KUALA LUMPUR: Pupils in school uniforms and the disabled community will get to enjoy free rides on Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) trains effective Feb 15.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said people with disabilities could use all KTMB services nationwide, except for the electric train service (ETS), at no charge.

As for primary school pupils, he said the privilege would be given to those using the Gemas-Tumpat intercity route.

Loke noted that in the east coast, there were pupils who took the train to school daily.

Citing Dabong and Kuala Gris in Kelantan as example, he said some 150 students were taking the 12-minute train ride between these two towns to attend schools everyday.

“So now, they just have to hop on the train,” he said, adding that the free rides would only be provided for pupils in school uniforms.

Asked if the privilege would be extended to secondary school students or schoolgoers nationwide, he said the matter would be further discussed after Chinese New Year.

Loke was speaking to reporters after distributing Chinese New Year gift packs to KTMB passengers at KL Sentral here yesterday.

Meanwhile, Loke also announced that the Skypark Link train service connecting KL Sentral and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, or better known by its old name of Subang Airport, would be suspended from Feb 15.

The decision was made due to the low ridership of some 80 passengers daily.

“The cost to run the service at 32 trips daily comes up to RM15mil a year.

“This money can be re-allocated for other purposes such as providing free rides for students and the disabled community,” he added.

He said the service might resume in one or two years depending on the demand and the four sets of trains would be re-deployed to other routes.

Meanwhile, KTMB said 99% of the 99,900 ETS tickets for trips from Jan 18 to 27 had been sold as of 8am yesterday.