Rid­ing Easy with Pub­lic Trans­port

Expatriate Lifestyle - - A Potted Guide To - Words by Karin Chan Photo by istockphoto

Af­ter you’ve sorted out where you’re go­ing to live in a new coun­try, the next ques­tion is – how are you go­ing to get around? If a car isn’t an op­tion, then pub­lic trans­porta­tion is the way to go. It’s cost-ef­fi­cient, ecofriendly, you don’t have to sit in traf­fic and best of all, no look­ing for park­ing.


For in­tra-city trans­port, Rapid Bus is the largest sin­gle bus op­er­a­tor in Malaysia. There are four types of ser­vices: Ek­spres (ex­press ser­vices), Ban­dar (city shut­tles), Utama (trunk routes) and Tem­patan (lo­cal shut­tles). Tell them apart by the pre­fix in front of their num­bers or the colours of their des­ti­na­tion boards.

The half-hourly Hop-on Hop-off bus has 23 stops with ac­cess to 40 at­trac­tions (stan­dard price RM50 for 24 hours). Oth­er­wise, there’s also the light pur­ple Go KL bus that cov­ers most cen­tral KL des­ti­na­tions and is free.

For in­ter-city jour­neys, ex­press coaches are a com­mon mode of trans­port. Tick­ets can be pur­chased on­line or at ticketing of­fices. It’s by far the cheap­est ride, and saves you time.

The four bus hubs in KL are lo­cated at KL Sentral, KLCC, Maluri and Ti­ti­wangsa. All other cities only have one bus hub each.

Light Rail Tran­sit (LRT)

Th­ese four-coach trains run on el­e­vated tracks in KL along three lines and are all op­er­ated by Rapid Rail.

Ke­lana Jaya Line: Links Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, KL and Gom­bak. One of the most-used lines and con­se­quently, the most crowded dur­ing rush hour.

Am­pang and Sri Petaling Line: Both lines run from Sen­tul Timur to Chan Sow Lin but then di­verge.

Metro Rail Tran­sit (MRT)

Only the Sun­gai Bu­loh-ka­jang line runs now, con­nect­ing Cheras and Da­mansara to the city. The Sun­gai Bu­lo­hSer­dang-pu­tra­jaya line should be fully op­er­a­tional by 2022.

Com­muter Rail and Mono­rail

There are five rail lines in Kuala Lumpur with two op­er­a­tors.the KLIA Tran­sit, along with the KLIA Ek­spres, con­nects KLIA to Pu­tra­jaya and KL Sentral.the Port Klang and Serem­ban Lines are used to get around the Klang Val­ley while the Padang Ren­gas and Padang Be­sar Lines ser­vice the north­ern area of Penin­su­lar Malaysia.

KL’S Mono­rail pri­mar­ily ser­vices the ‘Golden Tri­an­gle’ area of Bukit Bin­tang, Imbi and Raja Chu­lan.


Rail travel is one of the fastest ways to travel be­tween states. Kere­tapi Tanah Me­layu (KTM) op­er­ates both the diesel-hauled In­ter­city rail ser­vice and the Elec­tric Train Ser­vice (ETS). While the In­ter­city has an ex­ten­sive net­work cov­er­ing even the East Coast, the ETS is pre­ferred for West Coast travel as it’s faster and only stops at ma­jor sta­tions.

Did You Know?

Be­sides the usual bus and rail ser­vices, ride shar­ing is cur­rently one of the most pop­u­lar ways to get around town. Uber and Grab are the two largest ride shar­ing ser­vices in the coun­try and they of­fer com­pet­i­tive prices and fre­quent dis­counts. You’ll need their mo­bile apps to book rides – and be care­ful of ‘surge pric­ing’, which is where the price spikes dur­ing high de­mand es­pe­cially dur­ing rush hour.

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