Iskandar Malaysia is seeking to tackle urban issues, which ranges from the lack of sustainable mobility to economic imbalance with city planning, according to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).
IRDA is the master planner of Iskandar Malaysia, which was created in 2006 and three times the size of Singapore.
IRDA Chief Executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said that the plan for the economic corridor is aligned with the need to support national goals as well push for sustainable mobility, reported the New Straits Times (NST).
Speaking at the City Expo Malaysia, Ismail said that one of the key aspects in creating an ecosystem that attracts impactful investment is connectivity, which is of paramount importance in creating a good metropolis.
Hence, IRDA rolled out a smart mobility initiative – the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
“The way to move forward from looking at developed nations and modern cities around the globe is by using public transportation. BRT would be the game-changer,” he said as quoted by NST.
He added that buses will also be electrified to further reduce their carbon footprint.
Ismail shared that IRDA eyes to shift the ratio of trips using private versus public transport from 85:15 to 70:30 or 50:50 via the BRT.
IRDA is working on the first comprehensive state-level implementation of a BRT system in Malaysia, with the system serving as the backbone of Iskandar Malaysia’s public transportation infrastructure.
It is in talks with Iskandar Puteri City Council and Johor Bahru City Council to improve commuting experience by providing wheelchair-friendly sidewalks, sheltered walkways and ensuring places leading to bus shelters are well-lit.
Set to be completed in 2023, the BRT network will span 2,043km with three main lines – Tebrau, Skudai and Iskandar Puteri – including 55 feeder routes and 44 direct routes.