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From an initial estimate of US$4.6bn to the current estimate of US$6.7bn (RM27.3bn) and counting – a huge cost overrun for Hawaii’s 20-mile (32.2km) elevated rail system.

The RM27.3bn price tag works out to a staggering RM847m/km and, when completed, it could be the most expensive transit system on a per capita basis in US history. And the Penang government wants an elevated LRT system.

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Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

The Penang transport masterplan, put out by SRS Consortium, has come up with projected ridership figures for the expensive elevated LRT from Komtar to Penang Airport. What is crucial is whether these ridership figures are realistic or inflated – for that will determine whether or to what extent the people of Penang will be saddled with operational losses.

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Why are the Penang government and SRS Consortium adamant about monorail when phase 1 of the Mumbai monorail has encountered all sorts of problems.

The Asian Age reports:

The Congress-NCP government had scrapped plans to have a monorail in the MMR [Mumbai Metropolitan Region], citing that the studies conducted in 2014 showed the corridor was not likely to be viable and would have low ridership. It had also taken into consideration the failure of the phase-1 monorail constructed between Wadala and Chembur. [emphasis mine]

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Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

The public is not being given the full picture at the various top-down ‘public consultations’ held. Among other things, they are not told that modern trams can carry as many people as monorails and elevated LRT at much lower cost. And have they been told why Halcrow’s recommendations for bus rapid transit and trams are not being followed?

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LONDON, ENGLAND - 9 MAY: London Mayor Sadiq Khan (R) waits at a bus stop after leaving his home in Tooting on May 9, 2016 in London, England. Mr Khan begins his first day at his City Hall office after winning the race to become London's Mayor with 56.8% of the vote. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

A fine example to set on his first day in office. The son of a bus driver, Sadiq Khan is seen here using the bus and the underground to get to work, something other leaders should emulate to encourage others to do like likewise.

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