Guided by the Land Public Transport Master Plan, the rail network continues to be the backbone of Malaysia’s existing and future public transport system. The annual ridership for rail throughout Malaysia for 2014 stands at 230 million.
Government is also injecting substantial investments to improve the rail network across major cities in Malaysia. A good example of this is the new Electric Train Service (ETS) from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh which began in 2014. The ETS service was further expanded in 2015, with the introduction of the Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar Electric Train Service (ETS). Meanwhile, the final package of the Gemas -Johor Bahru double tracking and electrification project is expected to be completed in 2016.
Rail usage is also the fastest growing among all modes of urban public transportation according to ridership data from rail operators. Daily ridership for urban rail services rose 8.5% to 631,988 commuters in 2015 from 557,921 in 2011. The Government has also committed a significant allocation of RM70 billion to fund infrastructure costs to expand and improve the urban rail network. This includes projects such as the LRT Ampang Line extension to Putra Heights which is expected to be completed by 31 March 2016 and the LRT Kelana Jaya Line extension which will be in full operation on 30 June 2016. Meanwhile, LRT3 Line from Bandar Utama to Klang is expected to be completed in August 2020. The much anticipated MRT Line 1 from Sungai Buloh will be operational in phases. Phase 1 Sungai Buloh to Semantan will be operational by 31 Dec 2016, while the full line up to Kajang station will be operational in July 2017. MRT Line 2 with the total distance of 52.2 km spanning from Sungai Buloh - Serdang to Putrajaya is slated for completion in January 2022.
In the long haul, SPAD is also driving cross border connectivity for the rakyat via projects such as the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) and the Rapid Transit System (RTS) which will spur socio-economic growth by enhancing business and leisure travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.