I just checked. The first time I wrote about Rail Transit System (RTS) JB – SG was in this article: Iskandar and Rail Transit System way back in 2013. 🙂 My views then and my views today remained the same. RTS is a catalyst and it will be much more beneficial to JB compared to High Speed Rail KL – SG. Connectivity meant that people who are now wasting lots of time to travel or those who have to wake up at 430am just to beat the jam or even those who wanted to own a better place versus renting the smallest room in a HDB flat in Singapore could now have a chance to stay in JB instead. Last year, I tried to take the bus into Singapore from JB to and fro. To and fro journey took me about 5 hours. Imagine someone facing this 240 days every year… My friend used to stay in the smallest room in HDB flat for no less than 9 years before owning a HDB flat after he got married to a Singaporean. It was certainly not a great experience to have. Well, we have one latest development.
Article in thestar.com.my here. Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar through his private secretary said that he is willing to hand over his plot of land in Bukit Chagar to the government without any cost if it is involved in the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project. His only request is this. “However, Sultan Ibrahim has decreed that if the plot of land at Bukit Chagar is involved in the RTS project, then His Majesty has agreed to hand over the land to the government without any cost. The RTS project must be continued as His Majesty understands the plight of many people that must travel into Singapore on a daily basis.”
The RTS is currently in a 6-month consideration period. The RTS project was scheduled to start construction in 2019 and is expected to be completed by December 2014. It will cover a distance of 4km between Bukit Chagar, Johor Baru and Woodlands, Singapore and has a capacity to ferry 10,000 passengers one direction per hour. The RTS will run above ground in Johor and on a 25m-high bridge across the straits before going underground to Woodlands North. There are speculation that the RTS project might be permanently stopped after Malaysia requested for a six-month deadline extension. Article in thestar.com.my here.
I think it’s a fair deal (free land for RTS asap) and I seriously think the Menteri Besar of Johor should be the one taking charge of this as well. It’s time we look at a longer term because on a daily basis, 300,000 people goes into Singapore and back. (Busiest crossings in the world!) We did not yet include those who are staying in the smallest room in Singapore because they did not want to travel to and fro. If they have a family in JB, that meant that they will see their loved ones only during the weekends. Let’s remember that expanding the number of trains for the RTS in the future could be done almost immediately but the construction could not be completed immediately. The earlier we start, the earlier it could serve the people. Happy understanding.
Article written and edited by Charles. News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia.
Next suggested article: Iskandar property to surpass Greater KL