Best Ways to Get Around In Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Travel Guides / October 06, 2016
Best Ways to Get Around In Kuala Lumpur Image credit: 06photo/123rf

Kuala Lumpur, which is the capital and the most populous metropolis of Malaysia, is a busy city that has a very diverse transportation system. In fact, the city is notorious for its heavy traffic during rush hours.

That’s why many visitors usually go sightseeing on foot. But if you know which modes of transportation are convenient and at what hours you should take, you can actually enjoy getting around in Kuala Lumpur without having to spend much time walking.

In this article, we will help you figure out transportation means that work best for you. Read on and complete this must-do homework before landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

See also: Best Ways to Get From Kuala Lumpur International Airport to City

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED IN KUALA LUMPUR

If your trip in Kuala Lumpur will last for more than a couple of days, consider buying the prepaid MyRapid card, which can be used on pretty much all public transport modes in the city.

You can get your MyRapid card at any monorail and LRT station for only 10 Malaysian Ringgits (RM), which equals to about $2.5.

You should use your MyRapid card at the ticket gates or upon boarding a bus.

1. KL Taxis

KL Taxis Image credit: Ilya Plekhanov/Wikicommons

Taxi is a comfortable way to get around in Kuala Lumpur and it’s pretty affordable.

It is also a great way to get to any wanted venue because you don’t have to walk from train or bus station on foot to reach your destination (while holding a smartphone with Google Maps trying to figure out where you are).

One minus point when using this service is that there is a number of taxi vipers, who will try to do some tricks to get more from you. The best way to protect yourself from getting scammed is to negotiate the fares before you get in the vehicle and always make sure the driver turns on the meter.

Service hours: 24 hours

Fares: RM3 ($0.7) for first 1 km, then RM1 ($0.25)/km (based on the price lists of red and white taxi services)

Notes
– There are no opening fees for taxis in Kuala Lumpur.
– The lowest price services are red and white taxis (RM3, $0.7 first 1 km, then RM1/km, $0.25/km). There are also service of bright blue taxis (RM6, $1.4 first 1km, then RM2/km, $0.5/km).
– If you use taxi services between 00:01 and 05:59 there will be a 50% surcharge (if at 01:00 the meter shows RM20, you’ll have to pay RM20+10).
– Expect small surcharges such as radio call charge (RM2, $0.5) and luggage charge (RM1, $0.25 per one piece).
– Uber and GrabCar are available in Kuala Lumpur, and they most of the time are cheaper than the regular taxi services in the city.

2. RapidKL Buses

RapidKL Buses Image credit: RapidKL

RapidKL, which is Malaysia’s biggest bus operator, runs 177 routes around Kuala Lumpur.

Buses in Kuala Lumpur is nothing like buses in other developed cities around the world, because their overall service is quite poor.

So if you think that getting around in Kuala Lumpur by bus will be fun and will allow you to see lots of tourist attractions, you’re wrong.

Only a few buses in the city have air conditioning and there are usually no maps, timetables, signs and routes provided at bus stops, so you have no idea where you’re headed.

In fact, it can take you from 10 minutes to 2 hours to wait for the next bus. It also gets crowded in those buses during rush hours. And it’s not the fastest way to get to your destination, as buses operate with set stops.

You can purchase a ticket either by giving the driver cash or using your MyRapid card via a machine.

Service hours: 06:00 – 23:00 daily

Service schedule: Usually every 10 minutes

Fares: Ranging from RM1 ($0.25) to RM5 ($1.2), depending on the count of stops

Note: Children under 7 can travel for free on bus services.

3. Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Monorail

Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Monorail Image credit: Alancrh/Wikicommons

The Light Rail Transit (LRT), comprised of RapidKL and KTM Komuter, and the KL Monorail is the closest thing to a metro Kuala Lumpur has. However, it has only a few stations underground and is mainly elevated above the ground.

There are three RapidKL lines in the city: Ampang–Sentul Timur, Sri Petaling–Sentul Timurand Kelana Jaya–Terminal Putra.

There are two Komuter lines: Tanjung Malim–Sungai Gadut and Batu Caves–Pelabuhan Klang.

RapidKL and KTM Komuter connect the city center to the suburbs. And KL Monorail runs straight through central Kuala Lumpur.

Due to the fact that the LRT lines were built by different firms, it’s pretty confusing to figure out how to get from one line to another.

