The Rapid Transit System (RTS) project connecting Johor Baru and Singapore here will resume early next year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2026, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong.
He said the entire project, which will cost about RM10 billion ― with Malaysia paying RM3.7 billion― will be built in two phases.
“The first phase will involve public construction work for four years, followed by the construction of the system for another two years.
“This is an important project and is an urgent necessity to reduce the congestion at the Johor Causeway.
“Taking into account of the situation, both (Malaysia and Singapore) governments have stated their commitment to ensure that the project runs according to schedule,” said Wee during a press conference at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel here, marking the official resumption of the RTS project between both Malaysia and Singapore.
Also present at the event was Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad, who accompanied Wee.
When completed, the RTS, which involves a distance of four kilometers, can accommodate up to 10,000 passengers for each trip with a maximum of 288,000 passengers a day.
Earlier, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong finalised the resumption of the RTS project which had been postponed since April 1 last year.
The ceremony took place symbolically with the two leaders meeting in the middle of the Johor Causeway for about 15 minutes.
Wee, however, noted that both Malaysia and Singapore have yet set the fare for the RTS services and assured that the government will take into account the interests of the people.
“Fare prices have not been decided yet at this time and will be announced later when the project is almost complete.
“However, we will take into account the interests of the people, including the B40 group in setting the fare,” said Wee.
The Ayer Hitam MP also said that the RTS project involved the construction of two Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) in Bukit Chagar, Johor Baru and in Woodlands, Singapore respectively.
“The Immigration and Customs checks for passengers will only be done once at the passenger departure terminal.
“The CIQ in Bukit Chagar will also house commercial space as well as about 1,500 parking bays for public use,” said Wee.
He added that the construction of the RTS project also involves a depot in Wadi Hana, here which will be jointly managed by both Malaysian and Singaporean authorities.
The RTS project has been suspended since April 1 last year at Malaysia’s request to allow time for the then Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration to review the project’s cost.
The entire RTS project was scheduled to be completed in 2024, but has been suspended three times at Malaysia’s request with the latest deadline on July 31. — Malay Mail
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