Transport Minister Anthony Loke has announced that select train services under KTMB will be free for students under the age of 12 and people with disabilities (OKU) from 15 February onwards. The move became official shortly after Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Nancy Shukri said last week that her ministry had discussed with Loke about making the LRT, MRT, and bus services available to the OKU for free.
The minister said that the free ride offer was for the Komuter train services in the northern sector and Klang Valley, as well as the inter-city services for the Gemas-Tumpat route. For students, the initiative was said to only applies to those in school uniforms although the announcement was not very clear on the exact requirement and did not mention the steps need to be taken by the students in order to utilize the free train ride.
Nevertheless, Loke claimed that among the beneficiary of this initiative are the 150 primary school students who use the KTMB service between Dabong and Kuala Geris in Kelantan daily at a cost of RM1 per trip. The minister has also said that there will be further discussions on expanding the offer to secondary school students, though it may be based on the government or KTMB’s financial ability.
Meanwhile, he also added that this initiative was made possible through the savings of RM15 million a year following the suspension of KTMB’s Skypark Link service between the Subang airport and KL Sentral. The decision to halt Skypark Link, in force from 15 February, was due to low ridership, an average of between 80 and 100 daily passengers, despite the RM15 million annual budget for 32 daily trips.
However, it could eventually be resumed if there is high demand for it according to Loke. The four trains that were used for Skypark Link will be redeployed to the north and Klang Valley Komuter lines to increase the number of trips.
(Sources: Bernama, Nancy Shukri/Twitter.)
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