SINGAPORE, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Singapore and Malaysia held a joint ceremony Thursday to resume work on the cross-border Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link between Woodlands and Johor Baru.
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin witnessed the ceremony, held at the international boundary line on the Causeway due to the travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cross-border link's capacity remains at 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction between Johor's Bukit Chagar terminus station and the Singapore terminus in Woodlands North, said a joint statement issued by both countries. The expected operation date for the cross-border project will be the end of 2026, instead of the end of 2024.
The 4-km link will now be a standalone light rail transit (LRT) system, instead of using the same trains and systems as Singapore's Thomson-East Coast MRT Line.
The RTS Link will continue to feature co-location of customs, immigration and quarantine facilities, so passengers have to clear immigration only once, at the point of departure, according to the statement.
Both countries signed an agreement to build the link in January 2018. Several postponements were made later.
The successful resumption of the RTS Link project underscores the deep and enduring bilateral relationship between both countries, and the collective desire to strengthen our win-win partnership, said the statement.
"When completed, the RTS Link will ease Causeway congestion, improve connectivity, foster people-to-people ties and generate shared economic and social benefits," it added.
Local media reported that before the coronavirus pandemic, over 300,000 people crossed the 1-km Causeway bridge every day, including about 100,000 Malaysians who commuted daily between Singapore and Malaysia. Enditem