Singapore Not Delaying Progress On Rapid Transit System

Responding to media queries on Malaysian media reports that Singapore has been delaying a decision on the alignment of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) link connecting Singapore and Johor Baru, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said yesterday in a statement that this was incorrect.

“Singapore has informed Malaysia in June 2011 that the RTS terminus in Singapore would be located in Woodlands North near Republic Polytechnic. However, to date, Singapore has not received official confirmation of the location of Malaysia’s RTS terminus in Johor Baru. Only upon confirmation of the location of the terminus can both countries proceed to finalise the alignment of the crossing between Johor Baru and Singapore,” said the MOT in a statement.

Malaysian media reports had quoted Johor State Executive Committee Member for Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Hasni Mohammad as saying that Singapore was holding back on deciding the alignment for the RTS.

At the recent Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) for Iskandar Malaysia meeting on Feb 6, Singapore and Malaysia agreed that the second phase of the joint engineering study on the RTS link would begin after the terminus location in Johor Baru is confirmed by Malaysia. This was stated in the joint statement issued by the Malaysian and Singapore governments immediately after the meeting. The Johor state government was represented at the meeting.

The MOT said it looked forward to official confirmation from the Malaysian government on the location of the RTS terminus in Johor Baru. “Singapore remains committed to working closely with Malaysia on the RTS link, which will provide a boost to cross-border connectivity,” said the MOT statement.

The RTS, if built, will connect Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system to Johor Baru. It will be the second rail link between Singapore and Malaysia, after KTM Intercity’s North-South line. The RTS is a two-station line designed for high-volume transit, with both sides targeting to finish the project in 2018.

The first phase of the RTS joint engineering study was endorsed by the JMC in January last year.

In September last year, some Malaysian media reports said the Johor Baru terminus would be located in Bukit Chagar, but there has been no official word.

One of the key engineering considerations for the line is whether to build it parallel to the Causeway and above ground; parallel to the Causeway and underground or diagonally opposite the Causeway.



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