Samarahan residents are elated

The ART system said to be better than LRT.


KUCHING: Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) welcomes the proposed Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) public transportation system which could solve traffic congestion in bustling Kota Samarahan.

Its chairman Datuk Peter Minos said the residents here are elated that the Kuching — Samarahan route has been selected for the first phase of the project.

“I am very sure that the new system will ease the massive traffic jams that we in Kota Samarahan face on working days especially between 5 and 8 in the mornings and evenings,” he told New Sarawak Tribune yesterday.

Minos noted that initially, the state government had mooted the implementation of Light Rail Transit (LRT) system to link Kota Samarahan with Kuching before it was changed to ART.

“Initially the idea was for LRT but I heard its implementation is too expensive. So now, it will be ART which I heard will be much cheaper.

“It does not matter to us in Samarahan. Anything that eases the traffic jams here is welcome and acceptable.

“Now we are looking forward to have, firstly — the traffic lights at our roundabouts, and then later, the ART.

“Hopefully, by 2025, the traffic jams are a thing of the past and development in Samarahan will be further boosted and people giving the smiles again,” he added.

File Photo: The ART system said to be better than LRT.

Minos shared that he received brickbats and complaints on the traffic jams on a daily basis but the problem was out of his hands.

“That is why we went directly to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and appealed to him to help us and it was very good of him for listening to our plights.

“He has agreed to and approved many projects targeted at easing the jam-clogging spots and the roundabouts by installing traffic lights.

“These will help reduce traffic congestion and complement the coming ART.

“Now we hope the implementing agency will expedite its implementation — the sooner, the better because the public is getting impatient and cannot absorb the pains caused by the traffic jams, day in and day out.”

On Saturday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that the ART was expected to be on the streets by the year 2025.

Currently, the Ministry of Transport and Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) are conducting a study on the public transportation system.