Joyride on the new Sungai Buloh – Kajang MRT Line

Finally, Malaysia’s first mass rapid transit (MRT) began its service on 16 December 2016.  Phase 1 of the MRT Sungai Buloh – Kajang (SBK) Line has twelve stations on its 21km elevated tracks from Sungai Buloh to Semantan.  Phase 2, covering the remaining nineteen stations from Semantan to Kajang is expected to be up and running in July 2017.  Upon completion, the entire 51km SBK Line will have a total of 31 stations.

Mutiara Damansara and Bandar Utama stations are linked to popular shopping malls while Surian while Surian, Phileo Damansara and Pusat Bandar Damansara stations are located near commercial areas.

From now till 16 January 2017, MRT Corp is giving free rides on the MRT as well as its feeder buses.  So I took the opportunity for a joyride to sample Klang Valley’s newest public transport option.

The journey began with a ride on the feeder bus as there is a bus stop near my residence.  The feeder buses operate from 5.30am to 11.30pm with a service frequency of 10 min – 15 min.  It was a short wait for the bus and another 20 minute ride in the new bus to the Surian MRT station.  The bus fare is a flat rate of RM1 per trip.  For more feeder bus information, please check out http://www.mymrt.com.my/en/sbk/travel-info.

MRT feeder bus stop sign

MRT feeder bus stop sign

One of the MRT feeder buses at Surian station

One of the MRT feeder buses at Surian station

Interior of the bus

Interior of the bus

Bus fare can be paid by cash or with Touch n Go card

Bus fare can be paid by cash or with Touch n Go card

The covered walkway to the station provides shelter from the sun and rain for commuters.  It also serves as a taxi stand and passenger drop off area.

Passengers drop off zone, Surian station

Passenger pick-up & drop off zone

Entrance to Mutiara Damansara station

Entrance to Mutiara Damansara station

The ticket vending machines are currently not in use.  The machines only accept cash and have stored value card top up facility.   For Phase 1, fares start at 80 sen to a maximum of RM4 for those paying cash and RM3.50 for Touch ‘n Go users.  Currently only cash and Touch ‘n Go cards are accepted.

Ticket vending machines which accept cash and have stored value card top up facility

Ticket vending machines which accept cash and have stored value card top up facility

Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line info and corresponding fare

Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line info and corresponding fare

The spanking new stations are gleaming with glossy tiled floors and giant fans for better ventilation.  Stairs, escalators and lifts are available to the get commuters to and from the platform.  The platform is vey spacious but has limited seating.

Barrier gates, Surian station

Barrier gates, Surian station

Spanking new station

Spanking new station

Spacious train platform

Spacious train platform

Safety barrier gate on the track

Safety barrier gate on the track

Digital train info boards are placed at station entrance and on the platform

Digital train info boards are placed at station entrance and on the platform

The train carriages are wider than the Kelana Jaya Line LRT train carriages.  It has more standing space to maximise the number of commuters per train, especially during peak travel hours.  The ride was very smooth and quiet compared to the LRT.  The large windows provide commuters great views of the passing landscape from high above ground level.

The comfortable train carriage

Interior of the train carriage

Train’s route digital screen display (it also indicates which side of the doors will open upon reaching a station)

Train’s route digital screen display (it also indicates which side of the doors will open upon reaching a station)

View from inside the train carriage

View from inside the train carriage

Currently, the only interchange station is at the terminus Sungai Buloh station where it interchanges with KTM Komuter Line.  As both stations are now housed in the same building, it’s a short and comfortable walk from the MRT station to the KTM Komuter station.

View of Sungai Buloh terminus station from the train

View of Sungai Buloh terminus station from the train

Commuters can get onto the KTM Komuter at Sungai Buloh station

Commuters can get onto the KTM Komuter at Sungai Buloh station

All the stations have toilet, surau and baby room facilities.  Park and ride facilities are available in five stations – Sungai Buloh, Kwasa Damansara, Kwasa Sentral, Bandar Utama and Pusat Bandar Damansara though the ones in Bandar Utama and Pusat Bandar Damansara are not completed yet.

Park n Ride, Kwasa Damansara station

Park n Ride, Kwasa Damansara station

Walkway to e-Curve & The Curve, Mutiara Damansara station

Walkway to e-Curve & The Curve, Mutiara Damansara station

The stations are still lacking in terms of retail outlets.  So far only a few stations have 7-11 opened while Watsons is only at the Pusat Bandar Damansara station.

7-11 is one of the retail outlets at the MRT stations

7-11 is one of the retail outlets at the MRT stations

Another area to improve is the directional signage in the stations.  More and larger sized signage should be made available and placed more strategically.  The signage directing to the exits should also be made clearer to assist commuters to the right exit.

Directional signage at Surian station

Directional signage at Surian station

Location map but it is not user friendly

Location map but it is not user friendly

Once Phase 2 is completed and open for service in July 2017, commuters in Klang Valley will have better access to an efficient public transport and connectivity to the existing rail transit networks.  Meantime, do take the opportunity to check out the new and efficient MRT while it is FREE! :).

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