Marking the occasion, student Ms Ng Zhi Wei got a pleasant surprise this morning when she was celebrated as the millionth passenger to have used the service, which is Malaysia’s first MRT service.
Ng was greeted by Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Ir. Zohari Sulaiman and Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd Commercial and Land Management Director Dato’ Haris Fadzilah Hassan as she entered the fare gates at the Sungai Buloh MRT Station.
Also present were Rapid Rail Chief Operating Officer MRT Encik Muhammad Isom Azis and MRT Corp Project Director SBK Line Mr Marcus Karakashian.
Ng was presented with an I-pad from Rapid Rail, the operator of the SBK Line, and other goodies including the special edition Touch ‘n Go travel card from MRT Corp, the owner of the line.
“I am very surprised; but very happy. I would like to thank Rapid KL and MRT for these gifts. I am very happy with the MRT services. Before, my mother would need to send and fetch me to go to college. Now, I just take the MRT from Sungai Buloh to Kota Damansara,” said Ng, who lives with her family in Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh and studying in Segi Collge.
Launched by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak on December 15, the first phase of the SBK Line commenced operations on the following day with a one-month free ride promotion on the train and the feeder bus services, which is operated by Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd. Users of the train and feeder bus services will start paying fares from 17 January 2017.
Phase 2 between Semantan and Kajang will be opened in July this year. Once fully opened, the MRT Sungai Buloh – Kajang will be connected to LRT Kelana Jaya Line, LRT Sri Petaling Line, LRT Ampang Line and the Monorail Line, which are also operated by Rapid Rail.
Commenting on the landmark achievement of one millionth ridership, Zohari expressed confidence that the growth in ridership will rise immensely when the line is fully opened; given the connectivity provided by LRT and Monorail lines as well as the KTM Komuter.
He also pledged that Rapid Rail will continue to further improve the standard of the MRT se services in line with the aspiration of its umbrella body, Prasarana Malaysia Berhad to provide world class public transport services to the people.
“This is a historical day for MRT. Securing a million passengers in less than a month reflects the overwhelming response from members of the public for the services. Rapid Rail would like to record its highest appreciation and thanks to those who have used the services and provided the feedback to us. We truly appreciate these feedbacks to help us in enhancing further the services of the MRT, which be a key component in our plans to increase the public transport modal share in Malaysia,” Zohari added.
In his comments, Haris said he was very happy that the public has taken to the MRT service so enthusiastically and agreed with Zohari that more people should be using the service once Phase Two opens.
“The final construction work for Phase Two, which involves the Underground and the Southern Elevated sections are moving ahead at full speed. Currently, progress is at 95%. We are confident that Phase Two will be able to open by the end of July this year as planned,” he said.
With one million passengers having used the system to date, the SBK Line’s average daily ridership was 40,000 passengers.
The trains see the most number of passengers during the weekends as members of the public try out the system in large numbers. The highest ridership in a single day was recorded on Christmas Day with a ridership of 67,000 passengers on December 25.
The busiest stations were Mutiara Damansara, Sungai Buloh, Bandar Utama, Kwasa Sentral and Semantan.