KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 (Bernama) -- The extension of the Ampang and Kelana Jaya light rail transit (LRT) lines to be launched tomorrow is seen as a boost for tourism in the Klang Valley that can help achieve the goal of attracting 12 million tourists to the capital city this year.
Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau general manager Nor Aza Yusof said the government's initiative to improve public transportation was seen as a step forward in providing wider access to tourists to explore the beauty and uniqueness of Kuala Lumpur.
She said that apart from benefiting local commuters, the new lines also offered a cheap, easy, quick and safe transportation option for tourists to move from one location to another.
"The LRT extension project also adds value to the tourism industry in Kuala Lumpur, where tourists who use the service have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic views around the city as the LRT tracks are quite high above ground.
"With the addition of routes and stops that offer attractive areas to visit nearby, we expect more tourists to use the LRT over time," she said when contacted by Bernama.
The RM8-billion extension runs 46.4 kilometres across densely populated areas like Putra Heights, Subang Jaya, Puchong, Bandar Kinrara and Bukit Jalil, up to Gombak and Ampang.
The project is one of the development initiatives of the government to strengthen and integrate the city's public transport services, one of the national key result areas under its transformation programme.
Nor Aza said that in line with the addition of LRT stops, the bureau also intended to provide tour packages to certain locations near these stations.
"We also aim to provide tour guides to disseminate information and provide smooth transit for those who subscribe to the packages," she said.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) ground transportation deputy president S. Jaya Kumar said the addition of routes and stops to the LRT service made it a top choice for tourists to get around the Klang Valley.
"We can emulate the greatness of public transportation (in other countries) such as the bullet train in Japan and the underground tube in London, which have always been the choice mode of transport for tourists visiting these countries.
He said, however, that shuttle bus services should also be provided for the last mile connectivity to tourist spots.
Among the major attractions near the LRT stations are Dataran Merdeka, the Botanical Gardens, National Monument, National Museum, Masjid Negara, Islamic Arts Museum, National Textile Museum, Bird Park, Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC), Aquaria and Galeri Petronas, as well as the National Zoo.
The LRT line can also be used to get to popular trekking destination such as the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, Bukit Tabur, Bukit Gasing and the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve (Puchong entrance).
It also passes through or near several shopping centres, including Amcorp Mall, Empire Shopping Gallery, One City Mall, Subang Parade, IOI Mall and Setiawalk.