Singapore, Malaysia sign bilateral agreement for Rapid Transit System Link

Singapore, Malaysia sign bilateral agreement for Rapid Transit System Link

Najib and Lee are scheduled to meet for bilateral discussions and witness the signing of a bilateral agreement for the Rapid Transit System linking Johor and Singapore today.

Prime Minister Najib Razak (back, left) and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (back, right) witnessing the signing of an agreement on the Johor Baru-Singapore rapid transit system by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan (front, left) and Singapore's Coordinating Infrastructure and Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Singapore today.

In a joint statement on the 8th Singapore-Malaysia Leaders' Retreat on Tuesday, both leaders welcomed Malaysia's removal of the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) toll effective from Jan 1, and Singapore's matching of the toll reduction with effect from Feb 1.

Najib and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had on Monday officially opened the two landmark developments by M+S Pte Ltd as a result of the 2010 Singapore and Malaysia land swap deal.

As the deadline to award the high-speed project nears, the two states must choose between competing bids from Chinese, Japanese, European and South Korean firms, a decision expected by the end of the year. The RTS terminus in Singapore will be located at Woodlands North station, along the Thomson-East Coast MRT line, while Malaysia has chosen Bukit Chagar as its main terminal for the RTS.

The leaders also commended efforts by the immigration authorities from both countries to reduce congestion at the Woodlands Causeway and the Tuas Second Link, while ensuring both countries' security requirements are taken into account. The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a joint statement said the RTS Link's passenger capacity was higher than the average capacity of 300 passengers per hour per direction that Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) is ferrying now.

With a capacity to carry 10,000 passengers per hour per direction, the RTS Link will provide an additional capacity of 60,000 users crossing the Causeway during peak hours.

On Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd's Tebrau shuttle service, which now goes to Singapore, he said it would cease six months after the RTS began operations. "The KTMB Tebrau Shuttle services to Singapore will cease six months after the RTS Link passenger service begins, targeted by December 2024".

When completed, the RTS Link will improve connectivity, deepen people-to-people ties, and stimulate economic growth in Singapore and Johor, said experts.

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