In fact, you’ll have to use elevators and stairs and even walk a couple of blocks in order to transfer between lines. And if it rains and you don’t have an umbrella, prepare to get wet while transferring to another line.

The KL Monorail gets very crowded during rush hours, which is why it’s not suitable for sightseeing during these periods of time.

You can purchase LRT tokens at machines at the entrance of every station before getting on the train.

If you want to go shopping in the famous Golden Triangle, hop off from the train onBukit Bintang station @ Monorail line. If you want some clubbing at P. Ramlee, alight atBukit Nanas @ Monorail line.

The KL Sentral station serves as a complex transportation hub that connects trains and buses in the city.

Service hours: 06:00 – 00:00 daily

Service schedule: Every 4 to 5 minutes during rush hours and 7 to 14 minutes during off-rush hours for the RapidKL and Monorail. And every 5 minutes during rush hours and 15 minutes during off-rush hours for the Komuter.

Fares: Ranging from RM0.7 ($0.17) to RM2.5 (to $0.6) for the RapidKL; from RM0.7 ($0.17) to RM2.8 ($0.68) for the Komuter; and from RM1.2 ($0.29) to RM2.5 ($0.6) for the Monorail.

Notes
– KL Sentral @ Monorail line is not located inside the main building of KL Sentral, which means you’ll have to walk about 400 meters to reach the main building.
– Children under 7 can travel for free on train services.

4. Hop-on, Hop-off Tourist Bus Service

Hop-on, Hop-off Tourist Bus Service Image credit: KL Hop-on Hop-off

Hop-on, Hop-off tourist buses allow you to explore Kuala Lumpur and save you from lots of trouble: such as having to figure out how to use the LRT system or how to transfer between lines to get to a certain station.

You’ll always notice those Hop-on, Hop-off busses on the streets as they are double-decker buses featuring bright and catchy colors.

You can find Hop-on, Hop-off counters in front of almost all tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur. It is your choice to purchase tickets at those counters or when you’re already on board.

It’s recommended to start the tour in front of shopping mall called Lot10, because it’s the starting point of the Hop-on, Hop-off bus.

Service hours: 09:00 – 20:00 daily

Service schedule: Intervals between the buses 20 to 30 minutes

Fares: Ticket valid for 24 hours RM40 ($9.7); valid for 48 hours RM74 ($17.95), children/students/disabled RM19 ($4.6) and RM38 ($9.2), respectively

Notes
– There is free Wi-Fi on board.
– The pre-recorded English commentary is given through headphones.
– One tour covers more than 50 Kuala Lumpur tourist attractions.
– Buses make 23 designated stops.
– Children under 5 ride free.

5. Sunway BRT Electric Buses

Sunway BRT Electric Buses Image credit: RapidKL

The Sunway BRT, which was recently launched in June 2015, was built on elevated tracks that stretch 5.4 km within Sunway and Subang Jaya, and is designed for electric buses.

Electric buses, all of which are eco-friendly, are capable to carry 67 passengers each. With seven stations in its network, the service is mostly used by students around Sunway.

You can use the Sunway BRT, if you need to hop off on any of the following stations: Sunway-Setia Jaya, Mentari, Sunway Lagoon, SunMed, Sun U-Monash, South Quay  and USJ 7.

The buses have free WiFi on board, get in one of them if you need to catch some breath and use the Internet to figure out where to go next.

Service hours: 06:00 – 00:00 daily

Service schedule: Every 4 minutes during rush hours and every 8 minutes during off-rush hours

Fares: Range from RM1.6 ($0.4) to RM5.4 ($1.3), depending on the count of stops

6. Genting Skyway Cable Cars

Genting Skyway Cable Cars Image credit: Genting Skyway

You can have fun getting to and from Kuala Lumpur and Genting Highlands, Malaysia’s version of Las Vegas, with the help of cable cars by Genting Skyway.

However, to get to the Genting Skyway location, you’ll have to take a bus.

Cable cars transfer more than 2,000 people per hour (a trip duration is 15 minutes). One cable car carries a maximum of 8 adult passengers.

You can purchase tickets at Genting Skyway ticket counter in KL Sentral.

Service hours: 07:30 – 12:00 daily

Service schedule: Every 3 minutes

Fares: One-way ticket RM6.4 ($1.55); two-way ticket RM12.8 ($3.1); express one-way ticket RM31.8 ($7.7).

Note: Children below the height of 90cm can ride the cable cars for free.