Getting Around in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

KL Sentral in Brickfields, 1km south of the historic old train station, is the hub of a sophisticated rail-based urban network consisting of the KTM Komuter, KLIA Ekspres, KLIA Transit, LRT and Monorail systems.

Unfortunately the systems – all built separately – remain largely unintegrated. Different tickets generally apply for each service, and at stations where there’s an interchange between the services they’re rarely conveniently connected. This said, you can happily get around much of central KL on a combination of rail and monorail services, thus avoiding the traffic jams that plague the inner-city roads. And the Touch & Go stored value card (available at all LRT stations) can be used at the electronic gates to the LRT, train and monorail systems.

On paper, KL should have one of the best public transport systems around, with numerous bus routes and a sophisticated rail-based mass transit system made up of the KTM Komuter, KLIA Ekspres, KLIA Transit, LRT and monorail systems. Unfortunately the systems are poorly integrated. As a rule, you need a different ticket for each service and many of the ‘interchange’ stations are actually on different streets, linked by a series of walkways and overpasses.

This said, the monorail and Kelana Jaya/Terminal Putra line of the LRT provide access to most points of interest in the city centre, avoiding the traffic jams that plague the inner-city roads. The rechargeable Touch & Go stored value card (available at all LRT stations for an RM10 deposit) can be used at the electronic gates to the LRT, train and monorail systems.


  • Rapid KL

    KL has streamlined its confusing bus system. Now you’ll mainly see Rapid KL (1800-388 228; and Metroliner buses. There’s an information booth(7am-9pm) at the Jln Sultan Mohammed bus stop in Chinatown, where you can pick up a route map and information on various season tickets.

    Local buses leave from many of the bus terminals around the city, including the huge Puduraya bus station on Jln Pudu, the Klang bus station, the Jln Sultan Mohammed bus stop, and from along Medan Pasar and Lebuh Ampang near the Masjid Jamek LRT stations. The maximum single fare is usually RM1 for destinations within the city limits. A RM2 ticket allows you one day’s unlimited travel on Rapil KL’s 15 different city routes.

    Since KL’s inexpensive taxis and reliable LRT systems are more efficient, not to mention air-conditioned, there’s little point in using buses unless you’re going to be in KL for some time. You’ll only really need the bus for trips to outlying areas, such as the Batu Caves.


    Although there are several smaller companies, most buses in KL are provided by either Rapid KL (1800-388 228; or Metrobus (5635 3070). Rapid KL buses are the easiest to use as destinations are clearly displayed. Its buses are divided into four classes, and tickets are valid all day on the same class of bus. Bas Bandar (routes starting with B, RM2) services run around the city centre. Bas Utama (routes starting with U, RM2) buses run from the centre to the suburbs. Bas Tempatan (routes starting with T, RM1) buses run around the suburbs. Bas Ekspres (routes starting with E, RM4) are express buses to distant suburbs. You can also buy an all-day ticket covering all nonexpress buses (RM4) and a ticket covering all Rapid KL buses and trains (RM7). All the bus routes have recently been renumbered – there’s an information booth (7am to 9pm) in front of Pasar Seni LRT station where you can pick up a route map and information on various season tickets.

    Local buses leave from half a dozen small bus stands around the city – useful stops in Chinatown include Jln Sultan Mohamed (by Pasar Seni), Klang Bus Station (south of Pasar Seni), Bangkok Bank (on Lebuh Pudu), Medan Pasar (on Lebuh Ampang), Central Market (on Jln Hang Kasturi) and the Kota Raya department store (on Jln Cheng Lock).

  • Cityliner

    Cityliner and Intrakota are the main providers of Kuala Lumpur's comprehensive and highly complex bus service. Although routes vary, main services generally run between 5:00 and 24:00. Each company operates a different fare system, with fares ranging from 0.60 RM to 1 RM and tickets are purchased on board (exact change is preferred). Bus route maps are displayed at many bus stops throughout the city.


  • KLIA Taxi Service

    017-333 1800

    KL has plenty of taxis, and fares are cheap, starting at RM2 for the first kilometre, with an additional 10 sen for each 200m. From midnight to 6am there’s a surcharge of 50% on the metered fare, and extra passengers (more than two) are charged 20 sen each. Luggage placed in the boot costs an extra RM1.

    Even though the law mandates the use of the meter, you’ll often find taxi drivers unwilling to use it, citing KL’s traffic or the out-of-the-way location of your destination as a reason. Taxi drivers lingering outside luxury hotels are especially guilty of this behaviour. Stand your ground and, if necessary, walk off and hail another taxi. If you choose to bargain, fares around town start at RM5 and it should cost no more than RM10 to go right across the central city area.

    Be aware that taxis will often only stop at the numerous officially signposted taxi stands and although it is possible to wave one down, some drivers are reluctant to stop.


