KUCHING (Oct 14): European Union (EU) Ambassador to Malaysia Michalis Rokas and a high-level delegation experienced a test ride on Sarawak’s groundbreaking Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) hydrogen vehicle prototype during their visit to the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) on Thursday.
In a statement, Sarawak Metro said Rokas was joined by SEDC chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr Abdul Aziz Hussain and Sarawak Metro chief executive officer Mazli Mustaffa for the test ride along the engineering route at Jalan Keruing at the Isthmus.
Accompanying Rokas on his visit to SEDC and the ART test ride was the delegation of the EU to Malaysia’s Trade and Economic Relations head of section Minister Counsellor Denis Baresch.
Also in attendance were representatives from the Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS) and the senior management of SEDC, Sarawak Metro, SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd, and EMG JV Sdn Bhd.
Sarawak Metro, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEDC, has been entrusted with the implementation, operation, and maintenance of the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) Project.
The KUTS Project, developed in phases, aims to modernise the public transport system and alleviate traffic congestion in Greater Kuching.
Sarawak Metro said Phase 1 of the KUTS Project involves the development of three lines: the Blue Line, the Red Line, and the Green Line, with operations set to commence in stages starting from the fourth quarter of 2025.
The Blue Line, covering a distance of 27.5km, will run from Rembus in Kota Samarahan to Kuching city centre; the Red Line, spanning 12.3km, will connect Kuching Sentral to Pending; and the Green Line, covering 30km, will stretch from Pending to Damai Central.
“Sarawak Metro is adopting hydrogen power for the ART vehicles, in line with the Sarawak government’s aspirations to decarbonise public transport and advance the hydrogen economy.
“The ART vehicles will run on rubber tyres and will be operated on trackless dedicated lanes, either at-grade (road level) or elevated, and will not share the road with other road users.
“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, ” added Sarawak Metro.