Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Monday launched the country’s first public transportation system using environment-friendly technology.
He said the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Sunway Line, developed by the Prasarana Group and the Sunway Group, was a public transportation project of international standard and a pride of the nation.
“This project fulfills the desire of the government to develop an efficient, reliable and convenient public transportation system,” he said when launching the line near Petaling Jaya.
Najib also launched an electric bus, which made its way into the Malaysia Book of Records as the country’s first electric bus deployed on the public transportation system.
The prime minister said today’s achievement reflected the use of smart technology in the effort to ease traffic congestion and reduce carbon emissions.
Najib announced at the event that the public transportation system would impose no charge for two months from tomorrow in an effort to draw people to use it.
He said the BRT Sunway Line was in tandem with the government aspiration to step up the use of green technology and promote an environment-friendly lifestyle in terms of public transportation.
The prime minister praised the mode of implementation of the project, which was a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Prasarana Group and the Sunway Group, and expressed the hope that more cooperation could be established to further develop public transportation in the country.
He said the implementation of the public transportation system was an important achievement to coax the people into using public transportation more frequently and reducing the usage of private vehicles, just like in the developed countries.
“In some developed countries, the people keep their vehicles in the countryside and use public transportation to travel. We can also do that if we have an integrated public transportation system, and the government has identified this problem,” he said.
Najib said that as such, the public transportation system especially in the Klang Valley had to be streamlined, and the BRT had to be extended to other public transportation projects.
The prime minister said the government had made the development of public transportation one of the National Key Results Areas (NKRA) as it realised that it was a vital challenge in the National Transformation Plan.
“We have placed public transportation in the NKRA because we have so far failed to establish a fully integrated public transportation system. As such, we have set up the Prasarana Group and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to streamline public transportation in the country,” he said.
Najib said the government had allocated RM23 billion to construct the new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line to connect Sungai Buloh to Putrajaya.
At the same time, the government had also announced the construction of the third Light Rail Transit (LRT) line, costing RM9 billion, to link Bandar Utama, Shah Alam and Klang, he said.
Najib also took a 30-minute ride in the electric bus. Also present at the event were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai; Prasarana Group chairman Tan Sri Ismail Adam and Sunway Group chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah.
The BRT Sunway Line is the first bus service to use an elevated track, thus ensuring up-to-the-minute planned travel.
It is also a stage bus service that makes use of electric buses, with the cost of infrastructure and public transportation system running into RM634 million.
The elevated BRT Sunway Line of 5.4 kilometres has seven stations, from Sunway-Setia Jaya to USJ7 in Subang Jaya, and is linked to the Setia Jaya KTM Komuter station as well as the LRT system under construction in USJ7. The seventh station will be opened next year.
Meanwhile, Ismail, in his speech, said the BRT Sunway Line will operate from tomorrow and serve the seven stations, namely Sunway-Setia Jaya, Mentari, Sunway Lagoon, SunMed, SunU-Monash, South Quay and USJ7, with the availability of a ‘park and ride’ facility.
He said 15 environmental-friendly buses would be put into service, with each vehicle able to accommodate 67 passengers, 25 of them seated, at any one time.
The BRT Sunway Line would serve 500,000 people in Bandar Sunway and Subang Jaya, said Ismail, anticipating that the service will transport 2,400 passengers per hour this year.
The capacity is expected to rise to 5,200 passengers per hour by 2035.