Singapore and Malaysia have held a ceremony to mark the resumption of the RTS Link project between Woodlands and Johor Bahru.

The RTS Link Project was suspended since last April at Malaysia’s request, to allow some time for Malaysia to review the project.

The ceremony, held at the Causeway, was witnessed by the leaders of both sides, and saw Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung and his Malaysian counterpart, Dr. Wee Ka Siong agree on three key points of change for the project.

Most notably, the RTS Link will be a standalone Light Rail Transit (LRT) System, instead of leveraging the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. However, the RTS Link’s capacity remains unchanged at up to 10,000 passengers per hour per direction. 

Additionally, the RTS Link will no longer use the existing TEL Mandai Depot. Instead, a new depot will be constructed at Wadi Hana, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The cost of the new depot will be RM500 million ($161.9 million), and will be borne by Malaysia.

Furthermore, each Government will separately appoint an infrastructure company (InfraCo) to fund, build, own, maintain and renew the civil infrastructure and stations in its territory up to the international boundary.

Malaysia has changed its InfraCo from Prasarana Malaysia Berhad to Malaysia Rapid Transit System, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, while the Land Transport Authority of Singapore remains as Singapore’s InfraCo.

As a result of these changes, and the suspension of the project, the targeted passenger service commencement date will be deferred from end 2024 to end 2026.

The RTS Link will continue to feature co-location of customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) facilities, so that passengers undergo CIQ clearance only once at their point of departure.

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the RTS Link stations will be well integrated with the local transport networks in each country. The fare levels will continue to be set by the operating company, and will be determined closer to the date of passenger service commencement.