How to navigate the LRT in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has a number of train systems that run through the city, but one I’ve found particularly useful is known as the LRT (Light Rail Transit). The LRT is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get around the city, consisting of the two major lines Ampang and Kelana Jaya.

Travelling by the LRT is a fairly simple process, but it can still stump first or second timers. So here’s a quick run down on how to buy your train token, move through the gates, get on the train (which can be more difficult than it sounds), exit when you’ve arrived at your destination, and a few extra helpful tips.

Buying your token

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To buy your token for the LRT, you’ll need to go to a ticket vending machine. These are hard to miss – they’re large silver standalone stations, and are usually are accompanied by signage that says “tickets”.  On the touch screen, be sure to click on the LRT icon. The LRT icon will be red or yellow depending on which line you’re taking. Once you click on the LRT icon, it will bring up all the destinations available on that LRT line. Simply select your destination, press “tunai”, enter your payment, and the token will dispense.

Entering and exiting the station with your token

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This part is pretty simple, but you’ll often see tourists standing at the gates wondering how to enter or exit. Here’s how to avoid being one of those tourists: to enter the station, scan your token over the red pad (pictured left) and to exit the station, place your token into the metal slot (pictured right). Like I said, pretty simple.

Finding your platform and getting on the train

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LRT stations in Kuala Lumpur are well-equipped with signage to assist you to the right platform.

At most stations, as you proceed toward the platforms you’ll find large boards that will detail which platform you will need to catch your train from. The board will show you which train station you are at, as well as provide you with the name and number of the stop you’re currently located. For example, in the above picture (right) it shows the station is ‘Ampang Park’ and it is station number ‘KJ9.’ It also lists the stations the trains at that platform will continue on to.

Now for the hard part, getting on the train. If you’ve been on the London Tube or Paris Metro, the crowds will probably be a breeze. If not, you should be prepared to push your way onto the train and get cosy with your fellow commuters. All sense of personal space is lost on the LRT, so if you’re not comfortable with body-to-body contact with strangers, you may only want to use the trains outside of the peak times – or jump in taxi!

Other details to note

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When buying tokens, make sure you have plenty of RM1 and RM5 notes or coins, as the machines will not accept anything larger. If you will be in Kuala Lumpur for a considerable amount of time or plan to use the LRT regularly, you may want to consider purchasing a MyRapid card, which you can load with ringgit and you won’t have to worry about tokens every time.

The LRT trains run seven days a week between 6am to 12pm, with peak periods around 7-9am and 5-7pm.

If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to approach the staff at the station. I’ve needed help on two occasions, once when I missed my station and another time trying to figure out the best route to reach my destination. I found the staff to be extremely helpful, knowledgable (as you’d expect), and spoke English.

The LRT is a great way to save money getting to and from KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport). The Kelana Jaya trains stop at KL Sentral, and from there the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) Express operates on a line transporting passengers to and from the KLIA1 and KLIA2. The price of this fare is RM55. Tickets for the KLIA Express can be brought before you exit through customs or before you enter the platform.

For more information visit MyRapid’s website.

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