JB-Singapore Rail Link Deal Inked

The much-delayed Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project was finalised on 30 July.

The cross-border project first announced in 2010 will be operated by a joint venture operating company between Singapore's SMRT Corporation and Malaysia's Prasarana RTS Operations.

The 4km link connecting Woodlands North station on the Singapore's Thomson-East Coast MRT line to a planned terminal at Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru is expected to serve about 10,000 commuters at peak periods, every hour. It will feature co-location of customs, immigration and quarantine facilities, so that passengers only have to clear customs once at their point of departure. 

Construction work for the RTS Link is slated to commence in January 2021 and operations are expected to begin at the end of 2026. The current Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Tebrau Shuttle Service will cease operating six months after the RTS Link starts operations.

It is estimated that about 300,000 Malaysians cross the Causeway daily to work in Singapore before the Covid-19 situation resulted in border restrictions and movement control. The RTS Link would ease congestion on the Causeway and boost mobility for the workforce. Business activities between the two cities will likely increase and bring about economic benefits.

Talks for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project, which has also been delayed, is still on-going.

Image by Lionel Lim