Today, several Penang-based bloggers and websites simultaneously launched a “Penangites for Trams” campaign.

bloggersWe hope more bloggers and webmasters – especially all those who care for Penang – will join in the campaign by placing these graphics on their blogs or websites. You may link the graphic to the URL for this post or choose to link to any other article or post about trams. Leave a comment here and you will then be added to the list below of blogs/websites supporting the campaign.

This will help to raise awareness of the viability of trams. Of course, trams work best as part of an integrated public transport system, complementing an efficient and extensive network of buses and other forms of eco-friendly transport.

The latest issue of business weekly The Edge carries a full-page article in support of the re-introduction of trams in Penang.

But one major caveat: Any proposal to bring back trams must be based on the soundest financial feasibility study, with room for possible cost overruns provided. The over-riding concern is that the project should not be a drain on public resources.

So far, these are the bloggers and websites that support the re-introduction of trams in Penang:penang trams

  1. Mustafa K Anuar
  2. Susan Loone
  3. Mucked in a Jam
  4. Penang Watch
  5. Kris Khaira
  6. Surind
  7. Anything Goes
  8. LAH-mour
  9. No Kacau and Don’t Kacau
  10. Stephen Doss
  11. Contemporary Malaysia
  12. Black and White (Justin Choo)
  13. The Kuala Lumpur Traveller
  14. Forest Explorers
  15. Apprize
  16. News for Malaysians
  17. Wartawan Rasmi Laman Reformasi
  18. DanielYKL
  19. Lucia Lai
  20. I am a Malaysian
  21. Carol and Jeffrey’s Big View of the World
  22. Lestari Heritage Network
  23. Motivation in Motion
  24. World Messenger
  25. Brand Bounce
  26. Sources of Life
  27. Maaran Matters
  28. Messy Christian
  29. Sivin Kit’s Garden
  30. u-jean
  31. Fair is what fair wants
  33. Sally Knits
  34. Accidental Blogger
  35. The Freak
  36. The Stray World
  37. Rainstormz
  38. The Dreamkid Lair
  39. pbsiew
  40. Binding Love
  41. Everything under the Malaysian Sun
  42. Strategic Analysis and Thoughts
  43. Justice4otk
  44. Ecowarriorz
  45. Teohyj
  46. prashant’s trashpan
Please help to support this blog if you can.


  1. Apart from the rustic charm it brings, it’ll add to the other option of our Rapid Penang buses. Students especially, I notice travel with the bus service alot, the non Malaysian’s do also use the bus service but it shouldnt’s public transport, remember. 🙂 adding the tram service would be a great touch…if its feasible that is, you’ve my support anyway.

  2. I really think it would also be a local tourist attraction as tghe new generation have not exepreince being on trams anywhere else in the country.Rm4million not much!!!

  3. The tram system will cramp even more the road traffic flow which is now bad in Penang.

    The state should actually go for submway or monorail, skybus.. then the whole idea to ease the traffic willbe overcome…

    Think logically

  4. I’m from penang n i would love to see tram in penang.
    currently i study in Europe, as i see it here, most of the big cities have a complete and advance transport system that build up from the connection network between the tram, subway, buses and railway. So take the first step towards a better transport system and phase out the private vehicle. ^_^

  5. i love tram…i cant wait them to reintroduce it again!! it is a very nostalgic move and also a very good move, it is i guess a lot cheaper than modern monorail.!

  6. I am indeed for tram…yahoooo…..
    I understand the Melaka Tram is running on NGV so it is definitely environmental friendly…. so must introduce the same in Penang.
    It is not going to be like the ones in Hong Kong or Europe with electric cables.
    Well done PENANG “George Town the Heritage City”. Please bring back the tram.

  7. I 100% support the Trams, no doubt!

    This idea is good for the local and the tourist too, Penang has not much things for sight seeing, when my UK friends visited Penang, we noticed many historical buildings (British colony)disappeared. so dissapointed when we went up Penang Hill, nothing to see, the Canopy Walk closed on the day we went.

    Only the beaches left but most of the beaches were own by the Hotels, we can’t sit on the deck chair to enjoy the view.

    I can say soon or later Penang will consider a ‘DEAD’ town, I hope with the new CM Lim will do something good for the future of Penang.

  8. I think you may be missing the point Discussion was that the trams around Georgetown would be a low fee of about RM 1 or free. If advertising would except the operating costs

  9. anil, tram will be awesome, but if it is going to be expensive, no one would bother using it except for the tourists. In UK, people can use tram because they are not concerned about the weather. Imagine the heat in Malaysia and are you sure many would make use of tram. I would support this idea, provided the charges is not too expensive. should be cheap. in fact cheaper than taking a cab or even driving. else, it would be a total waste!

