Singapore and Malaysia have conducted a ceremony to mark the resumption of work on the cross-border Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link between Woodlands and Johor Baru.
The ceremony was held a day before the final deadline after the project was postponed multiple times.
Both parties agreed on many changes to the project.
According to the new agreement, the RTS Link will be a separate light rail transit (LRT) system. It will not use the same trains and systems as Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).
However, the capacity of the rail link will remain at around 10,000 passengers an hour in each direction.
The RTS Link will also not use the current TEL depot at Mandai and a new depot at Wadi Hana, Malaysia, will be built.
Each government has established an infrastructure company to fund, construct, own, maintain and renew the infrastructure in their territory.
Malaysia has changed its infrastructure company to Malaysia Rapid Transit System while Singapore’s infrastructure company remains the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
The start of passenger services has been postponed to the end of 2026 from the previous deadline of 2024.
The rail link will feature co-location of customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) facilities, which will permit passengers to receive CIQ clearance at the departure point.
The two countries reiterated the aim to ensure that the stations of the RTS Link will be integrated with the existing transport networks in the countries.
The operating company will be responsible for setting fare levels and decided before the passenger service commencement.
The governments finalised three major agreements for the project, which include an agreement to amend the RTS Link Bilateral Agreement and a joint venture agreement between SMRT RTS of Singapore and Prasarana RTS Operations of Malaysia to form RTS Operations.
The third agreement was a concession agreement was signed between LTA and the Malay Government to appoint RTS Operations as the operating company for a concession period of 30 years.
In January 2018, Malaysia and Singapore announced a joint agreement to deliver the 4km-long RTS Link.