Financing Public Transport Systems in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Challenges and Prospects

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - travel demand management, planning - travel demand management, ridership - demand, economics - value capture, organisation - management, mode - mass transit


Value capture, Trip reduction, Travel demand management, Transportation demand management, Transit, Tokyo (Japan), TDM measures, Public transit, Public private partnerships, Mass transit, Local transit, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Hong Kong (China), Funding, Financing, Case studies


In Kuala Lumpur, the failure of major public transportation operators to secure sufficient funding has impacted service quality. Previous funding programs implemented in the city have not produced a replicable model for financing public transport. The state has in the recent past emerged as a key source of funding for the public transport sector in Kuala Lumpur. This paper argues that, despite the challenges, prospects for the future funding of public transport in Kuala Lumpur appear to be good. In order to create an efficient and financially sound public transportation system for Kuala Lumpur, it is crucial that more viable strategies and policies such as value capture and public-private sector partnerships are adopted by the urban authorities. New public transportation investments and modernization programs should also be implemented as part of a larger urban development policy. Transportation demand management strategies that would encourage the use of public transportation, such as high fuel taxes and parking charges, should also be implemented. Lessons are drawn from the examples of Tokyo and Hong Kong.