Practical Life in Kuala Lumpur

Transport in Kuala Lumpur

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Public Transportation in Kuala Lumpur

There is a serious congestion problem in Kuala Lumpur and public transportation seeks to alleviate that. Public transport in Kuala Lumpur is extensive, making the city easy to navigate. It is also relatively affordable. It consists of a bus, tram, monorail and rail system. The Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) project is a work in progress with expanded lines planned to expand the network.

The primary transit hubs in Kuala Lumpur are:

  • KL Sentral - Kuala Lumpur's main railway station.
  • Pudu Sentral - Major intercity bus terminal in the city centre.
  • Putra Bus Terminal - Serves east coast destinations with rail connections.
  • Pasar Rakyat - Major bus terminal.
  • Duta Bus Terminal - Serves buses operated by Transnasional and Airport Coach (bus services to KLIA).

Beware that when riding public transport there is a heightened risk of pickpockets. Keep an eye on your belongings when getting on and off buses, trams, trains, etc.

Tickets for Public Transport

Prices are dependent on tickets or plan purchased.

The best bang for your buck can be found through the prepaid Rapidpass card. This card gives you unlimited access to the RapidKL busses, Light Rail Transport and Monorail, and can be loaded for one, three, 7, 15, or 30 days.

The card costs RM10 (including RM8 in credit) and can be bought at monorail and LRT stations. An all-day pass costs RM7.

To use, simply tap the card at the ticket gates or in the designated spot near the entry of the bus.

Buses in Kuala Lumpur

Rapid KL buses link the city center of Kuala Lumpur with the suburbs of the Klang Valley. Busses operate between the hours of 6am and midnight every day.

There are several bus operators in Kuala Lumpur. The main operator is Prasarana's subsidiaries of Rapid Bus who took over the operations of the two main bus operators, Intrakota and Cityliner. Other operators include Metrobus, Selangor Omnibus, Len Seng, Transnasional/Kenderaan Klang-Banting, Triton, Permata Kiara and others.

Trams in Kuala Lumpur

In addition to buses, there is a light tail system. While helpful, it can be quite awkward as the different lines were constructed by different companies. There are three lines:

  • Ampang-Sentul Timur
  • Sri Petaling-Sentul Timur
  • Kelana Jaya-Terminal Putra

The trams also work on tokens or MyRapid cards. Even though the companies that constructed the lines were different, they work under the same ticket since 2011.

Bus/Metro: Rapid KL

Trains in Kuala Lumpur

Like the Rapid Bus, the trains connect the city center of Kuala Lumpur to the suburbs of Klang Valley, and as well as the airport. If you were to stay on one line, time and efficiency shouldn't be a problem. However, connecting and transferring to a different line from another can be inconvenient, as the overall system is still new and hasn't quiet integrated yet.  

KL train systems:

  • KL Monorail
  • Star LRT
  • Putra LRT
  • ERL
  • KTM Komuter

Monorail in Kuala Lumpur

The monorail is primed for visitors. Cars are air-conditioned and take loads of people from KL Sentral to Titiwangsa with stops in sightseeing areas. The monorail also works on MyRapid cards.

Trains in Malaysia

KTM offers train services to select cities in Peninsular Malaysia. Long-distance routes are slow, but inexpensive and reliable. The main lines are:

  • West - Butterworth (near Penang), Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru
  • East - Gua Musang, Taman Negara National Park, Kota Bharu and the Perhentian islands
  •  Jungle train - operates between Tumpat and Gemas. Service is slow and there is neither air-conditioning nor reservations

There are international services to Thailand and Singapore. There are three class seats to choose from and a sleeper option. Travel is safe and easy, and a great way to see the country. Please note that in East Malaysia, only Sabah has train service. All tickets must be bought online at the KTM e-ticketing website.

Train: KTM

Airports in Malaysia

(KUL) KLIA, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, is the main airport to get into Kuala Lumpur. It is 60 KM away from KL's city center. It is a large airport with international and domestic arrivals and departures.

Transport to/from KLIA Airport

  • Trains: KLIA Transit and KLIA Ekspres is the commuter service to KLIA which takes 1hours. The transit makes three stops at Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya & Cyberjaya and Bandar Tasik Selatan, and will cost between RM15 to RM1.60 depending on your stop. KLIA Ekspres takes 28 minutes and costs RM35
  • Bus: The Commuter bus can be caught at KL Sentral for RM10-RM15 and it takes one hour.
  • Drive: The drive from central Kuala Lumpur takes one hour.
  • Taxi:  A taxi will cost between RM60 and RM80 and takes between 45 minutes to one hour dependent on traffic. Note that there is a RM12 surcharge for taxis to the airport.

Taxis in Kuala Lumpur

Taxis (or teksi in Malay) are plentiful in Kuala Lumpur and usually air-conditioned. Chances are, they will stop and ask you if you need a taxi. There are also designated taxi stops where taxis line up to take travelers.

There are two kinds of taxis in Kuala Lumpur, standard and executive.  The standard is the more affordable option and there is little difference between the two services besides the ability to carry more people and luggage in the executive option.

Taxi Companies in Kuala Lumpur

City Cab Kuala Lumpur
146 Jalan Ampang,
55000 Kuala Lumpur
T : (12) 237-6906

Public Cab
19-1 Jalan 1/46A,
Taman Niaga Waris,
Off Jalan Kuching,
51200 Kuala Lumpur
T : (3) 6259-2929

Saujana Teksi
17 Lorong Yap Kwan Seng,
Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
T : (3) 2162-8888
F : (3) 2161-7626

Sunlight Taxi/Unicablink
13 Jalan Bunga Melati,
Taman Maju Jaya,
56100 Kuala Lumpur
Dial-a-Cab: 1300-800-222
Online Booking:

Taxi Fares & Tipping in Kuala Lumpur

Fares start at RM3 for the first two minutes. Each additional 45 seconds cost 20 sen. There are additional charges for rides from midnight to 6am, more than two passengers, and luggage. There is also a RM12 surcharge for taxis to the airport. All fares are paid in cash.

Kuala Lumpur taxi drives are notorious for being aggressive and will try to rip you off. This happens by rewiring the meter or will say that their meter is broken and offer a price. This is illegal. Simply walk away if the driver refuses to use the meter or you are not able to agree on a fixed price before entering the cab. For an example of a fair price, know that a trip across town should only cost about RM10. Ask for a receipt if you have questions about charges. If you experience a scam, report the driver to the toll free number posted on the taxi. The license number is needed and is visible throughout the taxi.

It isn't common to tip taxi drivers in Malaysia.

Car Hire in Kuala Lumpur

There are a few car rental companies to choose from with most major international companies having an office in Kuala Lumpur. Hotels and tour agencies can arrange a car for hire, or you can simply choose a company and rent. Driving through the city is not recommended for visitors as traffic and parking are difficult to navigate. Getting out of the city can also take some skills as the road system can be a confusing mess of one-ways and contradictory directions. Once out in the countryside, however, driving can allow you to see places foreigners rarely visit.

Renters must be 23 years old and must have a valid national or International Driving License. Other nationals who hold a valid driving license in English can drive in Malaysia for a maximum of 3 months.

Car Hire in Kuala Lumpur

Sime Darby Rent A Car
Lot G01A-02A, Ground Floor, Wisma MPL
Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Mayflower Car Rental
18, Jalan Segambut Pusat
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia Car Rental
Seri Bukit Ceylon Business Suite 3-07, No 8, Lorong Ceylon off Jalan Raja Chulan, 52100, Kuala Lumpur, WP Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Map: Google map of Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Map:

Update 3/06/2015


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