KUALA LUMPUR: The approved Rapid Transit System (RTS) project linking Johor Baru and Singapore will utilise the light rail transit (LRT) form, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the choice of LRT was made following a review of the proposed project.

“We had been looking at the scopes or specifications of the project and considered the use of the LRT system, which is similar to the ones (operated) in Kuala Lumpur, of which the maintenance could be done in Malaysia.

“We have proposed this to Singapore and are still discussing the matter, but we have so far received a positive response. We are not only looking at construction cost, but also operations and passenger fare (among others).

“Previously, it was proposed that the project use the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, similar to the one in Singapore. However, we found that the LRT system is sufficient for the rail project, with only two stations, namely, Bukit Chagar on Johor’s side and Woodlands in Singapore.

“Passengers who disembark at the Woodlands station will have connectivity with Singapore’s MRT,” he said in his winding up speech on the 2020 Budget.

Loke added that the RTS will carry an estimated 10,000 hourly passengers per direction.

The Seremban Member of Parliament also revealed that the initial stated cost of RM4.9 billion for the RTS, as announced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is inclusive of land acquisition.

Dr Mahathir recently said that Malaysia will proceed with the delayed project at a new reduced cost of RM3.16 billion, following a review of the proposal with Singapore.

He said the cost is 36 per cent – or RM1.77 billion – lower than the initial amount of RM4.93 billion.

The Malaysian government had requested a suspension on the construction of the RTS, which was approved during the previous administration, to determine whether to amend or scrap the initial proposal, which was thought to be too costly.

The six-month suspension, which was supposed to end on Sept 30, was extended to Oct 31.

The project is now targeted for completion by 2024.

Source: R&F Princess Coves