ART trackless tram a hit with Putrajaya Open Day visitors [NSTTV]

PUTRAJAYA: Residents and visitors to the country's administrative capital have been converging on its main boulevard to check out the trial run of the latest mode of public transport to hit the streets.

The Automated Rapid Transit (ART) trackless tram uses technology developed in China by CRRC, a leading company renowned for producing and manufacturing rail components and systems.

The sheer excitement from the public about the three carriage ART trackless tram has seen long lines of people lining up for up to half an hour just to try the new public transport system.

"Initially Perbadanan Putrajaya had planned for five trips a day over the four days of the Putrajaya Open Day (POD) in conjunction with Federal Territory Day yesterday, but so far because of the excitement and overwhelming response from the public, there has been more than 10 trips for the past two days of the open day," said Perbadanan Putrajaya'a corporate communications division director Norzita Abdul Razak.

"There is one three carriage ART trackless tram which is on trial from yesterday in conjunction with Federal Territory Day, and it is being tested because it is a new form of public transport that can accommodate many passengers (up to three hundred during peak operations) and it is green technology which does not pollute the environment because it is an Electric Vehicle (EV).

"For now there is only one route, and during this trial period we will be carrying out a detailed and in depth study on the feasibility of implementing such a public transport system here in Putrajaya," said Norzita.

She added that through the trial run, the corporation will gauge user patterns and the shift from the use of private vehicles to this modern mode of public transportation.

The trial run for the ART trackless tram starts from 10.30am and ends at 6pm.

"We will discuss with the Transport Ministry very soon on the continued trial run of this trackless tram which is supposed to run until December which will include Miros ( Malaysian Institute of Road Safety) for the safety aspect," she said.

Mobilus Sdn Bhd business development and sales vice president Mahadevan Santhanasamy, 43,said that this three carriage tram which is fully electrichas a capacity of 293 passengers, with a peak volume capacity of 307 in total, excluding the lone driver.

Mobilus is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and distributor of ART and it's systems in Malaysia.

"This ART trackless tram uses special internal run flat tyres which are LRT grade in terms of quality and profiling of the tyre, where the overall lifespan of the asset (carriage) can be up to 25 years.

"This trackless tram which is a new technology, is widely used in tier two and tier three cities in China, where it first came into operation in 2018. It is now under consideration for implementation in tier one cities in the world's most populous nation, because this system is competitively priced compared to other classic public transport systems such as the LRT, MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and monorail systems, where there is also potential cost saving of approximately up to 30 per cent.

"Each carriage has four tyres, and the tyres on the front and rear carriage can turn with power from electric motors for steering. While all the wheels are incorporated with counter steer system for effective and efficient turning radius.

Senior citizen Manmohan Kaur, 63, from Cyberjaya, was nothing short of impressed by the ART trackless tram.

"I am more than pleased by the experience because it is something very different and exciting compared to the previous and current modes of public transport that I have taken before this.

"It's a whole new experience for all Malaysians out there and each and everyone should give it a try," said the mother of three, who came to experience the ride with two of her sons.

Manmohan's youngest son, Kiran Singh, 29, who is a hotelier, accompanied her and he too was impressed with the trackless tram.

"It was a joyful ride for both young and old, and it is also a convenient public transport system and I look forward to it being implemented," he said.

Another visitor, Billy Soon, 58, a businessman from Klang, came with his wife Choye Leng Toh, 57, specifically to try the ART trackless tram.

He said curiosity made him come all the way to try a transport system.

"We were very comfortable during the ride and we liked it, it was cool and cozy despite being packed with people. The air conditioning was quite good as well.

"For the time being lets see how the public responds to such a system, because it looks quite suitable for Putrajaya. If it is that good and helps with improving public transport while also alleviating jams and congestion, then hopefully it is implemented not just in Putrajaya, but in other cities and townships as well.

"I heard that it is going to be implemented in Kuching, Sarawak, this year, said Soon, who also wondered if such a system could be implemented in a congested city such as Kuala Lumpur.

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