ISKANDAR PUTERI, Feb 13 — The state government, through the Johor Public Transport Corporation (PAJ), is gathering information to help overcome the problem of traffic congestion, particularly in Johor Baru.

State Works, Transport, Infrastructure and Communications Committee chairman Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh said findings from the study would be presented at the meeting with Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook in Kuala Lumpur on February 29.

“At the state level, we set up the Committee on Traffic Management and Dispersion several months ago to tackle the issue of congestion and this effort was supported by the Transport Ministry. The police, Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) and Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) are among the agencies helping to gather the information.

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“We will also meet Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the same matter on March 6,” he told a media conference after witnessing the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between PAJ and Johor State Taxi Operators here today.

Also present were the PAJ chief executive officer Abdul Malik Ismail, the Johor Baru Registered Taxi Association president Wahib Mohd Yasin and chairman of the Welfare Association of Owners and Drivers of Taxis, Rental Cars and Luxury Taxis at Senai International Airport Mohamad Nor Mohamad Syed.

Mohamad Fazli said that the result of the state government’s discussions with Loke and Ahmad Zahid would be compiled as a planning draft to tackle the traffic problem before being presented for discussion at the Cabinet level.

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Elaborating on the MoU, Mohamad Fazli said it was aimed at helping taxi operations in the state to increase their monthly income through the advertising medium.

“The MoU is based on studies conducted by the PAJ previously and one of the methods agreed upon is to fix advertising stickers on taxis. For a start, we will target taxis in rural areas before expanding it to other suitable areas. This effort is in line with the proposed Visit Johor Year 2026.

“It is learnt that there are 5,671 registered taxis statewide, but we will start with 95 taxis first. We will then increase it from time to time until 2026. This is a long-term effort,” he said.

He said the initiative will not marginalise taxi drivers in rural areas, adding that, instead, various factors have been taken into account, including local cost of living, tourist attraction areas and the suitability of the products to be advertised. — Bernama