Commuting in Malaysia’s capital is about to get a whole lot smoother, with construction on the new Kuala Lumpur Mass Transit system (MTR) to begin next July. Local construction firms Gamuda and MMC will form a joint venture to oversee the estimated RM36 billion (US$11.5 billion) project, which will take six years and employ 130,000 workers.

Kuala Lumpur already has a public transit system but integration between the different lines needs improvement and there are densely-populated areas of the city currently unserved, leading to road gridlock. The new Sungai Buloh-Kajang line, running northwest to southeast, will provide transport for around 1.2 million people.

The KL MRT is part of the Malaysian government’s 10-year Economic Transformation Programme, designed to propel Malaysia’s economy into ‘developed world’ status by 2020. The Gamuda-MMC joint venture will be allowed to tender only for the tunneling section of the project, while state-owned Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd will own the infrastructure.

source & article: Reuters via Yahoo Singapore, AFP via ChannelNewsAsia, Pemandu