05 May Master plan seen as holistic solution
Published by TheStar • 15/3/2023
Penang government has devised the Transport Master Plan (PTMP), which is a holistic traffic solution consisting of many projects, says state infrastructure and transport committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari.
One of the key projects is the Bayan Lepas LRT line which will serve as the backbone of public transport in Penang.
“It will connect the main destinations such as the airport, the free industrial zone, USM, the SPICE Convention Centre, residential corridors in Jelutong and Komtar, the state administrative centre.
“Other than LRT, we are also planning other urban rail lines, including one connecting Butterworth and George Town, although this is still in the early stages of planning,” he disclosed.
He said as a feeder to the urban rail system, the bus network was also very important.
Zairil said free bus travel on all routes for Mutiara Pass holders was introduced for commuters.
Besides this, he said dedicated free bus services such as the Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT) George Town, CAT Bridge for the industrial areas and CAT Bridge BM which connects Bukit Mertajam to Komtar, were available too.
The state government’s free rides’ initiative was an effort to make cross-strait connections a breeze, he added.
Zairil said the state was also embarking on many road projects, such as the Ayer Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass project (Package 2).
He said the road would provide an alternative for those living in the densely populated areas of Bandar Baru Ayer Itam and Paya Terubong.
He said construction for the bypass – a 6km-long road with a four-lane carriageway, connecting Lebuhraya Thean Teik to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway – began in February 2021 and that work progress had reached 29%.
Currently, the construction comprises the building of bored piles, preparation of temporary road diversion, hacking and excavating work for the bypass, constructing ram and viaduct, as well as cross-head casting staging work.
This bypass is expected to be completed in 2025.
“Besides this, we will be continuing with the Bukit Kukus Highway project,” said Zairil.
“Half of it is completed and open for public use.
“There is still another half to be completed,” he said, adding that the state was alsoengaging with the Federal Government for allocations for the much-needed road upgrading projects such as from Juru to Seberang Jaya, Jalan Teluk Kumbar, Jalan Kulim and others.