Travellers to Kuala Lumpur will appreciate to latest addition to the public transport lineup with the full opening of the first of three MRT lines. The final section of the MRT to Kajang opened on 17th July 2017 and locals and visitors alike have been checking it out. The fact that the fares will all be half price until the end of August is a good incentive. A journey across all 35 stations between Sungei Buloh and Kajang will cost you MYR 6.40, full price, or MYR 3.40 until 31st August 2017.
This writer and some friends decided to take a trip on the new service and what better purpose than ‘go for lunch’! Kajang is famous for its Satay (sate) restaurants, both halal and non-halal.
MRT to Kajang
There are a number of interchange Stations along the route. Both the terminal stations, Sungei Buloh and Kajang are linked with their KTM Railway counterparts. Muzium Negara Station has a walkway link to KL Sentral, where you can change to LRT (Kelana Jaya line), Monorail or KTM lines. The Merdeka Station links to the Ampang and Sri Petaling LRT lines and you can change to the Ampang LRT at Maluri. There is also a connection to the Monorail at Bukit Bintang.
It is not clear how well integrated all these stations are. However, the Pasar Seni Station, where we started our journey, has seamless integration, whereby you can use the same ticket as you change between MRT and LRT (Kelana Jaya line).
- The computer controlled trains are smooth and quiet.
- Seats are arranged along the sides of the carriages, with standing space in the middle.
- The city section of the line is underground, but outside this, the elevated tracks and large windows give a good view of the passing scenery.
- Kids of all ages enjoy ‘driving the train’, from the large front window.
- Seats are hard (no padding) but comfortable enough.
- Wheelchair access is good, with space allocated within the carriages.
- There are also designated seats for seniors, disabled and pregnant passengers.
- All stations are well equipped with safety doors, and well laid out, non slip floors.
- Those passengers with disabilities or using wheelchairs have good access to ramps and lifts. Stairs and escalators are also provided at all entry/exit points.
- Toilets are available, though you do need to look carefully to find the signs.
- Stations outside the underground section all connect with MRT RapidKL feeder buses.
- Many of the stations have Park & Ride facilities. Some of these have discounted rates but to get the discount, the same card must be used for both Park entry/exit and MRT ride.
Satay for Lunch
We were recommended to a non-halal stall in the ‘Restoran Twenty Twenty Food Paradise’ in Jln Bukit, but that would mean a long walk or a taxi ride. So we went back to the Stadium Kajang Station and opted for Restoran Sate Kajang Hj Samuri, just over the road. It would be a good advertising move to make this obvious as many of our fellow travellers also had to backtrack. Like us, they didn’t realise that there is little to see, do or eat near the main station. There is an interesting Hindu temple over the road, but there is no way of crossing safely.
Access to the Stadium station is not easy – there are no pedestrian crossings or footpaths close to the station. An unbroken fence surrounds the station on the outside edge of the footpath by the roadside. Escalators and a lift are well positioned underneath, but unless you drive there, it appears there is no easy pedestrian access.
The satay itself was definitely worth the trip. We paid just under MYR 80 for satay (30 sticks of chicken, 20 mutton), nasi impit, two milk tea and two ice kacang. The satay was juicy and meaty, no fat or skin, though the mutton was rather tough. The ice kacang had a good balance of beans, crushed peanuts and syrup, with ice cream on top.
However, be prepared to queue – we waited nearly 45 minutes to place our order. You need to have someone to sit at a table so you can tell them the table number. Drinks can only be ordered with food.
The toilets are clean but make sure you have your own paper, there is none. Wash basins are also provided around the restaurant, eating satay can be messy.,
Overall, we found the MRT experience worthwhile, cost and time-wise. The areas covered run through large residential areas and should be popular with daily commuters. The time taken for the journey between Pasar Seni and Kajang was about 50 minutes, a considerable time saving on a road journey, especially during peak hours. The cost saving is also good, especially on a single traveller journey. Taking into account tolls, petrol and parking, it is likely to be so even up to 4 travellers.
The ‘plus points’
- We did like the Pasar Seni station – easy transfer to LRT without having to tap off/on to change lines.
- Discounted fares are available between 6-7am on weekdays and for those using either a MyRapid or TouchnGo card. A ‘paper ticket’ will not get you a discount.
- MyRapid travel cards can be applied for at some of the larger stations. If you are eligible for a Concession Card (students, disabled or Seniors etc) you need to apply for these at Pasar Seni Station.
- Kajang Staion – uneven flooring at exits, differences in level of footpath needs to be addressed.
- The Kajang Station is not in the business area of the town, stop at the Stadium Station for this.
- Kajang Stadium Station – Pedestrian access is difficult
- Timetables for Feeder buses did not seem to be available. This would help, especially combined with a route map.
- There is also no MRT app which shows bus or train routes.
- Card reloads must be paid in cash. Credit cards are not accepted.
- Further seamless integration of stations is needed.
More information regarding routes, fares and discounts or how to purchase a MYRapid Card is available at the MYRapid website.