Penang plans an integrated public transport system

TRANSIT takes note of the plans to develop an integrated public transport system in the state of Penang (Negeri Pulau Pinang). TRANSIT gave our feedback to the state government back in June, 2008, in this paper.

A discussion of the proposals has already started on the skyscrapercity.com forum here.

Penang plans integrated transport system (NST)
2009/07/11

PENANG: The Penang government intends to establish an efficient integrated transportation system involving hybrid buses, monorail, trams and water taxis to facilitate movement of people in the state, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said yesterday. He said such a progressive system of transportation was necessary as the number of vehicles registered in Penang had risen to 1.4 million and resulted in traffic congestion.

“Unsatisfactory traffic management, insufficient infrastructure and lack of enforcement have added to the traffic flow problem.

“As such, we are drawing up a transportation master plan for the whole of Penang encompassing land (including railway) and water transportation,” he said at the presentation of letters of appointment to members of the state transportation council here.

Lim said that owing to costs, the state government could only opt for one of the several forms of transportation, a decision on which had yet to be made. He also said that with the formation of the state transportation council, the state government would introduce education, enforcement and traffic dispersal to reduce traffic congestion in Penang. — Bernama

See the original Bernama feed here.

At the same time, the Federal government has given approval to a proposal for Water Taxi service (which we noted earlier, here) coming from the Penang Ports Commission and the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority. The water taxi proposal is described in these most recent articles:

Graphic from the Star showing potential water taxi routes proposed by the NCIA/PPC
Graphic from the Star showing potential water taxi routes proposed by the NCIA/PPC

Please note that, while there may be some elements of similarity, what we are seeing here are separate proposals, from the NCER Implementation Authority/PPC (Federal government agencies) and the State government. The federal government side is talking about Private Finance Initiatives and may look at the whole Northern Corridor economic region.

Now, TRANSIT recalls the comments that flew back and forth recently between the head of the Penang Ports Commission and the Chief Minister.

We fear that political battles may be allowed to get into the way of improving public transport.

We will continue to follow this topic and share more information as it becomes available.

Until then, enjoy this cartoon by Irwan, courtesy of the Malay Mail

A cartoon about water taxi service, courtesy of the Malay Mail
A cartoon about water taxi service, courtesy of the Malay Mail

See a larger version of the cartoon here.

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