The 3 Pros and Cons of Living Near Public Transportation

With the recent end of interstate travel restriction, many Malaysians are returning to their normal lives - from visiting their loved ones living in different states to going back to work as usual. For the latter, those who have adapted to working from home culture are now required at their workplace. That adds one thing to their new routine; the need to commute back and forth. Especially for those who do not drive, living near public transportation is clearly critical. But it does come with a price. Let’s take a look at the three pros and cons of renting near public transportation.

Pros

1. Smooth journey

When renting a home, there are several points of interest to consider. Sure, it would be nice and all to have a home complete with facilities but location-wise, it’s important to go for a place that is convenient. If you choose to stay near a public transportation hub, you can easily travel to different locations while avoiding what road users hate the most - traffic jam! 

Imagine getting stranded on the road every morning and contemplating on whether or not it is worth unleashing a road rage (it never is, by the way!). Driving can be fun, when congestion and frequency are taken out of the equation. Besides, where a traffic jam can be unexpected, the schedule for public transportation is more consistent as a train is normally fixed to leave or arrive at a certain period. On that note, nothing beats the convenience of living near public transportation, especially if it’s merely a few minutes’ walk from your home. 

2. Time saving


Let’s start off by appreciating how affordable our public transportation is, even in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. In fact, according to this survey, KL has the cheapest rates in the entire South East Asian region! So why wouldn’t you capitalize on that? As mentioned before, using public transportation can avoid the annoying vehicular queuing. But there’s more to living near public transportation than meets the eye when you think about what other way it profits you. You get to save time AND money!

For example, if you live near the MRT station in Kajang and take a train from your home to go to work in KL Sentral, it would take you around 35 minutes to get there. However, if you were to drive instead, it would definitely take up more time due to the unregulated number of vehicles on the road heading towards the capital. With a traffic jam, you could be driving for an hour. Once you have arrived by train, you can hop out and proceed to what you were planning for the rest of the day instead of having to spend another 10-15 mins searching for available parking spaces. 

3. Cost-effective

With RapidKL’s RM100 monthly travel card, you don’t have to worry about the expenses as you would when driving a car. Where you only pay for the ride, driving requires multiple costs. So driving to work in KL Sentral from Kajang would be expensive. Here’s the breakdown for a round-trip if you’re driving to work for a day: 

  • Toll fees: approximately RM10
  • Nearest parking fee: RM36 (RM4/hour, no flat or maximum rate)
  • Petrol: RM10 (depending on your vehicle)

If you go to work every weekday of the year, you’re spending about RM14,616 on traveling expenses, not to mention all other fees involved when relying on a car such as road tax and car insurance renewals (that can go up to RM1,000). Meanwhile, the yearly cost for public transportation will cost you less than that, or specifically RM1,200 when you use the RapidKL pass.

And what better way to commit to this economical approach other than to ensure your home is merely a short distance away? Exactly; it’s not just about having connectivity. It’s also about utilizing the affordability of our public transportation by means of having the convenience just around the corner.

Cons

1. Higher rental rates

As the general economic principle goes, convenience leads to high demand, and this in turn increases the price of the underlying supply. Any home that is as strategically located near to public transportation will definitely cost higher. According to a report by the National Property Information Centre, landed homes with train stations within its vicinity recorded an increase of 1.2% to 6.6% in the market price of an investment while high-rise projects in more affluent areas see an increase exceeding 12%. 

This is good news for homeowners who look to rent out their properties as they can adjust their rent prices according to its value. However, this will undoubtedly deal a blow to a renter’s budget. The best way to determine whether a home is the best option is to make sure you take into account the overall costs when renting a home. Calculate the traveling expenses on a monthly basis, compare the rental rates and see if the slightly higher fee makes up for the convenience that comes with it.

For example, you travel back and forth five days a week between two places using public transportation (KTM) that cost you:

  • RM14.20 a day (provided you use Touch n’ go)
  • More than 2 hours of commuting
  • RM312.20 a month on travel expenses

If you’re making a rental prices comparison between three homes;

  • A: RM1,200
  • B: RM1,000 but is farther away and costs double of the travel expense
  • C: RM1,500 but is just a station away (RM4.80/day or around RM100/monthly)

In this case, Home A seems cheaper but is more time-consuming to get to your destination. The question is, which one do you rather sacrifice; time or money? Your answer will decide which option is the best for you.

2. Noise pollution

‘Choo choo’, ‘honk honk’, near-accident screechings and all sorts of noises to fill up the ambiance. Isn’t that what every living space should have? Yeah no, seriously, this is something you have to be prepared for when choosing to stay near public transportation. Since the operating hours of the trains and buses usually start as early as 6AM and end at 11PM, you will regularly hear the sound of engines and locomotives roaring as they pass by your home. Depending on how close you are to the stations, this can definitely get on your nerves.

So do you have to give up the convenience of having public transportation within reach just because of the occasional hubbub? Actually, there’s a way you can look into. Since you’re not supposed to make permanent or drastic changes to a home you’re renting, instead of installing a completely soundproofing window, you can opt for some mild noise-canceling alternative such as a window insert, coupled with sound-absorbing curtains. Check out the video below to see how a window insert is installed and tested out based on its efficiency.

3. Safety

Living close to a public transportation hub exposes you to a throng of people you’re not familiar with. That also increases the likelihood of bumping into potential offenders lurking there for wrong reasons. Snatch thieves in particular would focus on a crowded area, allowing them to camouflage themselves among the ordinary people before they strike, leaving the unsuspecting victim vulnerable. The general rule of thumb of being in public is always to be aware of your surroundings. However, the home itself may also be prone to crime due to the number of strangers surrounding the area of your home. This is often the case for landed homes or a unit on the lower levels of a high-rise building.

The best way to address this concern is to get some security systems in place so as to protect your home. Before signing an agreement, you can discuss with the landlord about the safety provisions provided for your home or you can inform them of your plan to install some security devices such as surveillance cameras or motion sensors.

Why spend money and time when you can save it?

Living near public transportation is clearly more convenient than it is troublesome. Despite the cons mentioned above, it comes with the perks of saving money and time. All you need to know is which station connects to the one near your workplace and know the overall costs and time to get from one place to another. With the costs calculated, you can start looking into home rentals that offer you a reasonable price.

Not sure which home is situated near public transportation? Don’t worry, Instahome is here for you! On our website, you can browse for homes near public transportation. In fact, you can also view a home online without having to physically visit each unit and you can book directly with us. By doing so, you’ll also get a RM500 off! 

For more options near public transportation, you can browse through your dream home at our website! Click here.