In a press statement today, the ministry said the prototype will undergo a two-month engineering run at The Isthmus in September and October before beginning its Stage 2 proof of concept (POC) exercise along a short stretch of the Blue Line in Samarahan this November.
On Tuesday, Minister of Transport Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin conducted a site inspection in Samarahan to assess the progress of the ART track.
The inspection was carried out in preparation for the POC exercise.
During the site visit, Lee was briefed on the second stage of the POC exercise, after the first stage was conducted in China in February this year.
“Through the collaboration with JKRS (Sarawak Public Works Department), the KUTS (Kuching Urban Transportation System) project will expedite the construction of part of the alignment for the Blue Line.
Lee expressed his confidence in Sarawak Metro’s commitment to completing Phase 1 of the KUTS project as scheduled.
He highlighted the cooperation between Sarawak Metro, JKRS, and various government departments and agencies working on development projects along the ART alignment.
Phase 1 of the KUTS project involves the construction of the 27.6km Blue Line, connecting Rembus in Kota Samarahan to Hikmah Exchange in Kuching City Centre.
It also includes the development of the 12.3km Red Line (from Kuching Sentral to Pending) and the 30km Green Line (from Pending to Damai Central).
“The ART operations under Phase 1 are scheduled to commence in stages from the fourth quarter of 2025 up to the fourth quarter of 2027,” said the statement.
The primary goal of the KUTS project is to alleviate traffic congestion in the Greater Kuching area and provide a reliable, efficient, and modern public transport service for the people.
Central to the project is the implementation of a zero-emission public transport system, with the ART fleet powered by green hydrogen.
Complementing the ART service will be a hydrogen-powered feeder bus network, ensuring convenient first- and last-mile connectivity for commuters.
This synergy ensures the smooth implementation of both projects and aims to mitigate potential inconveniences for road users on the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.
Among those present for the inspection were Deputy Minister of Transport Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Kota Samarahan Municipal Council chairman Datuk Peter Minos, Samarahan acting resident Mohamad Irwan Bahari Bujang, Sarawak Metro chief executive officer Mazli Mustaffa, and JKRS Samarahan divisional engineer Indra Sakti Haron.