Connect with LRT 3
Connectivity, the catalyst of a developed country
Recently, the prime minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, tabled the 11th Malaysia Plan (2015-2020) in parliament. This plan is dubbed as the ‘final leap’, for Malaysia as a country, to achieve a developed-nation status in 2020.
One of the aspects highlighted in this plan is the budget allocation for major infrastructure and development projects for the country in the next five years. Under the plan, Malaysians will be able to see transportation networks being improved to enhanced connectivity and mobility.
Infrastructure such as the toll-free Pan Borneo Highway over in East Malaysia and the 325km-long toll-free federal route that will replace the Gua Musang and Karak-Tampin highways will be upgraded.
In the central region, in particular the city of Kuala Lumpur and the Greater Kuala Lumpur region, it will experience a bigger improvement in terms of public transportation, a s the government is looking to raise the utilisation of public transport by 40% from the current 17.1% by year 2020.
It’s all about infrastructures
To achieve this goal, the government, through Prasarana and MRT Corp, has kick-started a number of rail projects. The ridership will increase when the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) becomes operational next year.
The line 1 of the KVMRT will cover a distance of 51km with 31 stations built between Sungai Buloh and Kajang. This line alone will serve 1.2 million people with daily ridership expected to be 400,000 people.
The first phase runs from Sungai Buloh to Semantan, and the second phase will begin sometime in year 2017. The Line 2 of KVMRT is slated to being in June 2016 which will connect 52.2km connecting Sungai Buloh to Serdang and Putrajaya that is estimated to become operational by 2022. (Read Property Insight, June 2015 edition for detailed analysis of MRT 2). Besides the MRT rail projects, there is also the third LRT project coming up.
The third LRT
The Light Rail Transit (LRT) 3 will connect Bandar Utama to Johan Setia, Klang. The construction will start in year 2016 and is expected to be completed and operation on 31 August 2020.
This is a line that will have 25 stations of which only one station is underground that will run over 36km. LRT 3 is expected to serve up to two million people in the Klang Valley. It is expected to transport about 70,000 passengers daily with an end-to-end journey time of 51 minutes.
According to a recent brochure circulated to the public by Prasarana, the LRT 3 will be able to transport more passengers compare to other modes of transportation at the rate of 36,720 passengers an hour.
“I think it is about time that there is an LRT station in Bandar Utama,” said Megan, a student currently studying mass communication in Kolej Bandar Utama (KBU) and a resident of BU6, a prime residential estate in Bandar Utama.
“Here, we have the One Utama shopping, one of the most happening hangout places in Petaling Jaya, we are also near to IKEA, which is located in Mutiara Damansara, but the traffic is horrendous at times,” she adds.
A check by Property Insight confirms this to be true, especially on weekends where double-parking in illegal parking zones were common sight.
Another good news is when LRT 3 is fully developed and up in operation is that it also provide a total of 5,000 parking lots at 10 selected stations by year 2020.
“My friends who stay in the Greater Kuala Lumpur used to complain of the long journey they have to take to reach Klang,” said media sales executive Mark Law.
He said that with the LRT 3 completion, it will definitely bring Klang to greater heights. He felt that many people still thinks that Klang is just a small under-developed town, which is not true at all, as Klang is not just developing. There are many other developments coming up such as the completed AEON shopping malls in Bukit Tinggi.
It is also a town famous for serving authentic ‘Bak Ku Teh’, and recently, the halal version of ‘Che Ku Teh’, consisting of halal chicken meat.
“The 36km route alignment is expected to be finalised by the fourth quarter of this year,” said Prasarana managing director Azmi Abdul Aziz.
He stated that public inspection of the proposed route alignment has already begun in several locations such as the city councils of Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang, Kelana Jaya, Masjid Jamek and Pasar Seni LRT stations.
One can also visit the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) office located in KL Sentral from May 15 to August 14 this year.
10 of the stations are expected to have park-and–ride facilities. Prasarana has also planned to have several interchange stations, beginning with Bandar Utama MRT station, Pelabuhan Klang KTM station and a proposed SIRIM Shah Alam Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station.
