. Hence, the idea of station integration and the introduction of the new Automated Fare Collection System, or AFC,” says Datuk Shahril Mokhtar, the Group Managing Director of Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana).
Established in 2002 and mandated by the Government to develop the nation’s public transport services; and to provide transport convenience to the people, Prasarana is the holding company and asset owner for RapidKL and KL StarRail Sdn Bhd, which operates the country’s LRT and Monorail services. Apart from the LRT, RapidKL also operates a comprehensive public bus services; covering Klang Valley and Selangor.
Shahril said: “Under the AFC, we did not only introduce a single ticketing system; but more importantly provided the convenience for changing lines under the same roof.
“There’s no more need to go out of our integrated systems; but merely walking in air-conditioned hall and walkways to change trains and continue your journey. We called it seamless travelling within our rail network,” he added.
While Masjid Jamek station is the integrated station for the two LRT lines, Hang Tuah and Titiwangsa are integrated stations for Ampang LRT line and the KL Monorail.
Along with the integration exercise, various facilities were installed including escalators and lifts, new ticketing gates and new Ticket Vending Machines.
At Titiwangsa station, a new walkway was installed with glass railings to separate the entrance and exit lanes to allow passenger circulation. At Hang Tuah Station, a new Customer Services Office was constructed to provide better service for the customers.
Masjid Jamek station also pride itself with a new Customer Services Office, which is located at a new large hallway where two rows of new ticketing gates were erected. It also had an underground tunnel, running under Jalan Tun Perak to facilitate smooth passenger circulation regardless of the weather.
With the new AFC system, the old Stored Value Ticket (SVT) was also rebranded as MyRapid Card, which like the old SVT, allow commuters to conveniently add value in the cards at the Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs). Alternatively, they can purchase single journey tokens at the TVMs.
Launched in July last year, the AFC was implemented in stages with the entire LRT and monorail networks fully integrated under the programme from March 1. The first phase of integration involving the Ampang and Kelana Jaya LRT Lines was undertaken in November.
“The next phase of the AFC integration will be to cover RapidKL bus network. Preparatory works have already started and barring any unforeseen circumstances, we should be to do this by early next year,” Shahril added.
Come rain and thunderstorm, we still hear the sighs of frustrations among city residents. But, it would not be from the train commuters. Instead, it would be from those stuck in traffic jams; choosing to age in their cars and not to enjoy the perks of seamless rail travelling and transport convenience.
For details, contact Prasarana Media Affairs Manager Azhar Ghazali at 019-3837865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.