MELAKA, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- Melaka is to have a RM1.8 billion Aerorail urban mass transit system, the first in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, which will be completed by 2010.
The Aerorail system will be built, operated and managed by Pyramid Express Sdn Bhd while the technical and project management support will be provided by Pinggiran Pelangi Sdn Bhd, the local agent of Aerobus International of Houston, USA.
Pyramid Express managing director Datuk Lim Sue Beng said today the company expects to earn RM600,000 a month from the operation of the aerorail system when it goes into service.
He said the aerorail will be built in two phases and the construction work will start within six months with a capital investment of RM586 million, while the second phase will cost RM807 million.
"For the moment, the second phase will only start after the repayment of the cost of the first phase is completed," he said after the ground-breaking ceremony for the first Aerorail Hotel and Station at Lebuh Ayer Keroh here.
Lim said the first phase will cover a distance of 9.565 km, which will include the construction of 10 station hotels.
In the second phase, another 8.77 km with an additional three stations will be built.
The system will cover a distance of 18.4 km. The route begins near the Ayer Keroh toll plaza and will proceed to Melaka Zoo, Melaka International Trade Centre, Melaka Mall, Melaka General Hospital, Melaka Sentral, Hang Tuah Mall, across the river to the Clock Tower and ends at the Mahkota Medical Centre in Bandar Hilir.
Upon the completion of the aerorail system, there will be 10 stations with 10 250-room 4-star hotels.
Lim said the company is investing RM500 million in the hotels.
Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam, who performed the ground breaking ceremony, said the entire project is expected to create more than 5,000 job opportunities for the local population as well as economic benefits to local businesses.
"The Aerorail will also be a tourist attraction for both local and international visitors as it will be the only one in this region.
"In addition, it will be a convenient and efficient transport system for the benefit of the local population," he said.
Mohd Ali said the Aerorail will be a welcome boost for Melaka as it will not only reduce traffic congestion and pollution but also cater to the increasing tourist population, which is expected to reach more than eight million in 2010 from the 5.7 million last year.
For Aerorail Melaka Project Information, kindly click on the link below: