Trams vs LRT or Monorail by Penang Forum

I think it’s clear that I support any transport masterplan for Penang. As long as the plans would contribute to the growth of Penang, by all means please do it. Jams are starting to get annoying and a close friend who had just moved from Penang to KL told me that she needs lesser time to travel to work these days. I told her that I had the same situation. Maybe it’s also because in Klang Valley, there are more choices which are nearer to the working place. She is staying just a few kms away from her office.

In Penang, there’s now a proposal for an alternative plan to the existing Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). The NGO is Penang Forum and its member included Dr. Lim Mah Hui who is also aPenang Island City Councillor. The group proposed a combination of modern trams and bus rapid transit and thus following the recommendations of Halcrow. It said that this alternative plan is better for the environment, quieter and even more flexible should an expansion be needed in the future.

He shared, “For example, our calculations show that for the George Town-Bayan Lepas route, the construction cost per km for a tram system would come up to RM80mil compared with RM220mil for an LRT system As a comparison, the total construction cost for the same route for the tram vs the LRT would be RM1.6bil for the tram and RM4.4bil for the LRT. Dr. Lim also shared that since objective of the PTMPis to shift demands from cars to public transport, all strategies and measures should be guided by this same objective. Their website is here:

I think many Penangites would agree with me. Alternatives are great but let’s really focus on getting it started. If this is better, then the current PTMP needs to be tweaked accordingly. If it is not, this is a very good time to share the reasons why LRT would be a better choice when compared to trams or BRTs. After all, these public transport systems are already pretty common around the world. Surely all the disadvantages and advantages can be outlined for the public to see,view and decide which is better for the future of Penang. Happy reading and deciding.

written on 20 July 2016

Next suggested article: Protect Penang’s Heritage buildings for the future generations


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