17 Aug High time for Bayan Lepas LRT in Penang
Published by Buletin Mutiara • 21/07/2022
PENANGITES generally welcome the state government’s call for the pre-qualification process for the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) project’s Request for Proposal (RFP).
The move is to identify qualified companies interested in implementing the project.
Zairil says the Bayan Lepas LRT is an important component of
the Penang Transport Master Plan.
State Transport and Infrastructure Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the prequalification process for the RFP was the first step that the people of Penang have been waiting for.
“I hope it will bear fruit so that our state’s dream of having rail public transport can be achieved for the benefit of the people in general.
“The Bayan Lepas LRT project is an important component of the Penang Transport Master Plan which is designed to overcome the problem of traffic congestion in the state,” Zairil told Buletin Mutiara today.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow told a press conference yesterday that following the prequalification process, shortlisted companies would be invited to participate in the RFP for the Bayan Lepas LRT scheme. The RFP is expected to be held in the third quarter of this year.
The pre-qualification process is from July 25 to Aug 24. Those interested can check out Penang Infrastructure Corporation’s website at https://tender.penanginfra.com/home for details.
Meanwhile, Buletin Mutiara spoke to some members of the public about their views on the LRT.
Below are their opinions:
Mohamad Fazrul Che Lan (35, technician):
“I welcome the announcement by the Penang government yesterday to get the Bayan Lepas LRT project going.
“This is good news for all of us, especially Penangites living on the island.
“If it materialises, this project will be a key factor to solve the traffic congestion in the state.
“And such project also will empower the public transportation in Penang.”
Ooi Yih Kee (second-year accounting student at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Penang Campus branch)
I look forward to Penang having LRT transport. And now that the state government is in the early stage of planning to get it off the ground, I hope it will turn out to be a successful project.
As a student, I usually take my college bus from my place in Bayan Lepas to Tanjung Bungah. But if I were to miss the bus, I have to take the Rapid Penang bus from Bayan Lepas to Komtar and then another bus from Komtar to Tanjong Bungah. Sometimes, I have to wait for a long time to catch the bus.
The roads in Penang can be choked with traffic. This is because each house here may have two to four cars. Penang certainly needs to solve this traffic gridlock.
Naneeneswary Sathivello (29, entrepreneur):
“For me, such a project will definitely come at the right time as we have to face road congestion problems every day in most parts of Penang.
“I was also told that when the Bayan Lepas LRT project is up and running, it will provide direct transit from Penang International Airport to major destinations on the island.
“This is great as it will encourage the public to use the light rail transit as their main choice of public transportation.
“As a result, it can help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and solve the road congestion problems.”
Roy Gan (57, proprietor of a mini market in Komtar)
It will definitely be a good move to have LRT in Penang. The faster, the better. Actually, I have heard about this plan for quite some years.
Getting held up in horrendous traffic is not uncommon in Penang these days.
This usually happens during long weekends or holidays, like Hari Raya, Thaipusam or Chinese New Year. You see a lot of ‘bas persiaran’ (tour buses) and vans filled with tourists.
If the LRT project needs the green light from the Federal Government or its agencies, I hope Putrajaya will lend a hand.
I am also for the Penang undersea tunnel project. The Penang Bridge is daily choked with traffic.
Sequemza (left) and Rodriguez waiting to catch a bus at Komtar to Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam.
Tourists Peter Sequemza (29, data manager from Canterbury, England) and Ainhoa Rodriguez (biologist from Vigo, Spain):
Sequemza: This is our second day in Penang. We plan to travel around Malaysia for about three weeks. We are not surprised that there is no LRT here. But it will nevertheless be useful for the people here.
In England, we have easy access to trains and buses going in all directions. But it is quite expensive to travel by train because of privatisation.
Rodriguez: Yes, it is expensive. For instance, when I was travelling daily in England from Maidstone to London for about a 40-minute journey, I would have to spend 40 pounds (RM267) both ways. But in Spain, public transport is much cheaper.
It will be great to see Penang have LRT; it will cut travelling time.
Dr Nur Farhana
Dr Nur Farhana Shah Bodin (31, medical practitioner):
“Apart from reducing traffic congestion in Penang, such a project also can reduce carbon emission as well.
“So, by opting for public transportation, we can reduce energy consumption and harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gas emissions that can damage the environment.
“Traveling by public transportation also uses less energy and thus produces less pollution than travel in private vehicles.
“Thus, I would like to praise the Penang government for their efforts to realize the Bayan Lepas LRT project.”
Noridayu Mazlan (36, school teacher):
“In my opinion, the Bayan Lepas LRT project can provide efficient, safe and cost-effective travel to the people of Penang.
“With direct transit from Penang International Airport to various major destinations on the island, this will increase public transportation use.
“And hopefully the construction works of this project will commence soon after the Request for Proposal (RFP) process is completed.
“At the same time, I hope the same project will be implemented in Seberang Perai as well to benefit those living on the mainland.”
Story by Riadz Akmal and K.H. Ong
Pix by K.H. Ong and courtesy of interviewees