MRT Corp chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim (The Edge filepix by Sam Fong)
JOHOR BAHRU (May 18): The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project is expected to play a major role in boosting economic activities, potentially becoming as huge as the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor.
Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp) chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim said the RTS Link project's value cannot be measured only from the point of view of its construction, as it should also take into account how it would be able to attract investments in the long run.
"Investments made by the government should provide returns in the short and long term, so we are letting the people around the world know that there are plenty of opportunities to invest in Johor Bahru due to this RTS project.
"Our wish is that one day the Johor Bahru-Singapore corridor will be a rival or match to the Shenzhen-Hong Kong corridor…that's what we are aiming for," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Singapore Management University's visit to Menara JLand here on Wednesday (May 18).
Mohd Zarif also said not only would the RTS ease traffic congestion but it will also encourage more cross-border businesses and activities between Singapore and Johor Bahru.
"So we are looking at 15 minutes overall door-to-door (including immigration process and on a train) journey, from the moment you enter the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in Bukit Chagar until Woodlands North (Singapore).
"This is why we are looking at RTS as a game-changer for this region," he added.
Economic sectors that stand to benefit from spillover effects of the RTS include hospitality, health care and higher education.
Mohd Zarif said the RTS Link project, scheduled to be completed by December 2026, is expected to capture 35% of 350,000 people who travel via the Causeway on a daily basis.
He said the link would have a passenger capacity of 10,000 people per hour, thus helping ease traffic congestion on the highway.
He added that MRT Corp is also conducting a study on the traffic dispersal system connecting the RTS Link with the Eastern Dispersal Expressway.
The RTS Link is a 4.0-kilometre railway shuttle connecting the Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru station and the Woodlands, Singapore station.
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