The fare or ticket prices for Sarawak’s Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) will be affordable to the public, said Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the hydrogen-powered vehicle is a form of public transportation and the fare should not burden the public.

“The plan is, initially we will introduce a special fare to encourage people to use the ART. The main objective is to encourage the public to use public transport and ease traffic congestion.

“The fare will be decided later and (I can assure you that) it will not be a burden because it is meant for the public,” he said in a press conference after officially launching the engineering run and Stage 2 of the proof-of-concept (POC) exercise for the ART prototype here today.

The engineering run, from September to October, is to refine the specification of the ART unit and also to identify any potential issues before proceeding with the POC exercise.

It is also to assess and appraise the performance and the functionality of the ART vehicle, through the prototype unit.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said apart from catering for public use, the ART is also aimed at supporting the state’s tourism sector.

“The ART will be tourist friendly as they can use it to go to tourist destinations within Kuching to the Damai area. We are also planning to use S Pay Global as the mode of payment so you don’t have to bring cash,” he added.

Passenger services will commence in stages from the fourth quarter of 2025, starting with the Blue Line that runs from Rembus in Kota Samarahan to Hikmah Exchange in the Kuching city centre.

Apart from the Blue Line, two other lines will be built under Phase 1 of the KUTS project, namely the Red Line (from Kuching Sentral to Pending) and the Green Line (from Pending to Damai Central).

The ART vehicles will be operated on dedicated lanes, and will also run on rubber tyres, meaning the dedicated lanes will be trackless.

The move to use hydrogen is in support of the Sarawak Government’s aspirations to advance the hydrogen economy and to decarbonise public transport in Sarawak

Source: BERNAMA News Agency