RapidKL Puts Marketing Retail Space on Fast Lane

By Zuraimi Abdullah

RANGKAIAN Pengangkutan Deras Sdn Bhd (RapidKL) has been aggressively marketing retail space at its LRT stations and advertisement space on its buses, to make more money.

The LRT (light rail transit) stations under RapidKL now have nearly 70,000 sq ft of space for retail. Half has been tenanted.

“Since RapidKL took over in late 2004, we have been aggressively marketing our retail areas,” RapidKL chief executive officer Rein Westra said in an interview yesterday.

The areas range from ATM machines which take up as little as 16 sq ft to factory outlets like the GME at KL Sentral and Kelana Jaya stations, at over 3,200 sq ft.

RapidKL has 48 LRT stations and runs 165 bus routes linking to the stations. Its daily ticket sales have more than doubled at 198,000 compared to 90,000 prior to the takeover from the previous operator.

Westra believes the retail outlets have big potential with the increase in ridership.

“We want to make our stations a Shop & Ride concept where it is convenient and fast to take a quick bite or buy something home from work,” he said.

RapidKL has two lines. The Kelana Jaya line carries over 190,000 passengers a day, while the Ampang line ferries some 140,000 passengers daily.

Ridership, Westra said, should improve with plans to add new trains to the Kelana Jaya line by end-2008.

Big brands like 7-Eleven have outlets at the LRT stations. Topline, whose business is exclusively in prepaid phone cards, has over 19 outlets. Newspaper and magazine vendor “Newsplus” is opening its 100th outlet in one of the LRT stations. It already has 17 outlets along the stations.

RapidKL is the media owner for all its 1,055 buses parked under its Bus Advertising unit.

Today, the buses are changing their “bodies” to sport advertisements of popular brands.

“We have some of the top brands with us … such as Body Shop, telekom, ExxonMobil, Maybank, AmBank and Bernama.

“We would like to think that bus advertising is getting popular,” he said, noting that the RapidKL bus service has over 400,000 ridership daily.

Westra said bus advertising may be one of the cheapest forms of advertising with rates from RM1,500 to RM2,500 per bus. The production cost is also affordable at RM600 to RM1,800.

(c) 2007 New Straits Times. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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