Tuesday June 15, 2010
Cabinet yet to study MRT proposal from Gamuda, MMC
By SHARIDAN M. ALI
PETALING JAYA: Gamuda Bhd and MMC Corp Bhd’s joint mass rapid transit (MRT) proposal is still at a preliminary stage as it has yet to be evaluated by the Cabinet, said a source close to the matter.
The source, however, confirmed that the Finance Ministry had received the MRT proposal by Gamuda, adding that he was not aware if other parties had submitted similar proposals.
He said the Government had set up a special task force within the Cabinet committee on public transport to study the proposal.
Under the 10th Malaysia Plan, an MRT project for the Klang Valley has been identified to improve the city’s public transport system. The project, estimated to cost RM36bil, will be the biggest infrastructure project in the country to date.
The source said even though the MRT routes had not been finalised yet, they would cover areas not served by the light rail transit (LRT) system.
“I reckon it will cover areas like Kepong and Cheras, among others,” he said.
According to AmResearch, the proposal sought to integrate the monorail and LRT with the MRT.
“In addition, the MRT lines will also connect the northwest and southeast of the Klang Valley.
“The new MRT system would have up to three main lines. The first line will run through Sungai Buloh, Kota Damansara, Kuala Lumpur and Cheras (right up to Kajang).
“The second line will connect Sungai Buloh, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur and Serdang, while the third line will loop around Kuala Lumpur’s business district – providing a link between the monorail and LRT services,” AmResearch said.
It said the MRT lines mostly would be underground, with stops every 500m to 1km in high-traffic areas such as the Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur. Conceptually, it would be similar to the MRT systems in Singapore and Hong Kong.
On the beneficiaries of the project, AmResearch said while MMC and Gamuda had jointly submitted the original proposal, the project would be open to competitive bidding.
“However, the MMC-Gamuda partnership could have an added advantage over its peers, given its track record in undertaking tunnelling works for the STORM water tunnel project.
“In addition, Gamuda has the experience in delivering the Kaohsiung MRT system in Taiwan,” it said.
Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd has the biggest public transport ridership. Based on November 2009 figures, it transported daily an average 400,000 people on its buses, 300,000 people on its two light rail transit (LRT) services and 100,000 people on monorail.
Prasarana, the state-owned public transport operator, had early this year embarked on a RM7bil extension of its two LRT lines in the Klang Valley.
The MRT project is in line with the Government’s target of increasing public transport usage to 25% by 2012 from 16% now. In contrast, public transport usage in countries like Singapore and South Korea stands at over 50% and 70% respectively.