ISKANDAR PUTERI (7 October, 2017): The newly-launched Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will serve as the backbone of the public transportation infrastructure in Iskandar Malaysia over the next 20 years.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said BRT Johor is a high quality bus-based transit system which would provide reliable, comfortable and cost-effective services.
BRT is a transit system that uses dedicated busways with modern and universal access stations, integrated pedestrian access, rapid boarding, high service frequency and coverage of major catchment areas.
“With the expected population and economic growth as well as increased job opportunities, I am confident that the BRT Johor would become a catalyst for Iskandar Malaysia to be more competitive globally, and on par with other developed countries,” said Najib at the launch of the Progressive Johor Expo in Kota Iskandar, here today.
The Iskandar Malaysia BRT system will be developed at a cost of RM2.56 billion with the Federal government providing RM1 billion of the funds, while the remaining funds is coming from a public-private partnership initiative.
“I was informed that the Johor BRT will have elements of light rail transit or metro, which would make it quicker than regular bus services.
“We will ensure that the BRT system would be linked to the Rail Transit System (RTS), the High Speed Rail (HSR) and intercity bus service,” said Najib at the project launch today.
The system, to be developed by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) and the state government, is expected to be operational by 2021 and will cover 90 per cent of Iskandar Malaysia. It will have a route spanning 51 km in length with 39 stations, the longest and most comprehensive BRT project by far.
The Iskandar Malaysia BRT was among four initiatives announced by Najib at the launch of the expo.
The other three initiatives were the Johor Skills Development Master Plan; Johor Sustainability Policy; and four People’s Housing Programme (PPR) projects that include RM360mil in development expenditure (DE) to build 2,380 affordable homes by 2020.
Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the Johor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project was expected take off by next year and involves three phases, with the first scheduled for completion by 2020.
“We (IRDA) have not finalised the cost because we need time to prepare the working paper including on the financing module and engineering aspects.
“Right now we have received the green light from the government to proceed with the Johor BRT project and prepare the proposal to the parties interested in developing the system,” he told reporters.
Ismail said the cost of the Iskandar Malaysia BRT here would be five to 10 times less than a Mass Rapid Transit system or monorail.
He said the Bus Rapid Transit BRT system here was based on some of the best existing models being used in Brisbane in Australia and other cities in Europe and the Asia Pacific.