M'sia-S'pore high-speed rail link seen as profitable

PHOTO: M'sia-S'pore high-speed rail link seen as profitable

KUALA LUMPUR - The Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) is optimistic that the high-speed rail (HSR) link between Malaysia and Singapore will be profitable in the long term.

Its chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal said the key is to ensure that the ridership level is sustainable economically, says a report in Malaysia's Business Times.

"The first two years of operation is going to be challenging. We expect ridership to build up after the second or third year of operation," he said recently.

A two-pronged strategy has been planned for the HSR to be a sustainable development and value-creating. He said the builder will first need a template to establish new economic zones along the corridor and create industrial hubs like oil and gas, energy, biotechnology and palm oil.

Mr Mohd Nur Ismal said Spad has conducted a study on ridership levels, the Malaysian daily said.

The 350km rail link may have up to seven stations located, among others, in Seremban (Negri Sembilan), Ayer Keroh (Malacca) and Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, before heading to Singapore.

He said the government will play a key role to help fund the HSR project, although it is structured on a public-private partnership.

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