AFTER five years of construction, 12 stations along the northern elevated section of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line opened its doors to the public for the first time at 6am on 16 December 2016.
The 12 stations under Phase One operations of the SBK Line were (from the north) Sungai Buloh, Kampung Selamat, Kwasa Damansara, Kwasa Sentral, Kota Damansara, Surian, Mutiara Damansara, Bandar Utama, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Phileo Damansara, Pusat Bandar Damansara and Semantan.
A total of 24 train sets, each capable of carrying 1,200 passengers, were put into service. During peak hours, the trains run at a frequency of 3.3 minutes.
Phase One operations, involving 21km out of the total 51km of the SBK Line, began after a launching ceremony by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak which took place at the Kwasa Damansara Station the day before.
The event which took place at the Kwasa Damansara Station was attended by some 800 guests from various organisations that had directly or indirectly contributed in making the Project a success.
Present at the historical event were Minister of Transport Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Finance II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dato’ Seri Nancy Shukri and Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Syed Hamid Albar.
Also present were the senior leadership team and staff of MRT Corp, senior management of MMC Gamuda KVMRT (PDP) Sdn Bhd the project delivery partner of the SBK Line, and the senior management of Prasarana Negara Bhd.
A beaming Najib, who arrived at about 3.00pm, said he was proud that Malaysians would now be able to enjoy the most modern rail service in the country.
“We have gone through a lot and overcame many challenges to make this project a success. What was regarded as a dream has now come true,” he said during his speech at the event.
During his speech, the Prime Minister also said that Rapid Rail was more than ready to take on the role of operator of the MRT service and expressed his faith that they would be able to deliver an efficient, safe and reliable MRT service for the rakyat.
“This is based on their vast experience in operating the LRT, Monorail, buses in the Klang Valley and other parts of the country, and even rail services overseas such as the Mecca Metro Rail,” he said.
The Prime Minister also announced that all rides on the MRT and the feeder buses would be free from the operations commencement date until 16 January 2017.
To symbolize the launch of operations, the Prime Minister was invited to place his palm on a TV screen, which triggered a video of the train journey along the entire Phase One of the SBK Line to come on, showing all the stations and the places of interest near the stations highlighted.
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to hand over certificates of participation to the 14 retailers for being part of the MRT Retail Programme. The retailers will be opening outlets in 21 elevated stations of the SBK Line.
Later, the Prime Minister together with Sirim Bhd Chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali then witnessed the conferring of the ISO9001:2015 certification to MRT Corp, making it the first railway construction or development-related organisation in Malaysia to achieve this certification. The certificate was presented by Sirim Managing Director Encik Mohd Azanuddin Salleh to MRT Corp Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Sri Shahril Mokhtar.
Just before the official event ended, the Prime Minister went to the microphone and invited everyone present at the event to take a ride on the train with him.
“Jom naik MRT (Let’s take the MRT),” he told the crowd, and was greeted with cheers and a huge applause.
The full train then travelled from the Kwasa Damansara Station to the Sungai Buloh MRT Station, where everyone then transferred to another train and came back to Kwasa Damansara.
The guests were then free to take rides on the train along the line to experience the SBK Line for themselves.