Iskandar Malaysia’s BRT to start three-month pilot next month

Artist’s impression of the proposed bus type for the the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) comprehensive transit system. — Picture courtesy of imbrt.com.my
Artist’s impression of the proposed bus type for the the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) comprehensive transit system. — Picture courtesy of imbrt.com.my

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JOHOR BARU, March 17 — The Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) comprehensive transit system project is scheduled to undergo a three-month pilot testing programme here next month, showcasing its transportation capabilities.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the pilot needed to get a better understanding of the IMBRT that will be rolled out in 2023.

He said this will provide feedback to IRDA and the relevant agencies to address issues that might arise.

“The pilot testing programme is a significant milestone for the IMBRT as Iskandar Malaysia needs to be well connected to grow as an international metropolis by 2025.

“This can only be possible with the support of a reliable public transportation system that has a wide coverage such as the IMBRT,” said Ismail during a virtual media briefing session here today.

Also present was BRTIM Sdn Bhd head Rudyanto Azhar who later conducted the IMBRT presentation.

The pilot was originally scheduled for last year but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ismail said the IMBRT is wide ranging and would connect to the Rapid Transit Link System (RTS Link) connecting Johor Baru and Singapore that is expected to be operational by 2026.

“The IMBRT will also connect with the Gemas-Johor Baru electrified double tracking project that is scheduled to be operational by next year,” he said, adding that the IMBRT would be connected with the RTS Link and the Gemas-Johor Baru double tracking project through trunk stations located at both networks.

Ismail explained that the three transportation systems would jointly catalyse attract foreign and domestic investments into the Iskandar Malaysia region in Johor.

He said IMBRT’s primary goal was to enhance public transportation usage in the region with coverage to increase from 39 per cent to 90 per cent with public transportation modal share from 15 per cent to 40 per cent at present to 2025.

The three-month pilot will see the buses travel along the Sultan Iskandar Coastal Route between Horizon Hills and Anjung in Medini starting from April 8.

It will see the participation of nine bus suppliers from four countries demonstrating the latest green technology that will include electric and biodiesel powertrains.

The IMBRT for Iskandar Malaysia in south Johor will cover a network of more than 2,000km when completed under the first phase.

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