This translates to an additional capacity of 60,000 commuters crossing the Causeway during peak hours.
Additionally, the statement said the clearance of motorcyclists traveling between the two countries "have been smoother" since the implementation of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)'s BIKES II and the Malaysia Citizen Motorcyclist (M-BIKE) clearance arrangements in January 2017. It is now expected to begin service in December 2024. Both Governments will jointly appoint an operating company to own, design, build, finance, operate, maintain and renew the RTS Link's operating assets such as trains, tracks, systems. Malaysia and Singapore will not be regulating the fares. The project's original goal was to have the link operational by 2018.
The OpCo will pay a concession fee to the two countries in exchange for the right to collect fare revenue from operating the RTS Link, the statement added.
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The leaders also commended efforts by the immigration authorities from both countries to reduce congestion at the Woodlands Causeway and the Tuas Second Link, while ensuring both countries' security requirements are taken into account.
Despite the fact Singapore has been separated from Malaysia for 53 years now, synergistic relationship and people-to-people interactions remain robust where economic benefits and labor needs are concerned. "The companies have committed to incorporate the JV by 30 June 2018, and to sign the concession agreement by 30 September 2018". Subsequent concessions will be awarded through open tender.
The RTS Link will cross the Strait of Johor on a 25m-high bridge between Woodlands North station in Singapore and Bukit Chagar station in Johor Bahru.
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To benefit from economies of scale, the RTS Link is to utilise the same rolling stock, signalling, communication and control technologies as the Thomson-East Coast Line which is now under construction in Singapore and will have its northern terminus at Woodlands North. Heavy maintenance will be outsourced to TEL operator SMRT Trains, and carried out at the line's Mandai depot, although a light maintenance depot will be constructed at Bukit Chagar.
"I accepted it immediately because I could see that it was a way forward for us to resolve long-standing issues between the two sides", he told a joint press conference on the occasion of the 8th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders' Retreat at the island nation's Istana today.
The 2010 deal ended a 20-year wrangle between the two Southeast Asian neighbours over plots of railway land in Singapore previously under Malaysian control.
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