The Nation’s First LRT Line
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R&B (Rel & Bas)

The Nation’s First LRT Line

Apart from drawing the ire of road users during its construction in the nineties, it is now an ‘invisible’ part of KL’s landscape to most road users. Originating from Sentul Timur station, with two branches extending to Ampang and Sri Petaling via the Chan Sow Lin station, this LRT line is now ‘just another LRT line’ to most commuters—a common mode of transport many passersby may have taken for granted over the past decades. This is STAR LRT (Light Rail Transit System) —Malaysia’s first LRT line.

Originally spanning 27.4 kilometres across 25 stations, the STAR LRT was constructed in two phases. Phase one of the STAR LRT line spans 12.4 kilometres and comprised 14 stations that ran from the Ampang to Sultan Ismail station, including a depot near the Ampang station.

The line was later extended from the Sultan Ismail station to the Sentul Timur station in phase two, including eight other stations on the Sri Petaling line running to and from the Chan Sow Lin to Sri Petaling stations. Both phases commenced operations in 1996 and 1998 respectively with the two lines sharing a common route comprising 11 stations that run from the Sentul Timur to Chan Sow Lin stations before branching out to the Ampang and Sri Petaling stations respectively.

In 2002, Prasarana Berhad took over ownership and operations from STAR, renaming STAR LRT to STAR Line. Operations of the line was subsequently taken over by RapidKL in 2004 and the line was renamed to the current Ampang and Sri Petaling lines in 2005. The Sri Petaling line was later extended to include 11 stations from Sri Petaling to Putra Heights.

Prasarana also took over the ownership and operations of the PUTRA LRT (currently known as the Kelana Jaya line) from Projek Usahasama Transit Ringan Automatik Sdn Bhd in 2002. The line was constructed roughly around the same time with the Ampang line construction in 1994 and is Klang Valley's first fully automated and driverless rail system. The Kelana Jaya line celebrates its 25th year of operations this year.

Stations Highlight: Bandaraya & Masjid Jamek

Sitting on the common route of the Ampang and Sri Petaling lines, the Bandaraya and Masjid Jamek stations are two popular stops serving a mixed community of white- and blue-collar workers as well as patrons and visitors of the surrounding office buildings, eateries, retail outlets, shopping malls and other places of interest in central Kuala Lumpur.

Literally situated next to Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque), the Masjid Jamek LRT station is an integration of two formerly different and physically separate Masjid Jamek stations—the Ampang Line Masjid Jamek station and the Kelana Jaya Line Masjid Jamek station. Today, it operates as an interchange station between three of RapidKL's light rapid transit (LRT) systems, namely the Ampang, Sri Petaling Line and Kelana Jaya LRT lines.

One of the busiest stations along the Ampang and Sri Petaling lines, the station is a popular stop for commuters visiting nearby attractions and places of interest such as Dataran Merdeka (350 metres), Masjid India (450 metres), Illusion 3D Art Museum, Central Market (450 metres), REXKL (650 metres) and Chinatown. Surrounding the station is also a gamut of food and beverage options catering to palates and budgets of all sizes, providing patrons with anything from budget-friendly street food, café fare to pricier restaurant and hotel offerings.

Another popular station is the Bandaraya Station, which stands between the eastern banks of the Gombak River at the intersection between Jalan Raja Laut. This is a KTM connecting station, and is linked to the Bank Negara KTM Komuter station by a pedestrian bridge a mere 140-metre walk away. It is also the first station to be connected with another railway system. Situated near bus stops and along Jalan Raja Laut and in the vicinity of Jalan Dang Wangi and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, it connects commuters to various parts of Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley.

The station is within close proximity of several shopping complexes, including SOGO (92 metres), Pertama Complex (350 metres), the present Kuala Lumpur City Hall (400 metres), Bank Negara Malaysia (900 metres) and the Coliseum Theatre (450 metres).

For those looking to venture further, other shopping malls and places of interest are accessible via the integrated LRT-MRT-monorail and RapidKL bus networks.

The stations on the Ampang and Sri Petaling LRT Lines open from 0600 hrs daily.

Note: Distances to and from stations to various locations are approximates only.

Team Mobiliti
June 11, 2024