Prasarana Malaysia and Singapore’s SMRT will jointly operate a new cross-border MRT service in 2024

An artist’s impression of the upcoming Woodlands North station.
Land Transport Authority

Malaysia and Singapore have signed a milestone agreement to operate a MRT train service on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link).

With a capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour per direction, the collaboration will provide an additional capacity of 60,000 users crossing the Causeway during peak hours, the Land Public Transport Commission of Malaysia and Land Transport Authority of Singapore said in a statement on Jan 16.

The RTS Link, which will cross the Straits of Johor via a 25m-high bridge, will link the Bukit Chagar Station in Johor Bahru to the RTS Link Woodlands North Station in Singapore.

It is slated to be ready by Dec 31, 2024, with a train departing every eight minutes.

To facilitate passenger flow, there will be co-located Custom, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities in both Bukit Chagar and Woodlands North.

Passengers travelling will clear both Malaysia and Singapore checkpoints at the point of departure, and need not go through immigration clearance again at the point of arrival.

Prasarana Malaysia Berhad and Singapore’s LTA have been appointed as infrastructure companies (InfraCo) to fund, build, own, maintain, and renew the civil infrastructure and stations within their respective territories.

In the first concession period of 30 years, Prasarana Malaysia and SMRT Corporation will work in a joint venture to operate the RTS Link.

Called operating companies (OpCo), they will own, design, build, finance, operate, maintain and renew the RTS Link’s operating assets. The OpCo will also pay a concession fee to the two countries in exchange for the right to collect commercial fares.

The companies have committed to incorporate the JV by June 30, and to sign the concession agreement by Sep 30.