JOHOR BARU, Oct 3 — Johor Baru mayor Datuk Noorazam Osman today said the state capital will need to have among others a light rail transit (LRT) system to reduce congestion, especially during peak hours.
He said that having an LRT was also in line with the Johor Baru-Singapore Link Rapid Transit System (RTS) project, which is currently under development.
“[Johor Baru] do not have a good public transport network. So, it’s about time the city is equipped with LRT facilities such as in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.
“Before the construction of the RTS, we didn't see the need for an LRT. However, we now see the importance of having one as the situation in the city is crowded and dense with the influx of private vehicles, including cars from out of state,” he said after chairing the Johor Baru City Council’s (MBJB) full board meeting at Menara MBJB here.
Noorazam also pointed out that once the RTS is operational, the authorities expect as many as 10,000 users every hour.
He said this shows that there is indeed an urgent need to improve the city’s public transportation system to support the RTS that connects Johor Baru with Singapore.
Noorazam believes that the need for the city to have an LRT is not only within MBJB’s administrative areas, but it can also cover the adjacent areas under the Pasir Gudang City Council, Iskandar Puteri City Council and Kulai Municipal Council.
He said that if the public transport network system in the city centre is not improved immediately, the growing issue of traffic congestion will be more difficult to address.
“Johor Baru is unique because it borders Singapore and that is one of the factors leading to the high incidence of traffic congestion, especially on weekends.
“Besides that, it also includes various construction projects that are actively being implemented within the city,” he said.
Noorazam said that MBJB has also embarked on improving its parking services in appropriate locations.
He added that this is in addition to providing the intracity feeder bus service to facilitate movement.
In 2021, a private consortium made a proposal to develop an LRT in the city centre and it is still being considered.