‘Cargo train track can serve public transport network’


PASIR Gudang’s cargo train service has the potential to be turned into a passenger train service that can complete the city’s public transportation network.

Pasir Gudang mayor Datuk Asman Shah Abd Rahman said the track was currently underutilised as it was only used twice a day to transfer cargo from Pasir Gudang Industrial Area to Tanjung Pelepas Port (PTP) in Iskandar Puteri.Asman Shah says MBPG has included in the city’s Local Plan 2030 the idea to utilise the cargo train track for passenger rail service.Asman Shah says MBPG has included in the city’s Local Plan 2030 the idea to utilise the cargo train track for passenger rail service.

“We have submitted this plan under the Pasir Gudang Local Plan 2030, which has been endorsed by the Johor state government.

“However, the city council has no jurisdiction over the train service; it is under KTM Bhd.

“We hope the state government can help us present this idea to the Transport Ministry.”

He said this to StarMetro after chairing the Pasir Gudang City Council (MBPG) full board meeting at Menara Aqabah.

Asman Shah said MBPG had also proposed three locations for transit-oriented development, namely Kampung Pasir Putih, Taman Seroja and Bandar Seri Alam.

“These stations can then be connected by other public transport, such as Johor Public Transport Corporation (PAJ) buses.

“We hope this will help maximise the usage of the train tracks.

“We could start with a pilot project to see whether this idea is viable,” he added.

Asman Shah said the tracks would need to be upgraded to facilitate the travel of passenger trains.

He suggested that the pilot project be conducted during Johor Darul Ta’zim football matches so that supporters would not have to drive to Iskandar Puteri.Johan says passenger trains with bus links would be cheaper than building new tracks and faster than expanding the Pasir Gudang Highway.Johan says passenger trains with bus links would be cheaper than building new tracks and faster than expanding the Pasir Gudang Highway.

“If the fare is low, we will be willing to sponsor the train tickets from Pasir Gudang for supporters to get to Stadium Sultan Ibrahim.

“We also need to rope in Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) and Iskandar Puteri City Council (MBIP), as these train tracks also pass through areas under their jurisdiction,” he said.

Asman Shah said this when asked to comment on Skala Reka Sdn Bhd principal director Johan Ariffin Mohd Ropi’s suggestion for Johor government to look into maximising available assets to reduce congestion in the city.

Johan said the cargo train service was already passing through strategic areas such as Bandar Seri Alam, Plentong, Johor Jaya, Taman Daya, Setia Tropika, Impian Emas, Taman Sutera, Bukit Indah and Stadium Sultan Ibrahim.

“The track is only used twice a day for inter-terminal transfers between the Pasir Gudang Port and PTP.

“The first trip is during the day and the second trip is at night, which is why we rarely see trains using the tracks,” he said.

According to Johan, instead of introducing the autonomous rail rapid transit (ART), bus rapid transit (BRT) or feeder buses could be introduced and four stations could be placed along the tracks.

He said this would be cheaper than building new tracks and faster than expanding the Pasir Gudang Highway.

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