In an announcement yesterday, Rapid KL revealed that starting today on 4 July, it is discontinuing its express bus service that exclusively goes to and from selected LRT stations. The bus routes were introduced just a little over two weeks ago in order to tackle the issue of congestion at LRT stations during peak hours.
The public transportation operator initially introduced just two bus routes for the peak evening hours that only operated during weekdays. From 4.30 PM to 7.30 PM, commuters were able to hitch a ride for free from KLCC to the Wangsa Maju station and from Pasar Seni to LRT Universiti, with a 15-minute frequency.
— Ask Rapid KL (@AskRapidKL) July 3, 2022
Less than a week later, Rapid KL added another route serving the morning peak hours. The morning bus service, which operated from 7.30 AM to 9.30 AM, had routes from Pasar Seni to LRT Universiti and KLCC. There is also the Bus Skip Stop Xpress route that ferries passengers between the Ampang LRT station, Ampang Park, and KLCC and is running until August.
It is obvious now that the express bus service was only a temporary measure, though it is unclear whether the issue of congestion caused by low LRT train frequencies has been resolved. The company did not give any official explanation as to why the service is being discontinued, so it could either be that it is not needed anymore or that usage among the public was too low for it to be kept operating.
After Rapid KL received mass criticism for the LRT’s frequent delays and service disruptions, the Ministry of Transport announced plans to upgrade the safety and service of the rail system costing a total of RM1.25 billion. A total of 23 initiatives are being undertaken to improve the LRT, not including the refurbishments of 28 four-carriage trains.
Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong has promised that the train frequency would be reduced from eight minutes to five minutes by August and three minutes by November. To celebrate the launch of the new Putrajaya line of the MRT, the government is also offering everyone free rides on all Rapid KL services for a month, with an extension for My50 pass holders.
(Source: Rapid KL/Twitter)