Kuala Lumpur Light Rail Tips for Dummies

I’ve never lived anyplace with light rail transit (LRT). Used it in Bangkok with no problem but those skills apparently didn’t transfer to KL’s LRT. Main reason to document the tips is for my future reference, but maybe somebody will be saved the frustration of buying their third ticket for the same destination in a 2 hour period, without having yet reached that station.

* The colors on the online and printed LRT maps do not correspond to the colors at the stations.

* Stations have graphics showing the stations on the line. This graphic may not be on the platform, so double check after passing the turnstile that you’re headed to the correct platform.

* Several lines may use a station. There is a small signboard on the front of the train. Pay attention! Trust that sign, not the electronic scrolling sign above the platform.

* Once on the train, know what the next station should be if you’re both on the right train and headed in the right direction. Verify it by the PA announcement or looking out the window. Be ready to get off if it’s the wrong station.

* Some lines split at a “Y”. Here checking the next station is not enough. You have to check the next station after the split.

At least when I bought the 3 tickets they were from different clerks or at a different station.

Another tip, one I didn’t learn by mistake on this trip, is to use Google Maps to judge distance between stations on different lines. For example, from my hotel (marked with the red “A”) the monorail station can be seen (but is off the left right side of the map below). Without Google Maps or some wandering, one wouldn’t know there is a second line within a 5 minute walk and a third 10 minutes out.

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2 Responses to Kuala Lumpur Light Rail Tips for Dummies

  1. Hoo Sze Ling says:

    On behalf of Malaysia, I apologise for the abysmal state of the Kuala Lumpur LRT system. I never fail to marvel at the stupidity of the planners who came up with this 3-line metro system network that is operated by 3 separate companies that resulted in massive inconvenience and confusion for people who want to use the network to anywhere meaningful within the city. Even India’s metro system is far superior to ours.

    Your remarks have been kind. The warning, hopefully, will be useful to others who ever wish to come to Kuala Lumpur and be forced to experience the monstrosity of this system.

    Apart from that, I hope most of the trip have been good! 🙂

    • Four Letter Nerd says:

      It’s the only light rail system I’ve seen where one has to buy a separate ticket for each line used on a single trip. Weird thing is after coming from Thailand and the Philippines, each with it’s own brand of ‘are you fracking kidding me’ inefficiencies because of corruption, the 3 independent MRT lines seemed normal.

      Yes, most of the trip was good. Two visa runs to Malaysia left me wanting more and this trip fulfilled much of that. Already thinking about going back to visit the east coast of the mainland and on to Borneo.

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