JOHOR BARU: The Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) project will undergo a three-month pilot testing programme next month.
Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the pilot testing would give a better understanding on the IMBRT when the project rolls out in 2023.
He said it would provide Irda and the relevant agencies to address issues that might emerge during the testing period.
"The pilot testing programme is a significant milestone as the project goes into full gear," Ismail said during a media briefing on Wednesday (March 17).
He said Iskandar Malaysia needed to be well connected to grow as an international metropolis by 2025.
Ismail said this was only possible with the support of a reliable public transportation system that has a wide coverage such as the IMBRT.
He said the IMBRT would be connected to the Rapid Transit Link System (RTS Link) linking Johor Baru and Singapore, which is expected to be up and running by 2026 and the Gemas-Johor Baru electrified double tracking project slated to be operational next year.
Ismail also said the IMBRT would be connected with the RTS Link and the Gemas-Johor Baru double tracking project through trunk stations at both networks.
"The three transportation systems combined will be a catalyst to attract foreign and domestic investments into the region," he added.
Ismail said the primary goal of the IMBRT, billed as the backbone of public transportation in Iskandar Malaysia, was to enhance public transportation usage in the region.
"We are looking at coverage to increase from 39% to 90% and the usage of public transportation from 15% to 40% now by 2025," he said.
The pilot testing programme will see the involvement of nine bus suppliers from four countries demonstrating the latest green technology including electric and biodiesel.
The participating suppliers will showcase buses ranging from six metres, 12 metres to 32 metres.
The three-month pilot testing will be conducted by Irda and will take place along the Sultan Iskandar Highway between Horizon Hills and Anjung in Medini starting from April 8.