Malaysia Launches Its First BRT Electric Bus Service: 5 Facts You Should Know

The first of its kind in the country, the BRT-Sunway line will greatly help about half a million people in the notoriously congested areas of Subang and Sunway.

Cover image via The Star

On 1 June, PM Najib Razak inaugurated the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system at BRT Complex Sunway. Malaysia's first elevated electric bus service, it will ply a 5.4km route in and around Bandar Sunway.

One of the many latest initiatives to enhance mobility for commuters and reduce traffic congestion in the Klang Valley, particularly in the Bandar Sunway and Subang Jaya areas, the BRT service will start functioning from today, 2 June.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (second right) listens to Sunway Group chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah (right) as they ride the Bus Rapid Transit.

Image via Bernama

Below, we list down 5 facts you as the public should know:

1. The BRT project, a collaboration between Prasarana Malaysia Berhad and Sunway Berhad under the innovative Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme, cost a total of RM634 million. Of which, Sunway Berhad contributed RM123 million, a RM33 million excess funds to its RM90 million listed in the original contract.

The fleet of electric buses at the BRT terminal in Sunway.

Image via Chuah Chong Boon.

The additional RM33 million funds were needed to construct the elevated covered walkways, car parking bays and other safety and security features to enhance accessibility and connectivity, according to the statements made by Sunway Group Founder and Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, at the official launch of the country's first elevated BRT system by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on 1 June 2015.

2. The elevated BRT Sunway Line has 7 stations. From Sunway-Setia Jaya to USJ7 in Subang Jaya. It is linked to the Setia Jaya KTM Komuter station as well as the LRT system under construction in USJ7. The 7th station, however, will be opened in 2016.

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The BRT Sunway Line will serve the seven stations, namely Sunway-Setia Jaya, Mentari, Sunway Lagoon, SunMed, SunU-Monash, South Quay and USJ7, with the availability of a ‘park and ride’ facility, said Prasarana Group chairman Tan Sri Ismail Adam.

3. An eco-friendly transportation system using 15 electric buses on dedicated lanes, the BRT-Sunway line will serve at an interval of every 4 minutes, with a capacity of 67 passengers and an average travelling speed of between 30kph to 40kph. The zero emission buses can operate for 12 hours before the next charging cycle.

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The sole 'park-and-ride' facility at the Sunway University-Monash station comes with some 1,153 parking bays including 102 bays reserved for women, 23 lots for the disabled and 121 bays for motorcycles. Commuters will be charged a flat rate of RM4.

4. According to Ismail, the BRT-Sunway line would serve an estimated 500,000 people in Bandar Sunway and Subang Jaya, who anticipated that the service will transport 2,400 passengers per hour in 2015 with the numbers expected to reach 5,200 in 2035.

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The electric buses are equipped with Wi-Fi for the convenience of commuters, especially with majority of them being students.

5. Last but certainly the most interesting factor, the service will be free to use for the first two months of operations, starting 2 June.

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"Later, if the commuters use our MyRapid card for the BRT service, they will enjoy a flat rate of RM4 per day," said Prasarana Malaysia's group MD Azmi Abdul Aziz.