KUCHING: The Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) is now in the second phase of study, which is identifying suitable routes, says Assistant Transport Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.
Dr Jerip said the state government opted for ART rather than the Light Rail Transit (LRT) after taking into consideration its cheaper cost.
“Studies have found that the construction cost of the ART is cheaper, only one-third of the total cost for the LRT,” he said.
He the state government was now planning the route as the system needed dedicated lanes, which could require the construction of new roads or expansion of existing ones.
He said the construction of ART facilities would resolve traffic congestion, especially in Kuching city and Kota Samarahan, adding that the initiative would not only reduce traffic congestion but also encourage people to use public transportation.
Apart from that, he said, this initiative also aimed to encourage green technology towards creating a smart city.
Currently, the Kuching-Samarahan area is very congested and is expected to worsen over the next few years due to the increasing number of housing estates in the area.
Dr Jerip said Kuching city development agenda by 2030 included implementing of more efficient public transport system.
Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin had said that the state government was looking into the type of ART vehicles suitable for the state, pointing out that they could have up to five carriages or coaches that could take about 500 passengers with the current technology in China.
He added that the government was looking at the technology presently being used in several cities in China.