‘Turn KTM route into non-stop shuttle service to reduce congestion’

The Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link in development.

THE government is urged to turn the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) scheduled train service into a non-stop shuttle train to address the congestion at the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in Bangunan Sultan Iskandar, Johor Baru.

Johor City and Nature Tour Guide Association chairman Sheikh Abdullah Md Taufek said this was one of the best short-term solutions while waiting for the revival of the high-speed rail network between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore (KL-SG HSR).

“Even the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link is expected to start operations only at the end of 2026.

“We need to address the issue now and not hope it will be solved later when these major projects are completed as a long-term solution.

“We must come up with a short-term strategy,” he said when contacted by StarMetro.

Turning the train service between the Woodlands checkpoint and JB Sentral into a non-stop shuttle service could reduce the number of vehicles passing through the Causeway, said Sheikh Abdullah.

“I applaud the effort made by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi in reducing the daily waiting time at the Causeway and Second Link by at least two hours.

“But the waiting time is still very long, and we are not even talking about the holiday season,” he said, adding that the Singapore and Malaysia governments should look into this.

When asked to comment on the tourism impact of the KL-SG HSR on Johor, Sheikh Abdullah said the spillover would only be felt in the long run in terms of development.

“I believe that future KL-SG HSR users will be those travelling beyond Kuala Lumpur.

“Those who want to spend their time just in Johor will still opt for the RTS, Causeway and Second Link, or travel by air.

“We can only have a direct impact on our economy once we reduce the congestion at the Causeway,” he said.

Sharing the view is Johor Tour Guides Association chairman Jimmy Leong, who said the KL-SG HSR will be a long- distance transport system and would not be used by those who are travelling for a short period.

“Those who travel to Johor Baru from Singapore will still use the Causeway and RTS, so the benefit of KL-SG HSR will only be felt by locations further away, as it will cut down travel time to those towns.

“Therefore, the local governments in districts in Johor that will benefit should draw up a comprehensive plan on how to attract the stopover visitors,” said Leong.

Earlier, Onn Hafiz was reported as saying that the state was confident of further reducing the daily traffic congestion at the Causeway and Second Link.

There have been recent reports about plans to revive the KL-SG HSR project, which was cancelled by the Federal Government in 2021 with Malaysia paying RM320mil in compensation to Singapore.

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Shuttle Train , KTMB , Congestion , HSR , RTS


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