Wednesday August 9, 2006

JB monorail to be ready by 2009

JOHOR BARU: The RM1.3bil Johor monorail project is expected to ferry some 98,000 passengers daily on its 12.5km line along Jalan Tebrau. 

The project, which will see all its structures elevated, will have eight stations between Johor Baru Sentral located next to the Causeway and Aeon Jusco near the Pandan Hospital. 

Once it is completed by 2009, the project is expected to ease traffic along the congested Jalan Tebrau – known as the street with the highest number of traffic light junctions in the state. There are nine. 

Tickets are also expected to be priced competitively from RM1.50 to RM2.60 for the 13-minute ride between Johor Sentral and Aeon Jusco. 

The project has been awarded to Johor-based Jalur Mudra Sdn Bhd, a special purpose vehicle created for building and operating the Johor monorail project under the Private Financing Initiative (PFI) of the 9th Malaysia Plan. 

Its chairman Datuk Mohd Rashidi Mohd Noor said Jalur Mudra was in the final stages of preparations, including the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report and soil tests. 

“We hope to start physical work on the project within the next six to nine months. Our initial work will also include a 2km test line,” he said. 

Mohd Rashidi said the pillars to support the two-way glide-way lines will be built on the divider space along Jalan Tebrau. 

He said the monorail would run about 6m above the road, and about 50m above where the sections go over a flyover. 

Although the locations of the stations have not been finalised, Mohd Rashidi assured the people that the stations would be located strategically next to bus stops and would have ample parking bays. 

He said the maglev or magnetic levitation technology from China was efficient as there would not be any noise, friction or smoke emitted from the two coaches which could accommodate about 200 people each. 

“People also need not worry about anything falling on them as this technology does not have any wheels or moving parts. 

“Even if there is a blackout, the batteries on the train can take it another 6km to the nearest station,” Mohd Rashidi said, adding that the train would be travelling at about 20-30kph. 

He said during peak hours from 6am to 9.30am, and from 5pm to 10pm, there would be a train every two minutes. During off-peak hours the interval is four minutes. 

“At any one time there will be about eight trains plying the route,” he said, adding that this would greatly help improve the city’s public transport system as people would be assured of prompt service.  


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