PENANG TRANSPORT PLAN -PELAN PENGANKUTAN PULAU PINANG
So I have been appointed to the Penang Transport Council. I thank the state government for appointing this “vocal critic” (cough, cough) to the council as a representative of Aliran.
It is heartening that the state government has said it has nothing to hide. In the same spirit of full transparency, I hope to share the views of the public with the council and in turn share with the public what I learn from the council.
While waiting for the terms of reference and the official appointment letter to the council, I realise I have a lot to learn about the present situation.
So the first thing I would like to do is seek an appointment for a private meeting with the RapidPenang CEO to find out what’s what and to discuss what can be done to improve bus ridership in Penang. After all, Halcrow had recommended buses and trams as the key ingredients of its Penang Transport Masterplan.
Next, I will seek a meeting with the Penang ferries chief to find out what plans they have to either improve the service or transfer it to the Penang state government and to offer suggestions as a long-time (and often frustrated!) ferry user. If the ferry service is expanded, we won’t need a third bridge or tunnel for cars anytime soon. That would save us a bundle. (Instead, perhaps we should be thinking of a cross-channel rail link from the new Penang Sentral in Butterworth.)
That should keep me busy for a while! In the meantime, before I meet RapidPenang, perhaps you would like to share with me your views on what it would take to convince you to use RapidPenang buses.
Enrique Penalosa once said, “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.” We should adopt these wise words as the mission statement for Penang (and Malaysian) transport policy.