Autonomous rail transit expected to be operational by 2025 — Abdul Aziz

Abang Johari (standing behind, third left) and Abdul Aziz (third right) witnessing the exchanging of MoU documents between SEDC general manager Abdul Hadi Abdul Kadir (left) and UDA Holdings chief executive officer Mohd Salem Kailany at a hotel in Kuching today (Sept 1, 2020).

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Sept 1: The much-anticipated autonomous rail transit (ART) system is expected to be operation by 2025, revealed SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain.

He said before its full operations, it would take at least two years for trial run.

“For the trial basis, it will be carried out between 2023-2024. As for the commercial operation, it will be sometime in 2025,” Abdul Aziz told reporters after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and UDA Holdings Berhad at a hotel here today.

The network, said Abdul Aziz, will cover the densely populated Kuching-Samarahan area and Kuching-12th Mile area.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the ART system will be managed by Sarawak Metro, which is now at the planning stage, and it will be implemented in stages under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

He also revealed that the budget for the implementation of ART now will be much cheaper with the availability of new technology from Germany and China.

“The current estimated cost to implement ART will be less than RM6 billion, compared to RM8-10 billion with earlier estimation. Now with the new technology, it will be cheaper.

“But it will be implemented over a period of seven years. If it costs RM6 billion, then you divide that by seven years, you will need about RM1 billion a year,” he added.

He said, the ART system will operate from Padang Pasir, opposite the Kuching Divisional Mosque, as its main station. — DayakDaily