For the past 14 years, the to/from fare for the Express Rail Link (ERL) or KLIA Express as it is known more commonly, has remained unchanged. Since then, operational costs and other factors have played a role in necessitating the RM20 rise announced on December 1st - or at least that’s about as close as we have to verbal justification. Fares will rise from where they stand currently, RM35, to RM55 for a one-way trip between KL Sentral to KLIA/KLIA2 or vice versa.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi cited this as a large portion of the reason why the hike was announced, writes The Star. The ERL fare increase comes into effect on January 1st, 2016, and was made known only shortly after chatter of the possible hikes for the PLUS highways were heard, and just two months after more than 17 highways within the Klang Valley saw toll hikes in near-unison.
It’s a very frustrating time to be living as a Malaysian who needs to get to places, which can be said for pretty much everyone especially within the Klang Valley. The Government, said Aziz, had only now approved the hike because ERL’s previous applications were met with rejection.
“They were making a loss all this while, and after 14 years, operational costs have also gone up,” Aziz told reporters at the Parliament lobby. He added that operational costs had also doubled in recent years, explaining why the hike was not implemented in stages.
The RM55 one-way fare would not apply for all commuters, however, as is primarily meant for foreigners and non-frequent users. There will be three travel card packages offered by ERL that can offer up discount of up to 40 percent off the usual price, theoretically taking it down to a minimum of RM33 per journey.
ERL, in its defence, has said that the latest revision was in accordance with the Land Public Transport Act and was given the green light by SPAD and the Government. Apparently, the new prices were originally authorised to be raised to RM64 per journey. Yes, now we are grateful.
Other measures would also be undertaken by ERL to provide commuters with discounts such as offering a 10 percent discount for ticket buyers making their purchase through their mobile app or ERL kiosks, as well as offering a 17-83 percent discount for those who purchase a 44-trip monthly TravelCard.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.