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Progress of RTS Link project on track, says MRT Corp CEO

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 19): Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) said the progress of its Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link is well on track as Malaysia started constructing its side of the infrastructure in November 2020, according to MRT Corp chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim.

Speaking at a virtual launching event today, Zarif said it was in the midst of completing land acquisition for parts of the project, which include the Wadi Hana depot, and expects to complete the acquisition by April.

“Within a short period of time, we have settled a lot of land issues. Normally, things like this will take about a year or two to be solved, but we have settled within the time frame,” he said during the unveiling ceremony of the winning design for the Johor Baru RTS Link station.

“We had good cooperation from all the stakeholders, the federal and Johor state governments, and we also gained a lot of support from the land owners and the public,” he added.

The RTS project, which was first announced in 2010, is slated to begin operations by the end of 2026 and expected to provide an easy and efficient border crossing between Malaysia and Singapore.

MRT Corp previously said the construction project will cost Malaysia RM3.7 billion.

The construction entails a 4km rail shuttle service which will allow travellers to cross the Straits of Johor and reach Bukit Chagar in Johor within five minutes. It is expected to serve up to 10,000 commuters per hour each way.

Meanwhile, MRT Corp also highlighted the progress of its public inspection for the RTS Link from Jan 15 to April 15, 2021. The public inspection is being carried out online due to the movement control order (MCO).

“We had a very good response from the public with close to 10,000 visitors to the site to date,” it said. 

The winning design for the RTS Link was submitted by Johor Baru-based architect Chin Yee Chong from SM Architects Sdn Bhd. He took home RM 250,000 in prize money. 

The competition, jointly organised by MRT Corp and Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM), was launched on Nov 23, 2020. It ended on Jan 25, 2021. 

The competition was the brainchild of Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, the Sultan of Johor. His Majesty was the patron of the competition and chairman of the jury panel.

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