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Kuala Lumpur has an extensive and, for the most part, efficient transport system. Relatively cheap and easy to use, signs are clearly marked in English and Bahasa Malaysia. Thus, expats should not have a problem getting around in Kuala Lumpur.
Public transport in Kuala Lumpur
Public transport in Kuala Lumpur is extensive and includes taxis, buses and various rail systems. Transport routes, availability and commute times are significant factors expats will have to get used to when moving to Malaysia. But ultimately, getting around Kuala Lumpur is relatively easy.
MyRapid Cards can be purchased and money is loaded onto the card which can then be swiped for bus and rail use. The MyRapid Card gives unlimited travel on the RapidKL buses, Light Rail Transport lines or Monorail and can be loaded for travel for up to 30 days. The card works on a 'touch 'n go' system. Every time a traveller places the card on the reader, the ticket value is automatically deducted.
Petty thieves and pickpockets are known to operate on public transport in Kuala Lumpur. Expats should always keep a close eye on their possessions, especially when getting on and off buses and trains.
Kuala Lumpur has an extensive bus network. There are a number of bus services available, including Metrobus, Rapid KL and City Liner. Buses are cheap and efficient, provided there are no traffic jams.
Bus fares depend on the operating company. Some will use the daily pass system, while on others the price of a journey will depend on how many zones are travelled across.
Kuala Lumpur has a well-developed rail system consisting of two major Light Rail Transit lines: the Kelana Jaya line and the Ampang line. It also possesses a monorail line which runs from Titiwangsa to KL Sentral, two commuter rail systems and an airport rail link.
Trains in Kuala Lumpur are integrated into the bus system, which makes it easy to transfer from one system to another. It also means that commuters don’t have to pay separate fees when moving from the railway onto a bus route.
The LRT is the most reliable form of public transport in Kuala Lumpur. However, it can get very crowded, especially during rush hour.
Taxis in Kuala Lumpur are available 24 hours a day, and can be hailed on the street. There are extra charges if booking a taxi over the phone or after midnight. Taxis generally have a fixed rate depending on the distance travelled, and those from Kuala Lumpur International Airport are prepaid at a counter within the building.
Due to heavy traffic congestion, particularly during rush hour, taxis are not the most convenient means of getting around Kuala Lumpur.
Driving in Kuala Lumpur
Driving in Kuala Lumpur can be chaotic at the best of times. Traffic lights are not always adhered to, and this goes for other road rules as well. Due to the unpredictable nature of other drivers in Malaysia, driving is not recommended. Cars drive on the left-hand side of the road.
If in possession of a valid international driver’s license then it is relatively simple to get a probationary driving license in Malaysia. Expats will need a number of documents, such as their original driver’s license, a translated script if it is not in English, a colour photograph, passport, payment and a completed application form. A work permit that is valid for more than three months is also needed.
Are you an expat living in Kuala Lumpur?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Kuala Lumpur. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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