First ART vehicle to arrive in Kuching before year's end

KUCHING: The first unit of the autonomous rapid transit (ART) vehicle for the city's public transport system is expected to be shipped to Sarawak by October, says state Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin.

He said the vehicle was currently being manufactured in China after its design was finalised earlier this year.

"We made some improvements to the design and now it is in the manufacturing plant.

"Before the final version is shipped to Sarawak, we will go there to check and do a test ride, probably by August or September.

"By the third quarter of this year we should be able to get the first unit," he told reporters after delivering his winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting on Monday (May 13).

Lee said the final version included some changes to the design of the front of the vehicle.

"The colour will also be changed to the Sarawak colours (yellow, red and black). That's all I can tell you now," he said.

The hydrogen-powered prototype ART vehicle arrived in August last year for an engineering run and proof-of-concept (POC) exercise.

The engineering run was held for two months to refine the vehicle specifications while the POC exercise aimed to evaluate the prototype's feasibility for the final design.

In his speech, Lee said the vehicle's final design was endorsed by premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg on Feb 19.

He said that after the delivery of the first unit in the third quarter, 37 more units would be delivered in stages towards the completion of Phase One of the Kuching Urban Transportation System, which involves three ART lines totalling 69.9km.

"The Blue Line Package One from Rembus to Riveria is targeted to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter next year.

"The entire Blue Line and Red Line are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2026 and the Green line by the end of 2027," he said.
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