JOHOR BARU: The announcement to kickstart the long overdue Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) project is welcome news to the business community.
Johor South SME adviser Teh Kee Sin said the RTS would be the main choice for future transportation between Johor Baru and Singapore.
He said it would help to integrate other parts of Johor and Singapore and eventually link up with other cities such as Melaka, Seremban, Kuala Lumpur and Greater Kuala Lumpur via the High Speed Rail (HSR).
“It will significantly change the lifestyle and upgrade Johor Baru’s city status to global level and attract many tourists and investors, ’’ Teh told StarMetro.
He said that with the reduction in travel time for Malaysians who commute daily to work in Singapore, RTS would significantly help to improve the quality of life of the people here.
“The project will also lead to more townships along its vicinity and as the cost of living here is much lower, it may lead to more Singaporeans relocating here.
“It will help to stimulate housing development as well as resolve the problem of unsold high-rise apartments and condominiums, especially in Iskandar Malaysia, ’’ he said.
Teh said the ridership was expected to be enormous, highlighting that Immigration and other supporting authorities would have to ensure sufficient resources and manpower.
He said it was important to ensure minimal disruptions to the RTS service, especially during peak periods.
The Federal Government should subsidise part of the construction cost of the project as well as maintenance, which was a usual practice in cities that had metro services, Teh said.
“Service frequency and punctuality of trains will also have to be closely monitored in order to provide a reliable public transport service.’’
He hoped there would be ample parking space for motorists, to encourage usage of the trains.
“Feeder bus services should be comprehensive to allow those in the outskirts to have access to use RTS, ” he added.
Johor Consumers Movement Association chairman Md Salleh Sadijo said the project would not only facilitate the movement of people between both countries, it would also attract foreign tourists from Singapore.
He said Johor would benefit because it had natural attractions such as islands off Mersing in South China Sea, diving spots, rainforest of Endau-Rompin National Park and world-class golf courses.
“It is cheaper to spend holidays in Malaysia, especially for tourists looking to escape the harsh winter in their countries and enjoy the warmth of tropical weather, ’’ said Md Salleh.
He said bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore would be more vibrant if the economic aspect was given more emphasis due to Johor’s close proximity to the republic.
“It is a well-known fact that Johor and Singapore are economically interdependent on each other, resulting in a win-win situation for both, ’’ he added.
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