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Johor will be the first in Southeast Asia to operate the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) public transport system


Johor will be the first state in Malaysia, and the first in Southeast Asia, to use the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) or railless guided bus system. The Iskandar Malaysia region is the pioneer project for implementing this system.

johor to be the first in south east asia to have the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART)
© Trisno Quartris/ 123RF

This article was translated from Johor bakal ada pengangkutan awam Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) pertama di Asia Tenggara by Ashraf Wahab.

Johor will be the first state in Malaysia, and the first in Southeast Asia, to use the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) or railless guided bus system. The Iskandar Malaysia region is the pioneer project for implementing this system.

This will be the catalyst for property uptake within the ART areas. Did you know that there are three types of catalysts or stimulants in property that are known in the industry as property boosters? 

There are three types of property boosters

Property boosters play an extraordinary role in tremendously increasing a property’s value in a short amount of time.

  • Infrastructure

Infrastructure developments that connect location A with location B include highway developments and public transport mega-projects such as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rapid Transit (LRT), and ART.

  • Commercial activity

 This is an increase in economic activity from business premises development, factories, and anything else which involves economic activities.

  • Population increase

These are factors that dynamically increase the surrounding population in the area such as schools, higher learning institutions, and so on.

Examples of locations that have gained positive impacts from property boosters are Bangsar South (Kampung Kerinchi), Bandar Saujana Putra, and Horizon HillsProperty boosters are the best thing that can happen in property investment. This is because property boosters shorten the time needed for an area to mature and increase the value of surrounding properties.

Public transport is also a property booster that increases the value of a property. You can expect a property that is within a 1km radius of public transports to experience more than a 6% annual increase in value. Now, Iskandar Malaysia in Johor Darul Takzim will go down in history as the first city in Malaysia and Southeast Asia to test the ART system.

READ: Renters in Malaysia can continue to benefit from the Property Market in 2021

What is the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART)

Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) in Bilbao, Spain.
Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) in Bilbao, Spain. © Iakov Filimonov/ 123RF

An ART or railless guided bus system can be described as a bus, train, and tram with rubber wheels. It’s equipped with various sensor systems that read routes and assist the driver in following the routes on a virtual track.

It can go up to 70km/h and its wagons can fit 300 passengers. This ART system is urban transportation brought in by Mobilus Sdn Bhd and expected to launch in the first quarter of 2021. Mobilus is a joint venture between Ireka Corp Bhd and CRRC Urban Traffic Co Ltd and are competing for city transportation businesses in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. 

It will be part of the test route for the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) project -a comprehensive transit system for Iskandar Malaysia that covers over 2,000km for Phase 1.

The ART was developed by CRRC Zhuzhou Institute Co Ltd as was first unveiled in Central China’s Hunan province. 

How does the ART operate

Unlike MRT, LRT, and KTM, no rail to be built for ART because it will use virtual routes and communication features that are linked to traffic lights. Although it is only has a medium-sized capacity, the ART system will be fully utilising electric and hydrogen power without polluting the environment as is the case with conventional train systems.

Where will the ART’s route be

Johor ART routes iskandar malaysia IMBRP
Phase 1 of IMBRT routes. © Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT)

The ART system is expected to benefit hundreds of thousands of Johor residents as a premium transportation medium and a solution in reducing peak-time traffic congestion. Skudai and Tebrau cover almost 90% of the Iskandar Malaysia population. 

Phase 1 expands to 51km and includes 39 stations:

  • 19 stations in Tebrau
  • 13 stations in Skudai
  • 7 stations ni Iskandar Puteri

Each station and terminal will have facilities such as convenience stores, lifts, and escalators, as well as surau and toilets.

READ: A Complete Guide on Rent-To-Own (RTO) scheme in Malaysia

The ART train bus system has been widely implemented in major cities across China and used by 25,000 people daily. It has helped reduce traffic congestion by 20% since it was launched in December 2019. More importantly, the ART system utilises a fully green energy system and requires only 10 minutes for a 25km journey. Residents of Johor Bahru (JB) can start considering doing some ‘property hunting’ in ART areas before it’s too late!

Edited by Rebecca Hani Romeli

This article first appeared on Majalah Labur and written by Mehmed Aezhad.

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