Saturday, March 31, 2012

Multi-billion ringgit MRT,LRT project links JB-Singapore

JOHOR BARU: The Federal Government is yet to make its final decision on the operator of the multi-billion ringgit intra-city commuter train (ICCT) service for Iskandar Malaysia.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Ismail Ibrahim said the project was still open to other companies that wanted to develop the rail network.

“Although only one company has submitted the proposal for the project as of to date, it doesn’t mean that the project is exclusive for the company,’’ he told StarBizWeek.

Ismail said Irda still continued to accept any new proposals from other interested parties on the project and would submit their proposals to the Government.

Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn Bhd (MCN) had submitted a proposal to Irda early last year to develop a RM1.23bil ICCT service for Iskandar Malaysia.

The company had proposed to develop the rail network covering 100km to serve all major suburbs in the country’s first economic growth corridor.

Under the proposal, seven new stations will be built along the route together with 16 halts and the rail network will also include a shuttle service from JB Sentral to Woodlands in Singapore.

MNC is a joint-venture company between KUB Malaysia Bhd and Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd and the company had proposed to construct and operate the rail transit network in Iskandar Malaysia.

“The Johor government and Irda are not involved in the project in one way or another as the final decision comes from the Federal level,’’ he said.

Ismail pointed out that there were some misleading reports that the Johor government had given its approval on the proposal by MCN.

Ismail added the same also applied for the Rapid Transit System (RTS) as the decision came from the Federal level involving the Transport Ministry, Economic Planning Unit and Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

RTS refers to the improvement in connectivity and accessibility and human traffic movement between Johor Baru and Singapore via several transportation modes.

This includes extending the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line from Singapore into Johor Baru and from here there would be connection through other nodes in other ares within Iskandar Malaysia.

“The RTS will have to start this year or next as we are targeting for the system to be fully operational between 2018 and 2020,’’ said Ismail.

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