|Iskandar Malaysia To Use Bus Rapid Transit System
PUTRAJAYA, April 30 (Bernama) -- A bus rapid transit system (BRT) will be implemented as the public transportation model for Iskandar Malaysia to support the region's bus industry restructuring.
The decision was endorsed at the eighth Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Members of Authority (MOA) meeting here today, which was jointly chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who is also IRDA Co-Chairman, and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.
"The Members also endorsed the incorporation of Pasukan Pengangkutan Awam Iskandar Malaysia (PAIM) as the state's Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to drive public transport improvement initiatives and future development," said IRDA in a statement on Friday.
Benchmarked against other developing countries, the BRT is a bus system with dedicated bus running ways and is expected to be a cost-effective way of providing high quality and high performance transit.
The system which requires a lower development cost with greater implementation compared to rail transit, is targeted to increase peak hour public transport modal share to 25 per cent by 2012 and 50 per cent by 2030.
The proposed model would include the development of infrastructure and supporting public transport facilities such as bus lanes, integrated transport terminals, stations and interchange, integrated ticketing and cashless transaction system, and passenger's information system.
A total length of 320 kilometres of BRT lines would be established to cover the five flagship zones of Iskandar Malaysia, with the pilot project to cover three main lines -- Johor Bahru to Skudai (21.05 kilometres), Johor Bahru to Pandan (9.57 kilometres) and Johor Bahru to Nusajaya (13.93 kilometres).
A total cost of RM469.5 million has been estimated for the BRT infrastructure, which covers bus lanes, terminals, stations, interchanges, stops, park and ride facilities and mobility centres, and it is targeted to complete by 2012.
"With the completion of the pilot BRT lines, ridership is expected to increase from the current 150,000 to 400,000 daily," IRDA said.
Other than that, 20 programmes would be implemented under the Iskandar Malaysia Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Blueprint which include Broadband Improvement Programme, ICT Infratructure Guidelines, Wireless@Iskandar Project, Gigabyte Fibre Network@IM, Open Access Network, 1Iskandar Project Centre, Enhancing Reach and Richness of Service, and Shared Services.
Other programmes are Intelligent City Management Services Competition, Kosmosarium (ICT Discovery), MSC Cybercity Incentives, Iskandar IPTV, ICT Awareness for SME, Enhancing Tele-medicine, Enhancing e-Logistics, Cloud Computing Data Centre, Personalised Concierge Service, Johor e-Government, Pusat 1 Komuniti, and School and Higher Institute of Learning ICT Competition.
Benchmarked against five countries advanced in ICT, namely Sweden, South Korea, Singapore, United Kingdom and Australia, the objective is that through the 20 programmes, Iskandar Malaysia would achieve 90 per cent broadband penetration, 95 per cent online e-government services implementation, attract 10 global ICT companies to spur creation of 200 supporting companies, tripling adoption of ICT among SME which currently at 35 per cent, and 80 per cent ICT literacy among the communities.
The Programme Implementation Committee (PIC) is the governance framework set up, consisting of Economic Planning Unit (Upen) as the chairman, Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), IRDA, Public Private Partnership Unit (Ukas) and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) to ensure the plans are executed successfully and in timely manner.
They will be supported by five taskforces -- one for each of the focus areas, namely eGovernment, ICT infratructure, Industry, Community, and ICT Promotion and Awareness -- which consist of industry players, major service providers, commerce associations and relevant government agencies.
The MOA also acknowledged the Cybercity project in Iskandar Malaysia, an eight-year project being developed in Indahpura, Kulai, on a 150-acre mixed development area with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM1.16 billion.
The Cybercity project is to be developed over three phases beginning 2010, where the first phase covers a development area of 30 acres.
"Located in Flagship E of Iskandar Malaysia, the Cybercity project is a strategic catalytic project and is expected to create more than 8,000 jobs, and facilitate trading and services to spur the growth of the ICT industry in Iskandar Malaysia," IRDA said.
On the Johor Bahru Central Business District Transformation Plan, the MOA noted that the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Perbadanan Johor Bahru Sentral Sdn Bhd (JBSB) which is wholly owned by the Johor state government, had been formed.
The operational structure will be led by a Board of Directors with the Johor menteri besar as Chairman and several Johor state executive councillors and senior government officers as members. Their function is to ensure good governance, provide guidance and make decisions for JBSB.