PETALING JAYA: Singapore and Malaysia have officially resumed the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project, which is slated to be ready for passengers at the end of 2026.
The Johor Baru-Singapore RTS Link project, which was suspended since April 1 to allow time for Malaysia to review it, has officially commenced with a ceremony at the Causeway on Thursday (July 30) attended by the Prime Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia.
Both countries have agreed on key changes to the project, including that the RTS Link will be a standalone Light Rail Transit (LRT) System, instead of leveraging on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.
"The RTS Link’s capacity remains unchanged at up to 10,000 passengers per hour per direction.
"The RTS Link will no longer use the existing TEL Mandai Depot and a new depot will be constructed in Wadi Hana, Johor Baru.
"Each government will separately appoint an infrastructure company to fund, build, own, maintain and renew the civil infrastructure and stations in its territory up to the international boundary," said Singapore and Malaysia in a joint statement on Thursday (July 30).
Malaysia has also changed its infrastructure company from Prasarana Malaysia Bhd to Malaysia Rapid Transit System Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd.
Meanwhile, The Land Transport Authority of Singapore remains as Singapore’s infrastructure company, noted the statement.
Due to the suspension of the project and the key changes made, the targeted passenger service commencement date will be deferred from end 2024 to end 2026.
The RTS Link will also continue to feature co-location of customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) facilities, so that passengers undergo CIQ clearance only once, at their point of departure.
"Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the RTS Link stations will be well integrated with the local transport networks in each country.
"The fare levels will continue to be set by the operating company and will be determined closer to the date of passenger service commencement," it said.
Singapore and Malaysia have also successfully concluded three key agreements necessary to resume the project, including an agreement to amend the RTS Link Bilateral Agreement between the two countries.
A Joint Venture Agreement between Singapore SMRT RTS Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SMRT Corporation Limited, and Malaysia’s Prasarana RTS Operations Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prasarana Malaysia Berhad, to constitute RTS Operations Pte Ltd, was also agreed upon.
Both sides also agreed on a Concession Agreement for the Malaysian government and the Land Transport Authority of Singapore to appoint RTS Operations Pte Ltd as the operating company for the first 30-year concession period.
"The successful resumption of the RTS Link Project underscores the deep and enduring bilateral relationship between both countries, and the collective desire to strengthen our win-win partnership.
"When completed, the RTS Link will ease Causeway congestion, improve connectivity, foster people-to-people ties and generate shared economic and social benefits," it said.
The ceremony on Thursday (July 30) was attended and witnessed by the Prime Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia, Lee Hsien Loong and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin.
Singapore and Malaysia's Transport Ministers Ong Ye Kung and Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong marked the resumption of the project.
It was also attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and former Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Mr Khaw Boon Wan from the Singapore side.
Meanwhile, Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad, represented Malaysia.
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