Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tram project gets the nod

Tram project gets the nod
By Jason Gerald John
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MALACCA: Visitors to the Historical City could soon enjoy a traffic light- free ride from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to the city centre, thanks to the Melaka Tram project.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the Department of Railways had given the nod for the project.

"However, we would have to wait for the green light from the Public Works Department as there is a need to build four flyovers to ensure the path of the Melaka Tram is not affected by traffic-light junctions.

"The flyovers would be built at the Persimpangan Seri Negeri, Persimpangan Bukit Beruang-Bukit Katil, Persimpangan MBMB and the Persimpangan Muzium Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba.

"With the flyover, the tram's journey will be uninterrupted and the traffic flow from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to the city centre will be smooth as there will be no traffic lights," said Ali after chairing the weekly state executive council meeting at the Seri Negeri yesterday.

He said the RM272 million tram project, similar to the one in Brisbane, Australia, could start construction early next year once the project received public feedback during a three-month objection period and also upon completion of the environmental impact assessment.

The Melaka Tram would have 23 stops along a 40km-route from Ayer Keroh to Banda Hilir, the heart of the historical city.

The project, a joint venture between Mrails International Sdn Bhd and Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI), is expected to be completed within a year. He said the project was mainly to cater for the influx of tourists to the city.

It is estimated that 250,000 passengers will use the trams monthly, providing an annual revenue of RM20 million.

Among the popular spots the tram will pass 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.

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