Train ride to KLIA and KLIA2 via the KLIA Ekspres will cost RM55 beginning January 1, a 57% increase from RM35 now.
Rail operator Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) defended the new rate, saying that the rate has not been revised since 2002, and the increased fare has already been discounted from RM64, the original approved new fare.
The fare hike was according to the concession agreement, which allowed the company to increase the price up to RM64, and has been approved by the government.
“Although the approved fare is RM64 for KLIA Ekspres, we are offering a discounted rate of RM55. In addition, we are offering further discounts when customers purchase tickets online, on the ERL kiosks as well as with selected credit cards,” ERL said in its statement.
Credit card perks include purchasing KLIA Ekspres for a family of four using a MasterCard (such as travel credit card, Standard Chartered WorldMiles card) will see a discount of about 27% for four adults (RM160 instead of RM220), and close to 30% for two adults and two children (RM116 instead of RM165).
When asked if ERL is still being paid a sum from taxes imposed on foreign flight passengers by Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB), it said it needed all the revenue to manage rising operating costs.
Responding to a question about why the rates were not increased in staged, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said, “For frequent travellers, they can use the travel card, it offers up to 40% off the published rate.”
To further defend the hike, ERL explained that the ERL project was implemented at a cost of RM2.4 billion, and the company has been suffering losses over the years, accumulating up to RM671.7 million.
“In July this year, ERL shareholders injected an additional capital of RM72 million into the company,” it said in a statement today.
ERL said the company had to further invest in new systems and train sets that would be progressively delivered from May 2016 to cater to its growing ridership.
This latest fare hike of KLIA Ekspres was preceded by revisions to KTM Komuter fares and toll rates in over two dozen highways in the Klang Valley recently, and taxi fares as well as hire car rates, and express bus rate earlier this year.