SINGAPORE: Mr Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh, Bukit Nasir Assemblyman and the chairman of the State Works, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Johor, said at a media conference on Sunday (Nov 26) that three possible light rail transit (LRT) lines around Johor Bahru have been identified. These lines would complement the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, which is expected to be operational by early 2027.

Mr Mohamad Fazli also said that a development study was carried out by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) and Johor Public Transport Corporation (PAJ). “Based on the study conducted by IRDA and PAJ, there are three LRT lines proposed. The lines are the Tebrau line, Skudai line and Iskandar Puteri line, which will stretch until the Senai International Airport in Kulai,” the chairman reported in The Star that the lines would be around 10km long each. The project is estimated to cost RM20 billion (S$5.7 billion). He warned, however, that a more thorough study is still necessary as the traffic in Johor Bahru must also be considered, and a decision will be made when the committee meets next before a proposal for the lines can be sent for approval to the federal government.

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The committee will meet again on Nov 30 (Thursday). “The meeting, which will involve various relevant agencies, will discuss and refine the proposal to implement the project. After the meeting, the state government will present the (working) paper to the federal government so that the project can be implemented,” Mr Mohamed Fazil told the media.

The piece in The Star was published in The Straits Times (ST) online edition on Monday morning, and netizens had much to say on ST’s Facebook page.

Some greeted the news as positive for Johor’s economy and residents, while others noted that the LRT lines would make travelling between Singapore and Johor Bahru even easier.

Other commenters, however, were more cynical and appeared to be doubtful whether the LRT project would materialize at all, given that there have been similar proposals in the past.

One wrote that it was “long overdue,” while others predicted that it would take a very long time to finish, if at all. Others appear to believe that it may turn into a “white elephant.”

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Nevertheless, another wrote, “But still late better than never. Hopefully could see the LRT JB in my lifetime.”

“Until the Johor government redraw its housing development, even if it builds an LRT system, the passenger rate will be low. They had to build a more high rise affordable housing area in the main route. Increase public buses, its efficiency and timing. Then only consider building an LRT system,” a netizen chimed in.

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