Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Melaka to introduce RM272m tram transportation service
MELAKA: Historic Melaka will be introducing a RM272 million tram transportation system which will begin at the Plaza Tol Ayer Keroh here and cover 23 locations and a distance of 40 km to downtown.
Work on the project, which is still awaiting approval from the Transportation Ministry, is expected to take off in May this year with completion and operations expected in May or June next year.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the tram system will be powered by natural gas, the first such tram to be introduced in the world with a speed of 60 to 80 km per hour.
The project will be a joint venture between the Melaka State Government, through its Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI), and MRails International Sdn Bhd (MRails).
"The building of this tram system is in line with the progressive Melaka (Melaka Maju) 2010 status and will enhance the public transportation system in Melaka which gets congested especially during the weekend," Mohd Ali told reporters following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CMI and MRails here today.
Also present at today's event was the Patron of MRails, Tengku Muda Pahang Tengku Abd Rahman ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, Melaka State Secretary Datuk Wira Omar Kaseh, President of MRails Datuk Jeya Kumar and Chief Executive Officer of MRails Datuk Mohamed Shamsherudin Mohd Shariff.
CMI will have a 20 per cent interest in the project while MRails which has a paid-up capital of RM1 million will hold the rest. The funding of the project will be via private funding initiative.
The tram has a maximum capacity for 40 coaches and 6,000 passengers.
The number of passengers expected to use the tram services has been projected at 250,000 passengers a month.
Mohd Ali said fares will be at RM2 one way while for senior citizens and school children, it will be free.
Among the popular spots the tram will pass on its route are Hotel Seri Malaysia, Botanical Gardens, Melaka Zoo, Melaka International Trade Centre, Taman Muzaffar Shah, Pantai Hospital, Masjid Al-Azim, Hospital Melaka, Renaissance Hotel, Dataran Pahlawan, Hotel Mahkota, Harbour Club, Equatorial Hotel and Bukit Baru.
The main station will be located at a 20-hectare area at Plaza Tol Ayer Keroh which will also include the development of a parking area for vehicles.
Meanwhile, Jeya told reporters that the tram, which will run on a single track, will be air-conditioned and the first model coach will be brought in from China.
He said Mrails had a partnership with CNR Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co Ltd (China), the biggest manufacturer of rail transport vehicles in the country.
The remaining coaches for the Melaka tram system will be built up in Tanjung Agas, Pahang which will include spare part facilities.
The Melaka tram is expected to operate from five in the morning to midnight with its frequency three to five minutes apart during peak hours.
"The people and tourists here will be getting the best in convenience through the tram transportation system which will be employing a green technology and be people-friendly as well," Jeya added.- Bernama
Posted by TW Kang at 6:08 PM