Saturday, December 5, 2015


KUALA LUMPUR: From Jan 1 next year, it will be more expensive to travel from the city centre to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), than from the Bangkok city centre to Suvarnabhumi Airport, or even the Singapore city centre to Changi Airport by rail.

The RM55 travelers will have to fork out for a trip from the city to its international airport will be an astounding 10 times more compared to Thailand’s 45 Baht (RM5.30) fare and Singapore’s SGD 1.77 (RM5.32).

“Yes, our ERL rates will be the highest in the region,” said Muslim Consumer Association’s (PPIM) chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan, in response to the rate hike announced by Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), which will take place on Jan 1.

“It is an outrageous, unethical hike. ERL must justify the reason. Based on the figures, it is among the most expensive in the region. It will burden the consumers,” he said.

Labeling the decision as “madness” and without justification, Nadzim said there were no reasonable grounds for the hike, adding that the timing was wrong given the current economic situation.

Nadzim also called on the government to look into this matter and not bow down to the requests of public transport concessionaires.

“We want the government to look into this as the government has the power to not oblige by their request,” said Nadzim, adding that the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) or Transport Ministry should control any price hike.

Meanwhile, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association CEO Datuk Paul Selvaraj said the hike was exorbitant, making it unaffordable for commuters.

Paul said while the idea was to encourage people to use public transportation, the steep hike discouraged commuters from using the services. “Public transport should be made accessible and affordable.

Price is a factor in encouraging commuters to use a service but the hike now will certainly impact badly on the company,” said Paul.

Paul said price hikes were expected occurrences, but they should be done gradually. He said the public transport concessionaire should not have delayed their price hike for a number of years, then ‘jolt’ the public with a sudden hike.

Yesterday, ERL announced that a one-way trip between KL Sentral and KLIA/KLIA2 will cost RM55 starting next month.

Its chief executive officer Noormah Mohd Noor said this was the first revision made since the service commenced operations almost 14 years ago, which would see the fare increase from RM35 to RM55.

 *Fares calculated were based on daily foreign exchange and on prices provided by foreign train service providers on their website. For Singapore the rate is based from Raffles Place to Changi Airport. **The rail length from KL Sentral to KLIA is 57km and from Bangkok city to Suvarnabhumi Airport, 28.6km. The distance from Raffles Place to Changi is estimated to be approximately 20kms.

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