  10. Bringing back the tram is really a splendid idea, hope this works out. I think this tram thing will definitely materiasised, just a matter of time, i say.

  11. While trams are good, and I am all for trams, I think trams in Penang will do more harm than good. Unlike Melbourne, the roads in Penang are relatively narrow. If you were to add a 2-way tram tracks in the middle of the road (or even 1), this would cause a massive jam.

    I understand that cars can move into the tram tracks when there are no trams operating, but think of it. What if a tram were to stop to pick up and drop off in the middle of the road? Will:

    1) The road users actually stop just before the tram to enable passengers to get off (or on) from the tram to the side of the road? As far as I know, we are not very disciplined road users.
    2) The traffic be acceptable? It is widely known in Penang that one breakdown by the roadside will cause a massive jam. What about trams that keep stopping to pickup and drop off?

    Just a thought. Cheers

  12. It was I who put a plan of a system that would work in Heritage Area ,feeding bus service on outer city area. The State Government is still concidering the system
    Ric Francis Engineer Retired

  13. The tram was there when the British was in Malaya. Who was the rascals who removed it those days? Why HK still keeps it till now…and is still very well liked and costs only a pittens…This show we have moron-quality decision makers.

  14. Yes, yes, yes.
    Penang is full of motorists that are suicidal…
    It’s good for Penang.
    May help to change the image of the third world mentality. Hey I am from Penang lah.

  15. no no no… it cant be done… the island is inhabitted by third world people… the idea if implemented will be rendered useless.. just on the first week of implementation..the island is dirty.. uncivic citizens.. and uncivic motorist

  16. Any type of transportation that will reduce the carbon foot print of the method existingly deployed should be strongly encouraged considering we are a growing population – 6 billion and climbing.

    I support clean and efficient public transport. However I don’t think that will be enough to resolve the traffic problem. The state government still needs to do a better job at this especially the many lanes to a sudden bottleneck issue. With the state trying to attract more foreign investor to fill up the high rise, traffic will be becoming worse if not addressed.

    In this matter, we can sure learn from other countries which have quite successfully tackled this problem eg. Singapore, Hong Kong etc.

  17. Me and my fellow Penangites support the reintroduction of trams back into Penang . Yes I think we would like to have it here to compliment Penang as a Heritage city .

    Request to reproduce this article in my blog Justice for Ong Tee Keat

  18. I used to stay in Penang in the early 1990s when Yellow Buses ply GT and BP. Those were the days when I thought that the service could be better.I’m staying in KL now. When I visited Penang after 10 years, the traffic situation is worse especially when there’s less communication between the policy maker and the public. Getting anywhere by taxis means I have to fork out hundreds per day. Just wish that the government will be more proactive in providing better choice for Penangites. Giv ’em trams just like the KL people have LRT. Looking for another 10 productive years!! Prove it PKR!

  19. in order for our public transport to improve, all our politicians should used public transport.

    in Penang, we have roads fr 2 4 lanes narrowing to 1.5 lanes. i suppose we all are good drivers :)) it takes a lot of effort to make things happens & people hv to make way for development. otherwise, it will be just as what LKY hd commented during his visit …

  20. I remember the GTCT trolley busses which used to run through our fair city up till around the early 1960s. They were absolutely non-polluting, their only draw-back arising when the trolleys came adrift from the overhead electricity supply lines. I do have a photograph of one of the double decker trolleys taken in front of The Penang Road Police Headquarters Circa 1958 or so if anyone is interested.

  21. Support tram in Penang.

    And continue to support Pakatan Rakyat in the next GE.

    Who says Pakatan rakyat is not developing Penang?

    What had BN done when they had Penang for a few decades? The old ferries? or traffic jams?

