Thaipusam, a religious festival venerating Lord Muruga, is scheduled to be celebrated on January 25th, 2024, which falls on a Thursday. In Malaysia, the Batu Caves Subramaniar Temple in Kuala Lumpur, the Kallumalai Temple in Ipoh and Penang, Thanneermalai Temple are renowned for their elaborate Thaipusam observances.
In conjunction with this, the Ministry of Transport held a special Thaipusam press conference today at Batu Caves. There were five enhancements in public transportation services were announced for Thaipusam 2024.
1. 24 hours additional service for KTM (23rd January to 26 January 2024)
Additional non-stop KTM Komuter services will be available for four days and three nights, commencing from January 23rd to January 26th, 2024. A comprehensive enhancement to the KTM Komuter services includes the provision of 33 additional services for the Batu Caves – Pulau Sebang – Batu Caves route and 39 extra services for the Batu Caves – Pelabuhan Klang – Batu Caves route. This results in a cumulative increase, bringing the total number of supplementary KTM Komuter trains during this period to 72 services per day.
The additional KTM Komuter services will commence as early as 9:55 pm on January 23rd from Pulau Sebang Station to Batu Caves, with a frequency of every one hour. Meanwhile, trains from Pelabuhan Klang Station to Batu Caves will start as early as 11:39 pm, also with a frequency of every one hour.
KTMB (Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad) is introducing new additional services for commuters originating from Pelabuhan Klang, allowing them to access direct trips to Batu Caves after midnight. This year, a total of 28 stations will operate 24 hours throughout this period, compared to 26 stations last year. The additional stations are Rembau Station and Pulau Sebang Station.
2. Free Ride for KTM Komuter Passengers in the Klang Valley on January 24 and 25 2024
The Ministry of Transport, through KTMB, will provide free rides for KTM Komuter passengers in the Klang Valley for two days, specifically on January 24th and 25th. This marks the government’s first instance of offering complimentary fares to KTM Komuter users in the Klang Valley in conjunction with the Thaipusam celebration.
MOT hopes that this gesture of free rides will add more significance to the Thaipusam festivities, especially since the free fare is extended to all KTM Komuter users in the Klang Valley. Other commuters and travelers are also encouraged to take advantage of the complimentary KTM Komuter service for two days, as mentioned earlier.
The free fare initiative will commence from January 24, 2024, at 00:00 AM until January 25, 2024, at 11:59 PM. The complimentary fare will be applied when passengers check in and check out at the Automated Gate System (ACG) of the destination stations during this period.
MOT anticipates that around 250,000 individuals will utilize the KTM Komuter service in the Klang Valley throughout the 4-day, 3-night period, with an expected surge in passenger numbers on the peak day, Thaipusam, on January 25, 2024.
3. Additional ETS Services for Butterworth – KL Sentral and Padang Besar – KL Sentral Routes
To facilitate travel between the Central Zone and Northern Zone of the Peninsula, KTMB is also offering four additional ETS services with an additional ticket capacity of 3,150 from January 24th to January 28th. The details are as follows:
i) Two services per day for the Butterworth – KL Sentral and KL Sentral – Butterworth routes on January 24th and 25th, 2024.
ii) Two services per day for the Padang Besar – KL Sentral and KL Sentral – Padang Besar routes from January 26th to January 28th, 2024.
Ticket sales for these additional trains will commence on January 15, 2024, at 12pm, this Monday.
4. Free Rapid Bus shuttle services available in Kuala Lumpur and Penang
To enhance the continuity of devotees participation in the Thaipusam celebration, Rapid Bus will provide free intermediate bus services in Kuala Lumpur and Penang on January 24th and 25th. The three free routes in Kuala Lumpur include BC02 (Hab Bandar Pasar Seni – Batu Caves), BC03 (Gombak LRT Station – Batu Caves), and BC04 (Kg Batu MRT Station – Batu Caves). The involved free route in Penang is ST01 (Jetty – Adventist).
5. Railway Asset Corporation (RAC) repairs the pedestrian overhead bridge at Batu Caves Railway Station
In early 2023, the Railway Assets Corporation (RAC) received complaints about wear and leaks in the pedestrian overhead bridge roof near the Batu Caves Railway Station. Following this, a meeting and site visit with the Sungai Tua Community Service Center were conducted on February 16, 2023. The Chief Executive Officer of RAC visited the overhead bridge on April 20, 2023.
On June 26, 2023, repair works were completed, involving the installation of a new roof, replacement of new fluorescent lights, and painting of the pillars and roof brackets, with a total cost of RM95,599. By undertaking these repair and maintenance works on the overhead bridge the comfort of Batu Caves residents and visitors has been enhanced.
The comprehensive enhancements introduced by the Ministry of Transport undoubtedly contribute to a more auspicious and convenient Thaipusam celebration for all devotees. With the improved public transportation services, additional KTM Komuter trains, and free shuttle bus initiatives, the Ministry has not only facilitated smoother travel but also fostered a sense of unity and inclusivity during this sacred occasion. As we embark on this blessed Thaipusam, it is imperative for all devotees to play a role in maintaining cleanliness, ensuring a serene and spiritually fulfilling experience for everyone involved.
Source: Astro Awani