PETALING JAYA, Aug 14 — Locals and tourists will get to experience riding water taxis down the Klang River next year via the Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG) project.
Environmental conservation company Landasan Lumayan will be spearheading the initiative and hopes it will create the foundation for a thriving business ecosystem in Klang.
The river taxi promises passengers a chance to marvel at the natural flora and fauna along a 15-kilometre stretch starting from Pangkalan Batu Urban Park to Mangrove Point.
Each vessel will have a passenger capacity of 10 people and operations are slated to begin in the first quarter of 2021.
In a video interview on IBR Asia Group TV’s YouTube channel, Landasan Lumayan’s head of strategic planning and investment Muhamad Fadhli Mansor said that the river taxi project will be a catalyst for economic growth by improving mobility and accessibility to residents in the area.
“The objective of the river taxi is to improve mobility and access to economic and social services for people living in rural areas.
“With the two new jetties (at Pangkalan Batu Urban Park and Mangrove Point), it will create a new business ecosystem in Klang,” said Muhamad Fadhli.
He also referenced the Klang River’s vital role in society in the early 1900s and hoped the river taxis can be part of a bigger plan to revitalise Klang as a business, tourism, and residential hub of Selangor.
“People in the Klang Valley don’t have this kind of experience of using the river taxi as a mode of transportation.
“Back in the 1900s, the Klang River was the main mode of transportation for the people.
“We need the will to look into this matter and really push for it.”
The river taxis have also gotten the attention of the state government who provided their support and endorsement for the SMG project.
Batu Tiga assemblywoman and Standing Committees for Entrepreneurs Development, Rural Development, and Traditional Village chairman Rodziah Ismail believes that the river taxis can provide a bounty of economic opportunities for communities along the Klang River.
The alternative mode of transport could also help ease traffic congestion on the roads in the area.
“Selangor can be seen not only as a state that talks about development but one that also preserves its heritage.
“I would love to see the water taxi happen because it would ease traffic congestion and help entrepreneurial businesses.
“If people want to use the water taxi, they will have to pass through villages in the area and I think the economy will bloom from there,” said Rodziah.