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Malaysia: Trends in urban rail ridership [free access]

August 1, 2021

Between 2011 and 2019, ridership on urban rail lines in the country increased across all lines (except KL Monorail). This can be attributed to the expansion of the network and increased investments in upgrading and promoting the services. Overall, the urban rail ridership in Malaysia increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6 per cent.

 

Table 1 provides information about ridership on urban rail lines in the country.

 

Table 1: Ridership on urban rail lines in Malaysia (million passengers)

Year 

KLIA Express* 

KLIA Transit 

LRT Ampang Line 

LRT Kelana Jaya Line 

KL Monorail 

MRT SBK Line 

Total 

2011 

1.58 

3.24 

53.57 

68.40 

24.20 

- 

150.99 

2012 

1.65 

3.71 

56.81 

71.57 

24.44 

- 

158.18 

2013 

2.06

4.37

60.21

78.70

25.44

-

170.79

2014

2.93

6.31

63.27

81.97

24.30

-

178.78

2015

3.47

6.50

62.81

82.14

25.07

-

179.99

2016

2.42

6.49

59.19

79

21.99

-

169.09

2017

2.28

6.44

59.46

83.59

16.84

22.25

190.86

2018

2.20

6.54

60.96

87.22

12.59

51.31

220.82

2019

2.16

6.79

65.15

94.66

12.54

63.95

245.24

2020

0.39

2.19

34.72

45.31

7.14

33.17

122.91

Note: *- Also known as KLIA Ekspres; SBK- Sungai Buloh-Kajan

Source: Prasarana Malaysia Berhad, Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd

 

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the pandemic, the overall urban rail ridership (April 1–December 31 period) in Malaysia declined by 62 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2019. The maximum decline in ridership was witnessed during April and May, with ridership declining by over 75 per cent across all services. In the case of KLIA Express, an urban rail line offering connectivity to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, ridership has declined by over 90 per cent in each month since the start of the pandemic.

 

Table 2 provides a snapshot of the overall urban ridership in the country in 2019 and 2020.

 

Table 2: Rail ridership in 2019 and 2020 (‘000 passengers)

Year

KLIA Express*

KLIA Transit

LRT Ampang Line

LRT Kelana Jaya Line

KL Monorail

MRT SBK Line

Total

2019

1,619.5

5,150.3

49,712.4

72,106.2

9,681.1

49,034.5

187,303.9

2020

40.5

848.9

21,020

25,318.3

4,214.7

19,194.6

70,637

Note: Data from April 1 to December 31

Source: The Land Public Transport Agency (under Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport)/ Agensi Pengangkutan Awam Darat (APAD)

 

Figure 1 provides a snapshot of the change in ridership across each service compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

 

Figure 1: Decline in ridership 2020*(%)


Note: *- Data from April 1 to December 31

Source: APAD