Pending rep claims Sarawakians kept in the dark over autonomous rail transit plansMoreA Sarawak state assemblyperson has raised questions over the ongoing Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) project, pointing out that no master plan has been released ahead of its 2025 targeted operational date.photo, above) said so far there were many unanswered questions surrounding the project, first proposed to replace the construction of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in the state." data-reactid="23">DAP's Pending state assemblyperson Violet Yong (photo, above) said so far there were many unanswered questions surrounding the project, first proposed to replace the construction of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in the state."Unless and until the Sarawak government makes a frank and full disclosure on the ART project to all Sarawakians, the state government should not use taxpayers' money to bulldoze a project which is full of uncertainties," Yong said in a statement."We do not want our state government to continue spending taxpayers' money by implementing projects which may only sound good to the ears and to just satisfy the ego of the few but are impractical to solve the public's woes," she demanded.She warned that the ART may end up becoming another white elephant project.Among others, Yong said concerned Sarawakians have been kept in the dark about the location of the ART stations, the actual route of the ART lines, and the amount of money to be spent in implementing the project.She also raised questions over costs spent on the project so far, its technical operations, the name of the company awarded the contract, and its fare mechanism."It is a well-known fact that ART is a system which has never been proven successful in any country apart from being expensive and costly to maintain."So far, there is only one supplier for the ART system which is from China and hence results in high maintenance costs," she said."Just like the three hydrogen buses project which faces many technical issues, the Sarawak state government is adopting yet another Chinese technology for the ART too," she added.Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg announced that the state government has decided on the ART system to improve public transportation in the greater Kuching area and initial works to construct dedicated lanes will commence this year.Abang Johari at the time reportedly said the cost of ART is one-third cheaper than the LRT system suggested earlier, as it only involved the widening of existing roads, rather than the construction of new rails.News reports have described the ART as a cross between a train, a bus, and a tram, combining its various elements to come up with a passenger transport system that runs on rubber tires on roads rather than tracks.It was developed by a Chinese company, CRRC Zhuzhou Institute Co Ltd, and unveiled in 2017.
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