THE property sector in Iskandar Malaysia is expected to benefit immensely once the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) is operational in four years’ time.
Johor Real Estate Housing Developers Association branch chairman Wong Boon Lang said improvements in connectivity and accessibility would further boost progress and development in the country’s first economic growth corridor.
He said developers with existing and upcoming projects in Skudai, Tebrau and Iskandar Puteri stood to benefit from this.
“An efficient and integrated public transport infrastructure is a catalyst for attracting foreign and domestic investors into Iskandar Malaysia, ’’ Wong stressed.
He said this would create more job opportunities for Johoreans as well as locals from outside the state who were planning to work in Iskandar Malaysia.
“The presence of new residents in the economic growth corridor, including foreigners, will create demand for houses, ’’ he added.
He also said that the IMBRT, linked to the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS Link), would bring economic benefits as well.
The RTS Link, which is scheduled to be fully operational in 2026, is expected to ease congestion at the Johor Causeway and attract more visitors from Singapore to Johor.
Wong said Singapore companies, especially small and medium enterprises that were planning to relocate their operations, might now opt for Iskandar Malaysia.
“This in turn will create demand for industrial buildings and create more jobs for locals, ” he pointed out.
Johor Baru Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Low Kueck Shin said the IMBRT project would enhance mobility by providing first-and-last-mile connectivity and access to Iskandar Malaysia.
He hopes that the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) would ensure that high-density areas are well-connected and well-served by the IMBRT.
“Irda should look at a long-term strategy if it wants to ensure the project succeeds like what Singapore is doing with the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system there, ’’ Low said, adding that the island state continues to enhance, improve and upgrade its MRT system to provide seamless connectivity to commuters.
Low said the IMBRT project should also be linked to Senai International Airport and the three ferry terminals in Iskandar Malaysia –- Stulang Laut, Pasir Gudang and Puteri Harbour.
“Connecting the ferry terminals will help attract visitors, including businessmen from the nearby Indonesian islands in the Riau Archipelago, to Iskandar Malaysia.”
Low said businesses in Johor Baru would also benefit from the project as it was interlinked with the RTS Link.
Irda chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the IMBRT, billed as the backbone of public transportation in Iskandar Malaysia, had the primary goal of enhancing public transportation coverage in the economic region.
“We are looking to increase the public transportation usage ratio from 70:30 now to 60:40 by 2025, and eventually 50:50, ’’ he said.
Ismail added that a high-quality transport network system like IMBRT could provide reliable services with wider coverage and reach – interconnecting with feeder service, direct routes and trunk routes to the RTS Link.
The IMBRT will provide 55 feeder and 44 direct services, bringing the total network to 2,051km or approximately 90% of populated areas in Iskandar Malaysia.
IMBRT’s main trunk line spans 54.92km across Skudai, Tebrau and Iskandar Puteri, comprising 33 stations with one hub in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia on the Skudai Line.
The other two end stations on the main trunk line are Desa Jaya on the Tebrau Line and Anjung on the Iskandar Puteri Line.