SEPANG, March 13 (Bernama) -- The capacity of Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) will increase by 50 per cent with the newly launched six trains today, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said the purchase of the new trains from China-based Changchun Railway Vehicles Co Ltd (CRRC) would add to its existing fleet of 12 trains, bringing the total number to 18.
He said two sets of the new trains would be servicing the KLIA Ekspres and another four, the KLIA Transit.
"The additional services on KLIA Transit will improve the waiting time to every 15 minutes from the current 20-minute intervals during morning and evening peak hours on weekdays."
"While during off peak hours, train departures will be improved from 30 to 20 minutes, putting it on par with the KLIA Ekspres service," he told reporters after launching the new trains at Kuala Lumpur International Airport here today.
The KLIA Ekspres performs non-stop train service between the airport (KLIA & klia2) and KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur city.
Liow added ERL was targeting a growth in ridership of five per cent this year, from 23,900 daily ridership last year.
He said since the fare hike in 2016, the ridership had reduced by 19 per cent.
Liow said the additional new trains offered a better value proposition which is important to attract more people to use public transportation.
It also complements the government's commitment to improving land public transport infrastructure, quality of service and first-and-last mile connectivity, he said.
The latest train livery that blends traditional songket motifs of Pucuk Rebung, Tapak Sulaiman and Bunga Pecah Lapan, will begin its operation tomorrow.
The new KLIA Ekspres train is fitted with 192 seats on board while the KLIA Transit train can accommodate up to 350 passengers, including 144 seated passengers.
After the launch, Liow also drove the new train from KLIA to Salak Tinggi Station, ferrying guests and media.