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Malaysia, Singapore to form JV for trans-border rail link

Staff Writer |
Malaysian public transport operator Prasarana Malaysia and Singapore's SMRT Corp formed a joint venture company to manage the Singapore-Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link).

Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up Johor Bahru-Singapore RTS Link operating company, to design, build, finance, operate, maintain and renew the RTS Link operating assets like trains, tracks and systems, the two companies said in a statement.

Abdul Rahman Dahlan, the minister of Malaysian prime minister's department, told the media after the signing ceremony that both parties have not finalized the investment of the RTS link.

A bilateral agreement will be signed by both parties by December, he said, adding that both parties are still negotiating the shareholding structure of the project.

Currently, most cars and buses traversing the Singapore-Malaysia border have to take the JohorSingapore Causeway or a bridge link, both of which can be very congested during rush hour.

Abdul Rahman said he expects the new transport system can boost Malaysia's productivity as it will alleviate traffic congestions and reduce travel time between Johor Bahru and Singapore.

The new line which allows commuters to travel via Mass Rapid Transit from Johor Bahru to Woodlands, is expected to commence its service by 2024. It is estimated to mobilize 10,000 people each direction per hour.

SMRT's president and group chief executive officer Desmond Kuek noted that both parties will work towards integrating the RTS Link to the current Singaporen transport system once it is completed.

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