Public Transport in Kuala Lumpur
Coming into Kuala Lumpur from any part of the world, the first thing people usually want to do is explore the city. Usually, the only way to get around in such situations as a tourist will be to either
a) Book a guided tour or
b) use the public transportation.
Guided tours are privately owned, and they usually charge through the roof, so if you do a bit of preparation beforehand by looking up places of interest to visit in the city, the public transport system is more than adequate and should serve you well.
There are generally three ways of getting around the city, short of renting a vehicle yourself.
• You can take the train
• You can take the bus
• You can hail cabs
A train station.
The train system is managed by two companies, and thus there are two separate lines (broadly), they are, the KTM and the LRT. The KTM commuter trains are generally inter-city, and there is only one such line for local use. These trains have a frequency of 30 minutes, so be sure to plan a schedule accordingly! Also, they tend to be more crowded because of the low frequency.
The LRT is short for Light Rail Transit, and is an exclusively local transit system. It has lines spreading out throughout the city starting radially from KL Sentral (the hub station of the city). Recently, the LRT stations were revamped so that you can change lines between different LRT trains within the station after buying a ticket. This makes travel to different parts of the city much more convenient. Here is a short video of LRT which I took on one of my previous visits.
Here are a few notable train stations to keep in mind:
• Bukit Bintang (For going to the Bukit Bintang area)
• Imbi (this monorail station opens directly into the mall Berjaya Times Square)
• KLCC (this stop opens into Suria KLCC, the mall on top of which are the Petronas Twin Towers)
• Plaza Rakyat (this is the nearest stop to the Puduraya bus station, and is within walking distance to Petaling Street, or as its generally referred to by tourists, Chinatown)
• Mid Valley (this stop is on the KTM line, so you will have to travel to KL Sentral, and switch to the KTM line)
The Bus network is pretty good too. There are basically 2 networks.
One is by private operators, I guess it is called the metrobus. However, I find that this bus service is less frequented by the tourists and more used by the locals. They are all aircon and quite comfortable. In fact some parts of KL are accessible by bus or taxi only. (like Batu caves for instance). If you do use this service of bus tours please ask the people around as to which bus goes where.
• The other set of buses are the feeder services run by Rapid KL. They take you to prominent points from the main metro stations. Now-a-days you could buy a card that is valid on both LRT and Rapid KL. This is called Rapidpass Flexi and can be bought for 1, 3, 7, 15 or 30 days number of days. This is probably the most useful pass which affords unlimited travel on metro and Rapid KL Bus network.
• The card itself is the Touch’n’Go card that was initiated a few years back , which is a type of prepaid card that can be used for paying for variety of expenses including road tolls. Just pick up one of these cards from any LRT station and activate it for flexipass facility.
• Of course there are other networks like the shuttle bus service from the airports and the intercity buses.
A Teksi (Taxi) in Kuala Lumpur.
The public transportation is extensive, but if you plan on travelling late at night, or if the place you want to visit is not on the network, you can always hail a cab to take you there. There are a multitude of taxi companies, but broadly there are two kinds of taxis available to the public. The basic service, and the executive taxis. Executive taxis are blue in colour, and are roomier. Compared to other means of transport, cabs are not cheap, and the minimum fare will set you back by RM 3(RM 6 if it is an executive taxi), but it is the most convenient way to travel. You can also go to the nearest bus or train stop to your destination and hail a cab from there to save some money. If the traffic is not high, cabs will usually get you to your destination faster than train and bus travel.
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