RM900 mil for autonomous rapid transit prototype exercise; RM5 mil for smart buses in Miri

The ART prototype vehicle navigating a bend at BCCK roundabout on its groundbreaking engineering run.

KUCHING, Nov 20: The Sarawak government allocated RM900 million to implement the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) hydrogen prototype vehicle proof-of-concept (POC) exercise next year.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the exercise aims to obtain the prototype vehicle’s performance data and showcase the ART’s capabilities to the public.

“To modernise and transform urban transport, we have embarked on the implementation of the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) Project, in which the implementation of Phase 1 includes the development of three ART lines. The operation of KUTS Phase 1 will be supported by a hydrogen feeder bus service to provide passengers with first and last-mile connectivity.

“The linkage between rural and urban areas will be strengthened by improving connectivity and mobility to foster greater economic integration,” he said when tabling the Sarawak Budget 2024 during the Second Meeting for the Second Term of the 19th Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting at the DUN Complex here today.

In addition, Abang Johari mentioned that a sum of RM5 million will be provided in 2024 to implement smart buses for Miri City to provide better connectivity and increase mobility for the people.

To enhance port development, navigational safety, and other ongoing riverine projects, he said RM83 million will be allocated.

The allocation is for projects, including the proposed vehicle yard and associated facilities at Senari Port, Kuching; port development and maintenance dredging grants to State port authorities; proposed construction and completion of Tanjung Enbang Terminal Phase 1, Kuching Port; master plan study for ports; and construction of wharves, jetties, river walls, and waterfronts.

“Ports are catalysts for economic development as they enable trade and support supply chains. The Sarawak government is committed to supporting port development for better and more efficient port services.

“The installation and commissioning of new quay cranes for Kuching Port Authority, costing approximately RM72 million, will increase cargo handling productivity and spur growth in cargo volume,” he elaborated.

To achieve robust economic growth and boost trading activities, Abang Johari emphasised that the State ports will continue to work with port users to improve the profitability, productivity, and overall efficiency of the logistic supply chain.

“Our long-term aim is for Sarawak to become a maritime transit hub, given its strategic location along the Southeast Asia regional trading route,” he added. — DayakDaily