Kuala Lumpur is an easy city to get around with a large network of buses, light commuter trains and fleet taxis. However, traffic jams are legendary and can often make a road commute longer than necessary. With this in mind, avoid taxis and buses during peak hours (7:30 – 9:00 a.m & 5:00 -7:30 p.m.). During these busier periods of the day, trains are the best way to get around the city.
The city is linked by rail with three major lines; the LRT (Light Rail Transit), KL Monorail and KTM Komuter. The services are frequent, punctual and hassle free, and there are bus services from train stations to designated areas. The map below shows how the different rail networks intertwine in Kuala Lumpur:
The KL Monorail (Light Blue colour on map) serves 11 stations in the city and runs along two parallel elevated tracks covering a distance of 8.6 kilometers. It connects KL Sentral with major hotels and shopping malls in the city.
Operating hours are between 6.00am and midnight daily. During peak hours trains arrive at 5-minute intervals and 6 to 10-minute intervals during non-peak hours.
Notable stations along the KL Monorail include Bukit Bintang (for shopping) and Bukit Nemas (for KL Tower).
The LRT (Light Rail Transits) has two lines. The first, called the Putra Line (Yellow colour on map), has 24 stations and stretches from the Putra Terminal in Gombak to the Kelana Jaya Terminal in Petaling Jaya. The second, called the STAR LRT line (Green colour on map), has 25 stations and runs from Ampang to either Sentul Timur (North) or Seri Petaling (South).
Trains operate from 6am to 11:45 p.m. at 3 to 5-minute intervals during peak hours and 5 to 8-minute intervals during non-peak hours.
Notable stations on the LRT’s Putra Line include KLCC (for Petronas Twin towers, KLCC), and Pasar Seni (Central Market).
The KTM Komuter (Purple colour on map) has 2 lines serving a total of 41 stations. The lines are Sentul – Port Klang, and Rawang – Seremban. Services are available from 5:48 a.m. to midnight daily. Trains arrive at 15-minute intervals during peak hours and 20-minute intervals during non-peak hours.
Buses are an affordable way to travel in Kuala Lumpur, but they often have routes that may be too complex for the average visitor. Visitors will mainly use Rapid KL and Metroliner buses. There is an information booth that operates from 7a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Jalan Sultan Mohammed bus stop in Chinatown, where you can pick up a route map.
The maximum single fare is usually RM1 for destinations within the city limits. Alternatively, if you plan on using the buses frequently, you can buy the one day unlimited ride ticket for RM2 on Rapid KL’s 15 different city routes.
Since KL’s inexpensive taxis and reliable LRT systems are more efficient and comfortable, visitors are often prefer using them instead of the bus system
KL Hop-On Hop-Off
This is a tourist bus that guides you through the main attractions of Kuala Lumpur. The bus runs every 15 to 30 minutes. The City Tour offers a pre-recorded commentary in eight different languages (Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Japanese, French and Spanish). The bus passes include 40 attractions in the city. Riders can chose to hop-on or hop-off the bus at any of the 22 designated stops. A standard ticket costs RM38 for 24 hours, and RM65 for 48 hours. The tour buses are disable-friendly.
There are two types of taxis in Kuala Lumpur. Common cabs which are red and white, have meters and can be flagged down from almost anywhere. Be aware that KL Taxis are required to use a meter-charge but often cabbies don’t adhere to this rule. Premier taxis, on the other hand, are more luxurious vehicles and tend to have meters. Avoid overcharging by making sure that the driver uses the meter. Driver details are required by law to be stamped in bold on the left side of the car’s dashboard. Problems can be reported to the authorities by taking down drivers personal details.
Kuala Lumpur is a great city for walking. Here is a walking tour that encompasses the main centre attractions (2-3 hours): starting at Chinatown (Petaling Street), look for the following landmarks on a map of the city: the Maybank building, the Times Square towers, the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower. Start at the Maybank building (vertically striped wedge) and walk up Jalan Pudu, which turns into Jalan Bukit Bintang (Royale Bintang Hotel) at about 1 km. Stop for coffee at Bintang Walk, or check out the electronics mega-mall, Plaza Low Yat. Continue on Jalan Sultan Ismail towards the Petronas Twin Towers. Wind your way from Petronas along Jalan P. Ramlee past the KL Tower and down Jalan Raja Chulan back to the Maybank building and Chinatown.