KUCHING (Oct 11): A delegation from the Selangor state government experienced a glimpse of the future public transport network for Sarawak when they took a test ride on zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicles here recently.
Selangor State Executive Council (Exco) member for Investment, Trade and Mobility Ng Sze Han, who led the delegation, tried both the hydrogen buses and the prototype Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) hydrogen vehicle, on Monday.
“The test ride on the ART was coordinated by Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS), Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd (Sarawak Metro), and EMG JV Sdn Bhd, the main contractor for Systems Package One of the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) Project,” said a Sarawak Metro statement today.
On hand to welcome Ng and his delegation were MOTS administrative officer Tiong King Wei, Sarawak Metro project director Zafrin Zakariah together with the management of MOTS, Sarawak Metro, and EMG JV.
Prior to the ride, Sarawak Metro said the delegation was briefed on the KUTS project as well as on the Engineering Run and Stage Two of the Proof-of-Concept (POC) exercise at Menara SEDC.
During the test ride along the Engineering Run route at Jalan Keruing at the Isthmus, Sarawak Metro said visitors also had the opportunity to see first-hand the autonomous operations of the ART.
“Sarawak Metro, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has been entrusted to implement, operate and maintain the KUTS Project. The KUTS Project which is being developed in phases, aims to modernise the public transport system as well as ease traffic congestion in Greater Kuching.
“The backbone of the project is the ART, which will be supported by the feeder bus network while the use of hydrogen to power the public transport vehicles for the KUTS is also in line with Sarawak’s aspiration to advance the hydrogen economy, and towards becoming a developed state by 2030,” said Sarawak Metro.
Meanwhile, Phase One of the KUTS Project is the development of three lines – the Blue Line, the Red Line, and the Green Line – and is scheduled to start operation in stages, from the fourth quarter of 2025.
According to Sarawak Metro, the Blue Line, covering a distance of 27.5km, is from Rembus in Kota Samarahan to Kuching city centre; the Red Line (12.3km) is from Kuching Sentral to Pending; and the Green Line (30km) from Pending to Damai Central.
“The ART vehicles will be operated on dedicated lanes, either at-grade (road level) or elevated and will not share the road with other road users. They will also run on rubber tyres and hence the dedicated lanes will be trackless,” said Sarawak Metro.
The ART operation will be supported by a feeder bus network, which will also use hydrogen-powered vehicles to offer the ‘first mile and last mile’ connectivity for commuters.