The Iskandar Malaysia Regional Development Authority (IRDA) has started a pilot testing programme for a bus rapid transit system (BRT). This pilot test will run for three months using electric and biodiesel-based green technology buses from nine local and international bus suppliers.
The pilot project will test the capabilities of the buses as well as the use of green technology on the suitability to modernise the public transport system in Johor. IRDA and related agencies will also conduct assessments, collect feedback on the effectiveness and safety of the buses as well as obtain approval for its actual use in the future.
The initiative for the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) system is welcomed by Menteri Besar Johor, Datuk Ir. Hasni Mohammad, who officiated the pilot test. “This service will ensure an efficient, convenient and environmentally-friendly public transportation system, covering a wide range of areas,” he said. “I am confident that it will be a catalyst for development, not only for the Iskandar Malaysia area, but for the entire state of Johor”.
The project has identified feeder, direct, and main routes that reach 2,043 kilometers or about 90% of the populated areas in Iskandar Malaysia. Each type of route will be served by buses of different sizes and capacity. When fully implemented, the IMBRT will be able to connect 55 feeder routes and 44 direct routes with the main route covering 33 stations.
IRDA Chief Executive, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim stressed that an efficient and integrated public transport infrastructure is important to attract foreign and domestic investments, thus increasing the attractiveness of the development corridor. “This IMBRT project is expected to create up to 35,000 jobs and increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Johor,” he added.
At the event, Datuk Ir. Hasni was joined by Chairman of the Johor State Public Works, Transportation, and Infrastructure Committee, Mohd Solihan Badri, and Chief Executive of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), Datuk Ismail Ibrahim.