RTS Link project in limbo


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 14 Jul 2018

No progress: The empty plot of land in Bukit Chagar which is supposed to be the station for the RTS Link between Johor Baru and Singapore.

JOHOR BARU: Besides the High Speed Rail (HSR) project, another major project that could be in limbo is the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link project.

It is learnt that the joint-venture companies tasked with implementing the project were to get the project off the ground by the end of last month.

As such, the time frame set for the project seems to have lapsed.

In January, Malaysia and Singapore signed the agreement for the new 4.2km RTS Link to transport some 10,000 passengers an hour, or 72,000 passengers a day, in four coaches travelling at 70kph.

The link, which was scheduled for completion in 2024, will have co-located the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex and provided seamless connectivity between the Bukit Chagar station in Johor Baru and Woodlands North station Singapore.

Sources said a compensation clause would likely require Malaysia to pay damages to Singapore if the project is shelved.

“It looks like there is some level of uncertainty. We hope that both sides will be able to resolve any issue or dispute amicably,” said a source.

Sources said some of the issues that could hamper the project included its design and land acquisition around Bukit Chagar.

Johor Opposition Leader Datuk Hasni Mohamed, when contacted, said the project was important as it would benefit the thousands commuting between both countries.

“Singapore was supposed to pay 70% of the project cost,” he said.

Hasni, the Benut assemblyman and former state exco member, said unlike the HSR project, the RTS project was urgent to address congestion issues at the Causeway.

The RTS Link will run above ground in Johor and on a 25m-high bridge track across the straits before travelling underground to Woodlands North.

It was reported that commuters were expected to spend about 30 minutes to travel and clear Customs and Immigration.

Based on a study done by SPAD in 2016, an average of 4,000 buses, 52,000 cars and 72,000 motorcycles spend at least an hour to get across the Causeway.

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Government , RTS , Johor , limbo

   

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