An additional HSR station in Forest City, Iskandar?

High Speed Rail KL – SG (HSR)  should have more developments by the end of 2018. In fact based on some latest media reports, land acquisition process has begun. MyHSR has already submitted application to freeze land development so that the viability of the pre-selected corridor could be studied. Within a few days time, a public consultation should also be launched. Here’s that article in StraitsTimes about it. This consultation would be for 3 months and the areas selected may be refined further after the feedback. I know, some would think that feedback does not necessary equate to changes but if there is no feedback from the affected stakeholders, then there would definitely be no further changes. The HSR is supposed to be ready by 2026 and has eight stations of which seven within Malaysia namely Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri. The Singapore station would be in Jurong East.

There was also a suggestion that the HSR should have an additional station within the Forest City, Iskandar. This proposal was put forth to Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD). As at latest news however, this proposal is still being studied. There was also no mention on the timeline that SPAD required to complete the study and this was what SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah said,  “The addition of a station at Forest City has not been finalised yet. SPAD is still carrying out a detailed study on its necessity. If there is a need, we will propose and the government will decide,” he was quoted saying by local daily Sinar Harian. Full article in TheMalayMailonline here.  According to a StraitsTimes report, the cost for this additional branch from the HSR will have to be borne by Malaysia. (I certainly think if the developer is willing to bear the cost, then the decision may be easier for the government)

Some recent news? This is the HSR’s Joint Development Partner There was also an article which speculated that the cost for the HSR could top RM77 billion. Here’s that full article in FreeMalaysiaToday.  This number was given by a senior fellow of the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies (Iseas), Francis E Hutchison who said said that the cost could go up to as high as S$25 billion (RM77 billion). In terms of the government side,  the Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani was reported to have said that the project cost will be about RM50-60 billion. (I think the main issue would always be how to ensure this project could give returns much more than the cost of building it. As per all public transportation projects, it is usually a loss making one because there is really no way that the ticket prices could be set up so high that it becomes profitable without any government support. Do google to understand more yeah. I think the only profitable model would be the Hong Kong’s MTR. It’s profitable because it owns properties along the line that it was leasing out and not from the ticket sales..). Happy following.

written on 30 Oct 2017

Next suggested article: Is Iskandar getting better? Or worse? Media reports

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