Tram and flood does not mix well in Penang.

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Penang’s traffic jam is getting worse. I know because my brother, sister and even brother-in-law is still staying and working in Penang. I have been working there from 1998 to 2013 before I moved to KL. Thus, there are plans to push more people to take the public transport and less people to drive their own cars. Well, here’s an earlier article about building the public transport versus people actually taking it. Financing, constructing and behaviour changing.Three different things really.  We know there’s a TRAM proposal for Penang which is against the LRT proposal. Earlier report here: LRT vs Tram. May the best wins for Penang However, no decision has been made even if our Transport Minister Anthony Loke revealed that LRT may not be the best proposal for Penang. Earlier article here: Penang’s LRT not best choice  Latest news as below.

Reported in NST:  At-grade train system not suitable for flood prone Penang  Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said, “Trams run by electronic systems which are usually installed at the base of the tracks, so during floods it will be exposed, short circuit and be damaged. Imagine when the tram is stuck, this is one of the reason why we proposed for an elevated LRT (light rail transit) system for Penang.” He also explained the importance of having a LRT system in Penang, as per proposed in the multi-billion ringgit Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). LRT will connect KOMTAR to Bayan Lepas with several stations. LRT will also have faster trains and improved operational reliability and also sufficient capacity for increased ridership demand from Penang International Airport (PIA) and Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone expansions. He further explained that the issue of utilities relocation and stations would be a major hurdle in implementing the tram system. He said, “Relocation of utilities also involves costs, the stations would also be an issue where people have to cross the road from one side to another to reach the stations.” Full article in NST here. 

Frankly, I think the tram system in Melbourne was friendly enough when I took it a few times recently. It was on time as well. Perhaps it’s because there’s no flood issues in Melbourne. I think it’s time that all parties outline the ways that Penangites will be ENCOURAGED to take the LRT / Tram. Where the stops would be, who will most likely be taking it as well as how will they get there? Transit buses? Parking stations? Walking distance? Perhaps even making Penang a cycling state? Hopefully more details will come soon from the Transport Ministry too. Since the final decision seems to rest with the federal government and not state. Here’s state’s request: With RM1 billion,PTMP will be carried out much faster

Happy following.

written on 18 Sept 2018

Next suggested article: Penang property overhang? Price and Financing issues


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