SINGAPORE: The Government has confirmed that fares for the upcoming Rapid Transit (RTS) Link will be determined by the operator of the line, after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim celebrated yesterday (11 Jan) the completion of a connecting span for the 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) light rail link between Singapore and Johor Bahru.

Acting Minister for Transport Chee Hong Tat, who is filling in for S Iswaran who is embroiled in an alleged corruption scandal, said he was “happy to commemorate” this significant milestone toward finishing the RTS, alongside the leaders of both countries and other officials.

Speaking to members of the media on the sidelines of the event, the Acting Minister said that the fares for the link would be “determined commercially” by the operating company, RTS Operations, when the service is ready to run.

He added that service demand as well as “the cost of providing an efficient and reliable service for commuters on a financially sustainable basis” must be considered by RTS Operations, in setting a fair fare price.

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According to CNA, Mr Chee added that RTS Operations will also need to consider what other transport options cost consumers.

Construction on the RTS link is now 65 per cent completed in both Singapore and Malaysia. The project is expected to be able to begin operations in late 2026.

The link will be an important part of the solution to the persistent traffic problems on the Causeway between Singapore and Malaysia, which is used by around 300,000 people daily. Travel time for commuters would be cut to just five minutes on the RTS Link.

The RTS Link will connect Bukit Chagar station in Johor Bahru to Woodlands North station in Singapore and has the capacity to transport around 10,000 passengers each way. The project is budgeted to cost S$3.24 billion, with Malaysia taking on a 39 per cent share of the costs while Singapore will shoulder the remaining 61 per cent.

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Mr Chee noted on Facebook yesterday that commuters using the link would only be required to go through immigration clearance at their point of departure and that Customs Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities are conveniently located on both sides.

For the Acting Minister, the project has also appeared to take on a deeper significance. He said:

“This project is much more than building bridges – it is also about building a better future for both countries, strengthening our longstanding friendship and creating more win-win opportunities for our businesses and citizens in areas of common interest and mutual benefit.”   /TISG

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