Iskandar Malaysia transit bus can’t tackle traffic, shelved

IMBRT pictured during its trial run in 2021. — Filepic

Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) planned in 2016 has been cancelled as it is unable to tackle traffic congestion issues in Johor.

State works, transportation, infrastructure and communications committee chairman Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh said about 25% or 13.79km of the IMBRT route had to be shared with other vehicles on the road.

“This interferes with the efficiency of the bus service and affects traffic flow too.

“As IMBRT was developed by Iskandar Regional Development Authority, the matter was brought up in a meeting co-chaired by the Prime Minister and Johor Mentri Besar on Oct 25 last year.”

He said it was then decided that a feasibility and viability study should be done to compare the bus rapid transit, autonomous rapid transit (ART) and light rail transit (LRT) systems to choose the best public transport option for Iskandar Malaysia.

Subsequently on Dec 14, the Economy Minister instructed a special committee to review the analysis and proposal, added Mohamad Fazli during the Johor state assembly sitting.

Following this, two consortiums presented to the ministry’s secretary-general their respective LRT and ART proposals.

“The Johor government supported the suggestion for an elevated ART in Johor Baru to replace IMBRT after taking into account the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, scheduled to be completed at the end of 2026.

“RTS Link connects Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru to Woodlands, Singapore by rail.

“Heavy traffic is expected on our side if we do not come up with a traffic dispersal plan by the time the rail service begins,” he added.

Mohamad Fazli was responding to questions by Andrew Chen Kah Eng (PH-Stulang), Baharudin Mohamed Taib (BN-Permas) and Amira Aisya Abd Aziz (Muda-Puteri Wangsa) who asked for updates on the implementation of the LRT and other public transport systems in Johor Baru.

Separately, Johor housing and local government committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor said People’s Housing Projects (PPR) in Bandar Tenggara, Kluang and Pengerang Kecil, Kota Tinggi were expected to receive their certificates of completion and compliance by September this year.

The 400-unit PPR Bandar Tenggara was 99% completed while the 300-unit PPR Pengerang Kecil was 97% completed, and both were part of four ongoing PPR projects in the state, he said.

“Progress of PPR Sembrong in Kluang, which offers 400 units, is at 35% and scheduled for completion in December next year,” he said.

The fourth project – PPR Masai in Johor Baru – was currently on hold as the original contractor was terminated, he said, adding that the Housing and Local Government Ministry was in the process of appointing a new contractor to salvage the project.

Once completed, the four PPR projects would provide 1,430 flats for the people, he said.

At present, there are a total of 12,611 units at 15 PPR locations, and 3,020 Rumah Sewa Kerajaan (RSK) units at seven locations statewide.

“The state government applied for two more PPRs under the 12th Malaysia Plan, and PPR Kluang and PPR Larkin have been approved.

“The ministry is expected to begin procedures to evaluate and research the two projects to determine the scope and development costs to prepare for the tendering process,” he said in reply to Azizul Bachok (BN-Tiram) who asked about PPR developments in Johor.

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