SMRT and Prasarana sign MOU to form a joint venture for Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link
1. SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT), Singapore’s largest rail operator, and Prasarana Malaysia Bhd (Prasarana), Malaysia’s largest and leading public transportation provider, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today (25 Sep 2017) to form a joint venture company as the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) operating company (OpCo). The RTS Link OpCo will be expected to design, build, finance, operate, maintain and renew the RTS Link operating assets like trains, tracks and systems.
2. This development paves the way for both companies to work on a Joint Venture Agreement and the incorporation of a Joint Venture Company that will operate the rail line, allowing commuters to travel via rail from Woodlands to Johor Bahru by 31 December 2024.
3. The MOU was inked by President and Group Chief Executive Officer of SMRT, Mr Desmond Kuek and President and Group CEO of Prasarana, Dato’ Sri Azmi Abdul Aziz at Prasarana’s Corporate Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The MOU signing was witnessed by Chairman of Prasarana, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, and Chairman of SMRT, Mr Seah Moon Ming.
4. Mr Seah Moon Ming, said: “I am delighted to witness this MOU signing. It paves the way for rail operators in Malaysia and Singapore to forge closer links. As an inter-country metro connection between Singapore and Malaysia, the RTS Link is a significant milestone for better connectivity and public transportation links between our two countries that will serve us for decades to come.”
5. Speaking at the event, Dato’ Sri Azmi said that Prasarana was proud to work alongside SMRT to bring the project to fruition. He said: “The RTS Link will further strengthen the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Singapore, in addition to further enhancing our connectivity, and benefitting thousands who commute regularly between Johor Bahru and Singapore.”
6. The RTS Link will serve the growing transportation needs and improve productivity between Singapore and Johor Bahru. The rail line is also expected to be a boon to tourism between the two countries. On 15 September 2017, the Land Transport Authority announced that SMRT Trains, a subsidiary of SMRT Corporation Ltd, had won the tender to operate the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) from 2019 for an initial period of nine years. Commuters travelling from Singapore will be able to transfer from Woodlands North MRT station on the TEL to the RTS Link platform for seamless travel to Malaysia.
7. Mr Desmond Kuek said: “We look forward to working closely with Prasarana. When the Thomson-East Coast Line is added to SMRT’s MRT network from 2019, we will work towards integrating the commuter’s travel experience on our network with the upcoming RTS Link. We hope that the MOU will lead to a successful joint venture agreement and a close working relationship between our two rail companies.”
8. Dato’ Sri Azmi added that Prasarana was honoured to be part of the project and the Group was looking forward to working closely with SMRT. He said: “We are grateful and honoured with the trust and confidence accorded to us and will put in our best to ensure the success of the project.”