Malaysiakini Letter

Merge three public transport cards into one

Rajiv Rishyakaran  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Klang Valley public transport commuters are saddled with the inconvenience of not being able to use one transport payment card for all their public transport journeys. The federal government, which ironically owns all three payment cards (Touch ’n Go, MyRapid, KomuterLink) indirectly, must immediately move towards a single card for all.

The most popular card is the Touch ’n Go, which besides being able to be used on most public transport services, can also be used for electronic toll payment, parking and some retail outlets.

However, when it comes to the KTM Komuter, it seems that KTM is actively discouraging users from using the Touch ’n Go card, limiting users of Touch ’n Go to only a small amount of lanes, often times only one at each KTM Komuter station. Instead, the Komuter Link card is promoted, with more turnstiles accepting it only.

The Komuter Link card is redundant as it does not offer any additional benefits to the user, except, shorter queues at the turnstile. KTM should provide Touch ’n Go readers on all turnstiles for the convenience of us users. Those who use KTM are other services regularly would likely have two payment cards to skip the queues entering and exiting KTM stations during peak hours.

Over on services run by Prasarana, such as the LRT, only users of MyRapid cards are entitled to discounts. Passengers who opt for ‘MyRapid Smart 7 Weekly’ or ‘MyRapid Smart 30 Monthly’ would enjoy discounts of between 18 and 35 percent compared with cash. This discount is not extended to Touch ’n Go users. However, MyRapid cards do not work on the KTM Komuter, and surprisingly, the newly-minted MRT, which is also operated by Prasarana.

Once again any daily or regular komuter who takes the LRT would opt for the MyRapid card to enjoy discounts up to 35 percent, would also have to carry a Touch ’n Go card for other transport services.

The creation of the MyRapid and Komuter Link cards was certainly unnecessary, and should be merged or integrated with Touch ’n Go for seamless travel. Most cities in the world have only one travel card, despite many different transport operators. Its about time Putrajaya steps up and move the payments systems into one seamless system for the convenience of all commuters.

RAJIV RISHYAKARAN is state assemblyperson for Bukit Gasing, Selangor.

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