KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 – Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan (pic) says that the RM15.02bil cost reduction for the light rail transit 3 (LRT3) is not savings, but a reduced scale of the project that will cost more to upgrade in the future.
“Come on, stripped down version of LRT3 is not savings at all. It’s just a reduced scale LRT,” said Abdul Rahman in a series of tweets on Friday (July 13).
“Many years later when the line needs to be upgraded to the original specifications and scale, the cost would surely be more than today,” said the former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Rahman Dahlan used to hold the former Economic Planning Unit portfolio, which oversaw the implementation of projects, including the LRT3.
Some steps taken to reduce costs include shelving the construction of five stations with low projected passenger ridership, and reducing the order of 42 sets of six-car trains to 22 sets of three-car trains.
“The idea of LRT and MRT is connectivity. If you reduce terminals or stations, the transport systems lose their effectiveness,” said Abdul Rahman.
“To make LRT and MRT successful, you need to cover as many areas as possible. “Medium-density areas today will become high-density in the near future,” he said.
Abdul Rahman also noted that the “off and on again” decisions on LRT3 has “played havoc” on certain companies’ shares on the local stock market.