CM: Kuching ART system to cost a third of LRT


SINGAPORE: The Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system, mooted by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg last month to enhance public transport system in Kuching, will likely cost about a third of the light rapid transit (LRT) system previously proposed.

The Chief Minister shared this during a press conference on the sidelines of the Sarawak-Singapore Business Forum and Expo 2019 yesterday.

“There have been questions on the public transportation in Kuching. The public transport is the artery (of a city).

“What we have planned for our public transport is exactly what the economy wants and it is not a waste of time, energy and money but an upgrade of the whole infrastructure,” he stressed.

“It has been the state government’s aim to improve the public transportation facilities in Sarawak.

“We had initially planned to build the LRT to fix the public transport in Kuching, but now there is a new technology whereby the ART system is a hybrid between LRT and rapid bus system.

“We are looking  into the possibility of using the ART system to link Kuching and Kota Samarahan.

“The on-cost is approximately a third of the cost of building the LRT because there won’t be a rail,” he said.

Aband Jo said he was also keen on using hydrogen for the ART system. He hoped to see the development of the ART system within two years’ time as more research was still needed and routes to be expanded to accommodate the ART system which would have its own dedicated line.

“In this part of the world, we could be the first to have the ART system just like how we are the first in the region to use the hydrogen bus,” he said.

Last month, the Sarawak government said it was looking at the ART system as one of the urban transportation solutions for greater Kuching. The Sarawak government said it was exploring the options of employing the latest train technology that could possibly be cheaper to implement.