Iskandar’s BRT: 90% coverage, 51km and operating in 2021.

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Iskandar needs to be as integrated as possible to Singapore. It benefits both sides. Else, I am not sure how both sides could grow when faced with competition from the region and beyond. The Rail Transit System (RTS) is pretty sure since ministers from both sides are already meeting formally. There is a bilateral agreement to be signed for the RTS in December too. It is expected to be completed in 2024 and will handled up to 10,000 passengers an hour in each direction. The terminus stations are in Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru and Woodlands in Singapore. There are an expected 80,000 to 100,000 people who commute daily via the Causeway today.

In fact a bill was introduced in the Singapore Parliament too in relation to the High Speed Rail.  However, the High Speed Rail is expected to only be ready in 2026. In the mean time, just to ensure the whole Iskandar is fully connected, the Bus Rail Transit would start first. Total cost of BRT would be RM2.6 billion. The BRT would provide connection to the RTS, HSR and komuter. The BRT will span 51km and willcover 90 percent of iskandar. (If this is true, then it is pretty comprehensive. Now we just need to wait to see what’s the frequency like. Let’s just say if it’s even half an hour per bus, it does not work! I would safely say the waiting time should be at maximum 10 minutes for people to be really open to it) There are many articles about the BRT recently. Read one of it by TheStar here: 

Two good friends were speaking to me just days ago in Iskandar and they asked if Iskandar is just a white elephant which is going to fail. Until today, we still have people asking if Iskandar will fail? Well, I answered briefly that Iskandar will definitely fail without the support of the Singapore government. However, Singapore’s economic growth, especially if it needs to be powered by the SMEs will also fail because the cost of doing business in Singapore is already very high. It makes the SMEs uncompetitive. There are really not that many SMEs who can afford a manufacturing plant in Singapore costing SGD2 million, not to mention other costs of operations. However, it would be much easier for these SMEs to take up a RM2 million plant and having most of its costs in RM instead. It can then export to ASEAN or even the world from it. Anyway, one cannot succeed without the other succeeding. I have no idea if I am right. Still have to wait for even clearer signs. However, all the best to all.

written on 8 Oct 2017

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