Far from giving up, ERL is going all out to win back loyal riders

EXPRESS Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), the operator of the KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit services that connects the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA & KLIA2) and Malaysia’s Federal capital is all out to restore the faith of its once frequent riders.

Recall that travel restriction in the form of movement control order (MCO) has resulted in the train operator suspended its service for its otherwise daily service for a total of 30 days in the whole of 2020.

As a result, it revealed to FocusM that its current daily ridership of 3,200 represents an average 87% drop from the pre-pandemic period (2019).

From April 4 to May 3 – following an extended MCO period – ERL called off its rail services due to the very low numbers of ridership.

This is considering the COVID-19 pandemic has completely stopped all air travels and closed almost all offices and services, resulting in virtually no air travellers and limited commuters using ERL’s services.

The temporary halt of ERL’s services back then was reflective of similar unfortunate circumstances in many countries, namely City Airport Train in Vienna, Rhonexpress in Lyon, Gatwick Express in London, Gautrain in Johannesburg, and Airport Express Line in New Delhi.

In October last year, ERL announced that both the KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit would operate as a combined service, but with reduced frequency/interval (from Oct 17 to Nov 1) due to the conditional movement control order (CMCO) in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor.

However, effective April 15, more services were added to accommodate the growing passenger ridership with the existing schedule subject to constant review and adjustment.

What’s next?

To kickstart its lost momentum – very much from scratch – ERL has taken the bold step to offer a free weekly TravelCard for every purchase of a KLIA Transit monthly TravelCard with a registered MyKad from May 1 to July 31 July 2021.

The monthly TravelCard provides savings for commuters as it is heavily discounted with discounts of up to 83%.

“Targeting daily commuters, the Buy 1 Free 1 promotion was first introduced during the recovery MCO (RMCO) period last year,” commented ERL’s CEO Noormah Mohd Noor.

“We are offering it again now to encourage more people who are going back to their office or workplace to start using public transportation again for their daily commute.”

On the same note, ERL also announced that effective May 1, it is switching the TravelCard from a smart card ticket to MyKad platform in line with the national Go Cashless initiative.

To enjoy a more seamless user experience, riders need to register online at https://mykad.KLIAekspres.com, to activate and reload their MyKad. With MyKad, they can opt for auto-activation and auto-reload for greater convenience.

The switch will also affect those who are eligible for KLIA Transit concession fares such as Malaysian senior citizens, students, disabled persons and airport/airline staff. Registration can also be done in person at ERL registration booth at any KLIA Transit stations (except KLIA2). – April 30, 2021

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