    KL has plenty of air-conditioned taxis, which queue up at designed taxi stops across the city. You can also flag down moving taxis, but drivers will only stop if there is a convenient place to pull over. Fares start at RM2 for the first two minutes, with an additional 10 sen for each 45 seconds. From midnight to 6am there’s a surcharge of 50% on the metered fare, and extra passengers (more than two) are charged 20 sen each. Luggage placed in the boot is an extra RM1 and there’s an RM12 surcharge for taxis to KLIA.

    Unfortunately, some drivers have a limited geographical knowledge of the city, and many are reluctant to use the meter, even though this is a legal requirement. Taxi drivers lingering outside luxury hotels are especially guilty of this behaviour, citing KL’s traffic or the out-of-the-way location of your destination as a reason for an elevated cash fare. This is baloney. If a driver demands a fixed fare, bargain hard, or walk away and find another taxi. As a guide, you can get right across the centre of town for RM5 on the meter or RM10 after bargaining. Note that KL Sentral and some large malls have a coupon system for taxis where you pay in advance.


  • KLIA Ekspres

    Linked to the city centre by major expressways and bus services, KLIA is easily accessible via ground transportation but it is the KLIA Express train service that really tops the list as most convenient way to travel to and from the airport. Connecting KL Sentral and KLIA, this rail link service is managed by Express Rail Link and runs at 160kmh: the journey takes only 28 minutes. From KL Sentral it is super convenient to hop on a KTM Komuter, LRT, Monorail or even taxi, to get to your chosen destination.

  • KLIA Transit

    Similar to the KLIA Express, the KL Transit train connects KLIA with KL Sentral but this service makes three stops along the way: at Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya and Bandar Tasik Selatan. The journey is slightly longer at 35 minutes.

  • KTM Kommuter

    Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) operates two KTM Kommuter lines. These electric trains run from Sentul to Port Klang and Rawang to Seremban, between 5:00-24:00. Fares depend on the distance travelled and cost RM1-RM4.80 for a single journey. Return fares and 12-trip tickets are also available. Each station has an easy-to-use ticket machine. KTM offers two day passes, the Kembara Ticket at RM10 for unlimited travel within the KTM network on weekends, school holidays and public holidays and the Mana Mana Ticket at RM6 for unlimited travel within the KTM network during weekdays, valid only after 9:00am. These are available from the KTM vending machines at the stations.

Car Rental

  • KL Car Rental

    +0617 873 5773

    Renting a car can be the perfect way to explore Malaysia's spectacular and rare sites from East to West without having to follow any fixed schedule or lose time waiting for buses, trains and taxis. Simply pick up your car and decide when you want to leave and which states you wish to visit to take full advantage of your holiday time. When travelling as a group or with your family, car rentals are definitely cost-effective, and less challenging, than having to organize transport for each individual or group.

    When you are planning to visit Malaysia by car, the best way to take full advantage of the car rental is to use it for exploring the different regions in more depth. Avoid driving from one region to another. It is always better to fly or take a bus for long-distance travel, then rent a car once you arrive to the region you wish to visit. This said, try and rent a car on a weekly basis, as three day car rentals can be quite a bit more expensive. The freedom of being able to drive where you wish is a great advantage and the best way to explore those off-the-beaten-track locations. It is however important to keep in mind that you will be driving in a foreign country, therefore some experience as a driver is advisable, especially if you are not used to left-hand driving.

    There are many good deals to be had and the low-down on car rentals can really provide some excellent options. What you need to avoid is showing up at the airport and walking up to the Budget, Hertz or Avis desks without having booked your car beforehand. Car rental rates will always be higher if you have not booked in advance. So, make sure you do so at least a week before you travel to Malaysia.

    It is worth checking out smaller firms and car rental companies that can be found locally, as these often provide last minute deals, and prices can be considerably lower than the bigger rental companies. Car hire websites can be of great help when tracking these down, as the website automatically researches the best deals offered by car rental companies, without you having to spend endless hours researching the Internet for the hundreds of deals available.

    When you are browsing through the various possibilities make sure you check the extra costs carefully, as often tax and insurance are not included with the price quote, and these may vary according to the rental company you choose. Some car rental companies offer special coupons and sales that can be found directly on their personal websites, which are worth exploring as a possible way to cut down on the original price. However, at times you can find better prices with other companies that are not offering sales. This is why using an automatic price research platform on the web can really save time and money.



Distance unit
Metric (km/h)
Traffic system
Left-hand drive


a) park head-in and turn your steering wheel fully clockwise or anti-clockwise. If someone tows your car from the rear, our car will swing and hit the wall or neighbouring cars.

b) Use a steering-wheel lock to secure the car after parking.

c) install GPS tracking system to trace car should it be hijacked.

d) If possible, do not dismount from car to settle disputes. Drive off to nearest Police station.

The best anti-theft measures will not stop a determined thief, but it might encourage him to choose an easier target. If an incidence should occur, do not struggle, our family’s safety is always Top priority.

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