So… why am I writing this review when I have more than 10 pending blog posts? Because it’s short and easy to write, hehe
Actually I hadn’t planned to write this (hence the lack of photos)… it was because my friend Zaz asked for a review, so I decided to write one just for fun.
The MRT construction, which has been the bane in many a Klang Valley folk’s life, has caused frustrating jams for almost a year, making the roads more congested than they had before. With the MRT construction now drawing close to completion, it is the hope that it will not only alleviate the jams, but in fact make traffic smoother than it had been before the construction began. The aim of the MRT was to take motorists off the road and onto the track, enabling commuters to get to their destinations more quickly.
We had, in the past few years, seen the somewhat success of the various lines that worm their way through the city – the LRT, KTM, monorail, and ERL, all of which have helped hundreds of thousands of city folk get to their destinations easily. The trains have proven to be far more reliable than road public transport (for the obvious reason that they are not subject to the same road jams).
In order to get the public used to the MRT, free train rides are offered for one month starting from its opening date of 16 December 2016. Being the curious cat I am (and also the self-confessed cheapskate), I decided to try the train ride on one of the mornings that I have no classes, during the holiday month of December.
There are plenty of feeder buses (also free during this one month period) that go through the housing estates surrounding the MRT stations, but I didn’t need to ride one because the nearest MRT station to my home was a mere 10 minutes walk away.
It was a nice cloudy day, so it was a pretty pleasant walk.
The station, being new, was clean and empty. The staff at the station were attentive and quick to answer questions when anyone approached them to ask how to get the free train rides.
Getting the free train ride was easy. You can just tag in with your Touch N Go card (no value will be deducted during this one month) or your I/C (if you have the new one). However I didn’t bring my Touch N Go card, and my I/C is in desperate need of being updated for the past few years, so I was given a token instead.
The MRT line was not fully opened, and was only running between Sungai Buloh and Semantan.
I took the train from end to end, just to see where the stops were so that I could plan my own trips in the future. I was not the only one; the train was full of families also taking the train just for fun this morning.
I must admit, the reach is obviously not extensive, because Klang Valley was just so large and dense. But the MRT does hit many of the hot spots, and it will be easy for people now to access One Utama, The Curve, and Sunway Giza – popular places that were accessible only by road transport. Well, those are my popular places. There are also other places but I don’t go there often so I can’t talk much about them.
The trains and the stations are new, so obviously everything is clean and efficient for now. However, I don’t see that things will change much (well, except for an accumulation of dirt, but that happens when a place gets high traffic), because from what I can remember, the Kelana Jaya LRT line’s efficiency has not changed much from when it first started way back in the 90’s – as in, it is still dependable and fast.
When I walked onto the MRT platform, the first thing to strike me was how similar it looked to the MRT stations in Singapore.
The trains were quiet, and moved very fast. The acceleration was barely felt actually, but the speed of the train was quite obvious when you’re in it.
The train ride from one end to the other end (Sungai Buloh to Semantan) took about 40 minutes, but each stop at a station was a little long – there were constant announcements asking for our patience as the stop would be longer than usual. I’m not sure why, but maybe it was because the “high” volume of people taking the MRT rides for fun today.
All in all, I am really looking forward to using the MRT, especially when the rest of the line (up to Kajang) is open for access.
Kudos to the MRT team!
If you haven’t tried the MRT yet and you have a couple of hours to spare (that was the total time I took), do take the free train for a spin! Free rides are only up to 16 January 2017, so don’t miss the opportunity (especially a free trip for the family)!
For more information, visit the MRT website at http://www.mymrt.com.my/.