Johor govt approves RM1-23b intra-city train project

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Johor govt approves RM1-23b intra-city train project

Postby admin » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:29 am

JOHOR BARU: The Johor state government has approved the proposal for a RM1-23 billion intra-city commuter train service network- The approval, which was endorsed by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, was given to Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn Bhd (MCN), a joint venture company between KUB Malaysia Bhd and Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd- MCN had proposed to the federal government the construction and operation of a rail transit network in the Iskandar Development Region in Johor, with services extending from Johor Baru Sentral to Woodlands, Singapore.

The intra-city train service entails the building of seven stations and 16 halts connecting all major suburbs in Iskandar Malaysia, which covers south Johor. The commuter service would cover over 100km of rail network and serve all major upcoming tipping point developments such as the Johor Premium Outlet, Legoland Malaysia, Educity, Hi-Tech Park-Senai, and Lake Hill Resort City.

The project is envisaged to provide a shuttle service from JB Sentral to Woodlands in Singapore- It is forecast that the project would have an annual ridership of over 30 million people, once operational.

Ghani, who is also Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) co-chairman, said the project is in line with the targets set by National Key Result Areas under the Economic Transformation Plan of the government and the Iskandar Malaysia transportation blueprint- "The commuter service is indeed a timely investment which will coincide with Iskandar Malaysia's tipping point of 2012 and all major commercial developments are to benefit from the proposed commuter serviced and we expect to unlock the property values along the routes of the rail service," he said.

Irda chief executive Ismail Ibrahim said the regional authority is committed to ensure that sufficient and efficient feeder bus system is in place to support the proposed intra-city rail service for it to reach its full and optimum capacity to service commuters. MCN chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Samad said with this endorsement, the company is on track towards launching the intra-city commuter train service by 2012, with a total deployment of 19 three-car trains by 2013-

"I'm pleased to note that our world-class commuter train service is anticipated to generate a gross national income (GNI) of RM1. 63 billion over a period of 25 years, and serve as a showcase public private partnership project in the country- "The linkages provided via the upcoming commuter service are designed to be seamless for a hassle-free and business-conducive environment," he said.

Johor Baru is currently the second most popular destination for visitors in Malaysia, with an estimated 19 million visitors in 2010. The tourism industry in Malaysia is targeted to raise the total GNI contribution by RM67 billion to hit RM104 billion by 2020.

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