It was quoted in The Star that Prasarana has identified the corridor but not the alignment as “we have to comply with the Land Acquisition Act requirement”. It also said that nine billion Ringgit will be needed for the construction alone or a total of RM250 million per kilometre of construction.
Prasarana further stated that so far, seven companies have collected the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) application form, which must be submitted in the first week on June, as Prasarana aims to award the project by July.
Under PDP, the successful and qualified company will receive 6% fee of the total contract value of LRT 3.
Some of the companies believed to stand a good chance in bidding for the jobs for the proposed LRT 3 include Trans Resources Corp Sdn Bhd, UEM Builders Berhad, Intria Bina Sdn Bhd, Sunway Holdings Berhad, and Malaysian Resources Corp Sdn Bhd (MRCB).
Some of these companies have major contract packages in the on-going RM7 billion Kelana Jaya and Ampang Lines LRT extension projects.
Based on a recent visit by Property Insight to the SPAD office,Prasarana seems to minimise land acquisition as it is only proposing a two-kilometre underground track with one underground station located in Shah Alam.
The rail tracks would mostly be an elevated structure utilising the existing state and road reserve land.
Azmi explained that should the total cost of the project should be less than or equal to the targeted cost, the PDP qualifier would be entitled to the full fee.
However, if the project cost is more than the targeted cost, the fee would be cut, in accordance with the agreed formula.
Looking at the map printed on the Prasarana officia lwebsite, the 25 proposed LRT 3 stations are One Utama, Damansara Utama, Tropicana station near the Damansara Toll Plaza, Lien Hoe, Dataran Prima, Persada Plus, Station 3 (the station has yet to be renamed), Temasya, Glenmarie, Stadium, Persiaran Hishamuddin, Section 14, SIRIM, UITM, I-City, Bukit Raja, Kawasan 17, Jalan Meru, Klang, Taman Selatan, Sri Andalas, Tesco Bukit Tinggi, AEON Bukit Tinggi, Bandar Botanik and Johan Setia.
According to Prasarana, 13 out of the 25 stations have the potential for future Transit Oriented Development (TOD).
Property market report
According to property report by the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), prices of residential property recorded encouraging growth across the board. Residential properties in prominent and established areas continued to enjoy capital gains.
The increment was proven by substantial increases of more than 16.0% in 2014 recorded for single and double-storey terraced units in up-market areas such as Bandar Utama, where there will be the proposed One Utama station.
Near the Temasya LRT 3 station, the double-storey terraced houses, in Temasya Glenmarie, Shah Alam, transacted the highest property price in the state, at between RM1.2 million and RM2.31 million.
There were also increments in property prices transacted for Section 13, Shah Alam where the proposed stadium station is located nearby.
In the leisure sub-sector, the state witnesses the sole transaction of Prescott Hotel in Klang. There are at least three proposed stations in the Klang region. They are Bukit Tinggi station, Bandar Botanik station and Johan Setia station.
Should you buy?
According to S.K. Brothers Realty general manager Chan Ai Cheng, “The integration to the MRT is the added benefit for Shah Alam and Klang as they can change trains at Bandar Utama and head into KL city.”
“The park-and-ride is also a very important component in enhancing the connectivity, as it services a wider area than those within walking distance to the stations.”
“Generally, all infrastructure improvements are to enhance connectivity, making distances closer, making it more convenient for ‘rakyat’ to travel from their homes to the workplace, providing alternative means of transportation,” added Chan.
She explained, “Locations close to the LRT 3 station stand to benefit the most from the LRT3 facilities and conveniences, and thus, enhancing the value of the property. “
She advised investors to note that when one invests in property near to LRT amenities, they should not purchase it too near the stations, as the noise produced by the LRT movement could be a disturbance to some.
She advised investors to invest in properties with sufficient distance away from the LRT stations and do consider other factors, such as the surrounding amenities and target market before investing.
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