Kuching Urban Transportation System to use world’s first FCEV Autonomous Rapid Transit on virtual tracks

Kuching Urban Transportation System to use world’s first FCEV Autonomous Rapid Transit on virtual tracks

Sarawak Metro has revealed that the Autonomous Rail Transit (ART), which is at the centre of the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS), will cover routes totalling 70 km over three rail lines and 31 stations in its first phase.

Revenue services by the Autonomous Rapid Transit will begin in 2025, and this will be the world’s first such transit system to use hydrogen fuel cell-powered trackless vehicles on rubber tyres which will operate on dedicated lanes, according to the Sarawak Metro website. The ART vehicles will be able to accommodate 300 passengers, and travel at 70 km/h.

Phase 1 of the KUTS will consist of the construction and operation of two lines – the Samarahan line (Line 1) and the Serian line (Line 2). The Samarahan line will begin in Kota Samarahan and head west-northwest for around 28.5 km, terminating at station SM14 near Hikmah Exchange.

Kuching Urban Transportation System to use world’s first FCEV Autonomous Rapid Transit on virtual tracks

KUTS Integrated Transit Map, Phase 1 – click to enlarge

Meanwhile, the Serian line will begin at Batu 12 and head north for around 24.5 km towards the Isthmus near the Borneo Convention Centre. Both lines 1 and 2 will intersect at Simpang Tiga where the interchange station is proposed next to the Wisma Persekutuan public car park, The Star reported in June.

The Autonomous Rapid Transit system will serve as the heart of public road transport in the state’s capital city as well as the greater Kuching area, Sarawak Metro wrote on its website.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation, Sarawak Metro has been tasked by the Sarawak state government to transform the state’s public road transport systems in major urban areas.

Kuching Urban Transportation System to use world’s first FCEV Autonomous Rapid Transit on virtual tracks

Artist’s rendition of Sarawak Metro Autonomous Rapid Transit vehicle

The System Package 1 contract for the KUTS was awarded to EPR Mobilus GR JV by Sarawak Metro, valued at RM1.425 billion, The Star reported last month. This contract was reported to consist of the hydrogen fuel-cell trackless vehicles, depot equipment and maintenance vehicles, signalling and control systems as well as automatic platform gates.

Meanwhile, System Package 2 was closed in the same month, and this involved telecommunications, supervisory control and data acquisition, automatic fare collection, a computerised maintenance management system, an operation control centre and an information technology system.

“Just as we are trailblazers in the development of our digital economy, we are trailblazers in the hydrogen economy. The application of hydrogen to transform our public transport system is a testament to our commitment towards further improving the socio-economy of Sarawak,” Sarawak premier wrote in a speech read by Sarawak transport minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin.

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.



  • Gabriel on Aug 16, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Kudos to Sarawak.
    Us in Penang are still waiting. Judging from the missing RM6.3 billion tunnel(this is 100% missing), we will be waiting for a very long time more. Sigh…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 16
    • Rakyat Malaysia on Aug 16, 2022 at 2:35 pm

      Kudos to Sarawak working together with Federal for all BetterNation!
      Pity for Penang folks, since PH is deep in mother of all scandals with deepsea tunnel NOT FOUND.

      Time to UBAH Penang back for BetteringNation

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 19
    • Ghani on Aug 17, 2022 at 10:28 am

      You know how it is nearly impossible to dislodge cult persona rule ie North Korea, PRC China, Myanmar, Russia? That is the same with Penang it would take a whole people at every level to wakeup if we want to change this cultist state government.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
  • Hi Spec EV.

    FCEV + Autonomous.

    Virtual Track is the answer for Self Driving Vehicle,
    it doesnt need to go everywhere, just between station, home, work, shopping, etc.

    Well done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  • Loretta on Aug 16, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Very excited and equally happy to hear of such developments to take place in Kuching city. May the hydrogen fuel be safe to use. Hope this highly anticipated project will not be another ‘abandoned’ project. Thumbs up to those involved in the master plan. However, since the trains will travel on ground level, hope it will not take up too much space on existing roads.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2
    • Quasar on Aug 20, 2022 at 10:59 am

      Actually, based on the plans, a significant portion of the track will be elevated.

      You can check details via the EIA report on KUTS website. https://www.mysarawakmetro.com/kuts

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • How about fixing your crumbling wood bridges and tarring your interior roads so your pribumi people and their children can move about and go to school much easier and not take hours to travel in dangerous conditions. they are Sarawakians also (more so) the last i checked. Out of sight out of mind?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
    • Quasar on Aug 20, 2022 at 11:08 am

      While I agree the interior roads and conditions needs a lot of attention and work, it doesnt mean that the urban areas where the majority of the population resides needs to be neglected. Kuching is the capital, with the most population and a significant contributor to the economy in terms of services and administration. It also deserves proper services and attention. The need to develop the interior and rural areas should also not be at the expense of neglecting the urban areas.

      Rural-Urban migration is also an undeniable fact, and as more people move to the towns and cities, these need to be develop in tandem.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • I’m not sure this is possible…if you are sarawakian and you know the geographical and landscape here , its not so practical. People preferred move around using their own transport.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Quasar on Aug 20, 2022 at 11:03 am

      If you are from Kuching, you know how bad the jams are getting nowadays, granted not as bad as KL, but getting worse by the day. If there is proper feeder transport plan along with KUTS, it may be viable to attract more people to use this.

      Long term aim should be to create a statewide Train network to connect the major cities and towns, powered by electricity. Not happening in the near future, but planning and land demarkation should start now.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Loretta on Sep 27, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    The transport ministry must also start to look into the heartland bus interconnection between the upcoming ART line. Samarahan itself has a big population. There should be a bus station available just to serve the people there from their homes to the train stations. Just like in Singapore, every housing estate has its own bus station serving the residents from their homes to the bus station, loop journey. Plan now, plan ahead to keep abreast with the A.R.T. so both can start and be used at the same time.
    No use building the A.R.T but no bus available to bring people from their housing estates to the train station/s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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