A cross-border train service will not only ease the traffic congestion on the roads but also increase business links between Singapore and Johor Bahru and allow Malaysian day workers to travel to commute in lesser time to Singapore.
Prime Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong and Mr. Muhyiddin Yassin met on the causeway on Thursday for the resuming the Johor Bahru – Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) link project. The ceremony was hosted live on Mr. Lee’s official Facebook page and both the official attended the ceremony from their own sides of the causeway.
Mr. Lee, addressing the media personnel, said that the RTS link project is not only important to Singapore in terms of reducing the traffic congestion at the causeway but it also shows the mutual understanding and co-operation between the two nations in such tough times of Covid-19.
Businesses and economists welcomed the new agreement in hope that it will increase business opportunities in Singapore and Johor Bahru.
The president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr. Kurt Wee, said that the RTS link will increase the mobility of the work force which in turn will bring more investments to both the countries.
Manufacturers and other service sectors can invest more in Johor Bahru to increase the economic landscape of Singapore, he added.
Ho Meng Kit, CEO of the Singapore Business Federation, said the RTS link project can motivate the businesses in Singapore to invest more in Johor Bahru and Malaysia in retail sector and in outsourcing.
As per the estimation about 300,000 Malaysians used to travel to Singapore daily through the Causeway to work before the border restrictions were imposed in March 2020 due to Covid-19.
Singapore and Malaysia started the discussion of the RTS link project way back in 2010 but due to several delays it was kept on hold. As the project has resumed now, it is expected that the RTS link project will get complete by 2026.
It is believed that the project will continue even if the government changes in Malaysia because the importance of this project is very high for both the neighbouring nations.
The RTS link will work on a standalone LRT system and will be able to carry 10,000 passengers per hour in both the directions. The project will also feature custom co-location, immigration and quarantine facilities.
Both the countries have agreed to keep the system efficient, green and convenient and the terminus stations will be properly served by local transport system.