Johor Bahru – The groundbreaking ceremony for the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project connecting Singapore to Johor was held on Sunday (Nov 22). The mega project is set to cut travel time between the two neighbouring areas to five minutes.

The RTS Link is a rail project that aims to boost travel between Singapore and Malaysia and to help ease congestion on the Causeway. It will connect Bukit Chagar station in Johor Bahru to Woodlands North station in Singapore.

The 4km-long link is scheduled to be completed end of 2026 and is expected to serve about 10,000 passengers per hour, cutting travel time to five minutes. Those taking the RTS Link will only need Immigration clearance at the point of departure.

Malaysian Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said in a Facebook post that the RTS Link functions as a cost-effective transportation system that promises to boost connectivity. “This would also solve the traffic congestion problem faced at the entry points of both countries that has been going on for years.”

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The project is budgeted to cost RM10 billion (S$3.24 billion). Malaysia, through its Transport Ministry, will be providing RM3.716 billion for the project. Singapore will shoulder the remaining 61 per cent.

According to Malaysia Rapid Transit System (MRTS) chief executive Mohd Zarif Hashim, “Forty per cent of the total infrastructure construction cost will be allocated to Bumiputera contractors, including those from Grade 1 to Grade 6 from Johor.”

“The RTS Link project will expand the supply chain and develop the rail technology industry in Johor and provide jobs with the depot in Wadi Hana,” said Mr Mohd Zarif.

Johor Bahru ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar also agreed to hold a contest for members of the public to suggest possible designs for the Bukit Chagar station’s external façade.

Project scheduled to be completed in 2026

Mr Wee assured Sultan Ibrahim that the RTS link would be completed within the stipulated time frame, which is three years, from 2021 to end of 2024 for the development and civil phase and two years, from 2025 to end of 2026 for the commissioning and testing phase.

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“As the representative of the Transport Ministry, which is the overseer of the project, I assure the commitment of the government in making sure that the project would be carried out effectively and in an organised manner, while also being completed by the set time, which is by 2026,” said Mr Mohd Zarif.

ByHana O