Johor Bahru-Singapore RTS Link now 52% complete

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12: The construction of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link is progressing well, and is now 52 per cent on schedule.

Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp) chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim said the national project is now entering its peak phase and comprehensive construction activities will reach maximum level by June next year.

He said these include the depot, an overpass connecting the depot to the station, the platform and the Immigration, Customs and Quarantine (ICQ) complex.

  “This project is entering the main construction phase from this month and every inch of land that will be used will be built on. We, therefore request motorists in Johor Bharu, especially on Jalan Tun Abdul Razak near JB Sentral, not to park their cars or wait for passengers along the route as this will cause congestion.

 “The MRT Corp has also held discussions with the Johor Bharu City Council, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Public Works Department (JKR) to ensure smooth traffic flow,” he said on Wednesday.

On the ICQ complex, which houses the Customs and Immigration Department, Mohd Zarif said construction work is on schedule and will be fully completed by September 2026.

 Operations are expected to begin in December of the same year.

He said piling work for the four-storey ICQ building is completed, while construction work for the building will be carried out in the next few months.

 “For this purpose, an open tender was conducted to find a reputable contractor. The tender went through several levels of evaluation, from the board level to the One-Stop Procurement Committee (OSPC) at the government level.

 “The final decision was made at the OSPC level, where members took their time to discuss and evaluate the bids,” he said.

The evaluation took into account various factors such as financial performance, project risk management and previous experience, in addition to alternative construction proposals.

 Meanwhile, Mohd Zarif said that once the RTS link is completed, passenger traffic between the Johor border and Singapore can be reduced to 15 minutes, compared to one hour or two hours on the normal route via the Johor Causeway.

“We believe that with the use of an electronic gate system for passport control at the entrance, passengers will only take 15 minutes to reach their destination (Woodlands, Singapore) and vice versa.

“This is a game changer for the economic development of the southern corridor,” he said, adding that mixed residential development has also been built next to the RTS Link Bukit Chagar Station.

 Mohd Zarif said a third-party environmental auditor has been appointed to monitor the project from time to time to comply with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.

 “To protect the marine ecosystem in the Strait of Johor, appropriate measures will also be taken, including the installation of a silt curtain to prevent erosion of the seabed,” he said.

  The four-kilometre RTS Link will cross the Straits of Johor, linking the Bukit Chagar Station in Johor Bharu to the RTS Link Woodlands North Station in Singapore.

 The RTS Link project, scheduled for completion in Dec 2026, is expected to pull in 35 per cent of the 350,000 people who travel across the Johor Causeway daily.