Sarawak govt mulls cheaper mass transit system option

Posted on : 26 Jul 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari takes a tour of the train.

KUCHING: The Sarawak government is looking at Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system as one of the urban transportation solutions for greater Kuching.

A statement from Chief Minister Office (CMO) said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg was in Nanchang, China yesterday to view the deployment of the ART system that forms part of the city’s urban transportation solution.

Abang Johari was leading a delegation from Sarawak which arrived in Nanchang on Wednesday.

With the implementation of the urban transportation solution for greater Kuching now almost definite, CMO said the Sarawak government is exploring the options of employing the latest train technology that could possibly be cheaper to implement.

“The ART might be able to reduce the costs of implementation of the lines as it can run on non-elevated normal or dedicated roads,” the chief minister told Sarawak officers accompanying him during the visit.

One of the recommended designs for the proposed ART in Kuching.

The CMO also said the proposed routes for Kuching’s urban transportation solution are the Kuching-Samarahan and the Kuching-Serian lines.

“The ART with trains that run on tyres developed by CRRC Corporations Ltd. does not run on conventional rail tracks but on a virtual track that can be on dedicated or normal existing roads and controlled by a central command centre,” it added.

It also said the chief minister and members of his delegation were taken on a ride on the train along a 5km-line through the city to have a first-hand experience on the ART that can be powered by electricity or hydrogen.

Later, they were taken on a tour of the production facility near the city before attending a briefing by CRRC.

Among those accompanying the chief minister were Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil and chairman of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Hussain.