  22. Rail services: Can Ultra Light Rail provide the third way?
    Somewhere between a tram and a bus, Ultra Light Rail (ULR) has the potential to bring reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly public transport to towns and cities across the country. Can it realise that potential?
    The concept of ULR involves using lighter weight, smaller capacity and consequently lower cost vehicles than a conventional light rail system. The size and low impact of the vehicles means that they are ideal for use in pedestrian areas, in historic town centres and even inside shopping centres or other building complexes.
    The shallow-laid rails used by the vehicles (usually about 10 centimetres deep) can be moved easily and allow underground services such as water pipes and cables etc to be left in place. This represents a substantial cost saving.
    The vehicles are self-powered, with electric or hybrid diesel/electric motors. Energy is stored on board by batteries or flywheels, and power can be topped up at stops. This on-board power supply obviates the need for any form of wayside power supply or overhead conductors, further reducing costs.
    Studies have shown that the cost of building a ULR system is about ₤1 million per kilometre, one-tenth of the cost of a conventional light rail system. The lack of need for extensive infrastructure also means that a ULR line can be constructed in substantially less time than a conventional light rail line.
    ULR is thought to be suitable for passenger flows of between 300 and 3000 passengers per hour, in each direction. Staff costs would be similar
    to a bus operation, while other operating costs would be much lower than an equivalent bus system. ULR vehicles also incorporate easy access for the disabled.
    There are other advantages over the traditional diesel bus system. The low rolling resistance of steel wheels on steel rails means that less energy (about 30 per cent of that required by a conventional bus) is needed to power the vehicles. This makes new sources of power, such as currently expensive ‘fuel cell’ technology, economically viable. This adds up to a low or zero-emission public transit system that is both fuel and cost efficient.
    Trams are known to be far more popular with the travelling public than buses. It is reported that trams have a proven record of success in tempting people out of their cars, which buses cannot match. It has also been proven that the laying of tramlines raises property values in neighbouring areas in a way that bus routes do not.
    The Bristol experience
    The first ULR system to run in the UK was created by an European company, who saw the potential of ULR in the late nineties. They set up a harbourside tramway, running for just under a kilometre along the Bristol waterfront, on the rails left by the defunct harbourside railway.
    The six-tonne tram, with capacity for 35 passengers, operated using a flywheel from a 70 volt DC supply picked up from a short stretch of third rail situated at two stops. The extremely popular service ran for two years and carried some 50,000 fare-paying passengers.
    The operation of the line was suspended in 2000 owing to a dispute with Railtrack over land needed to extend the service into the town centre itself. Though the line was considered a great success, the company maintained that without the extended service the tramway was not economically viable. In spite of this setback, the operators were so impressed with the system that it has included ULR in its draft Local Transport Plan.
    The Kalamata experience
    The first completely new system using ULR principles is to be built in the Greek town of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese, a seaside town and port with a population of 55,000. The Kalamata ULR system will comprise a 5 kilometre route of conventional metre-gauge tramway track, a depot; 23 stops, and eight hybrid diesel electric trams, each with 45-passenger capacity.
    It is expected that with the associated civil works, to be carried out by a local contractor, the total project cost will amount to around EUR 8 million (£5 million). This represents only 10 per cent of the cost of building a conventional light rail system. The planned service will provide a tram every seven and a half to ten minutes in each direction. Maximum speed will be 50 kilometres per hour, although it is expected that speeds through Kalamata`s rather narrow streets will seldom exceed 30 kilometres per hour.

    ULR makes it possible to provide a modern tram system at no greater cost than a traditional diesel bus network.

  23. Tram is fine but I personally feel that it is not practical with the current road condition in Penang.
    I would support the Aerobus system which was brought up some time ago.

  24. Those who have been to Vienna or Amsterdam or Rome and various other European cities will understand the concept of trams and how efficiently it works. I am all for it also and i believe it will work in Penang (provided it covers the whole island like the MRT in Singapore).

  25. Tram is fine. But Penang Transport Authority needs to ensure that feeder bus service is there. How many corridor can the Tram Line operate? Can’t be all over Penang like the bus system right?
    In Kuching,, Sarawak someone says that the CM is keen on Tram system but someone advises that “fix your poor bus passenger transport” first.

  26. Hi, I just added and supported the call for better public transportation for the public. The gov’t shld think long term, and not wait till our cities become like Bangkok, where people spend nearly the whole day stuck in jams, and increase pollution,,..etc. When will we ever learn.

  27. Hi. I’m Victor Oh. I saw your campaign and would love to be included as one of the bloggers who support it.

    Looking forward to getting that tram running here in Penang.

    God bless.

  28. Before any tram can be implemented, Penang people must first learn to be civic conscious when use public roads. This refers to :

    (a) parking in proper parking lots
    (b) no double parking
    (c) no overtaking in narrow lane
    (d) disr orderly use of motor cycles
    (e) speeding of motorcycles

    If Penang people cannot do these, then the tram is a waste of money.
    You cannot have third world (people) using first world facilities. It just creates more urban jams.

  29. we need a very good public transportation like tram in Penang. The previous state government had failed to implement a good public transportation plan for the past 30 years, I hope the new government will not disappointed us.

  30. i totally agreed to tram in penang. I’m so pleasure to see the internal Georgetown to be revitalize once again. beside world heritage site, i wish i can see georgetown to become one of the world most renown heritage site. lets support it…

  31. In the city I live in we have lots of trams and I use them every day to get to work, go shopping etc. I think it’s great. It’s comfortable, fast and cheap and good for the environment! More people should use public transportation and I thinks trams would also be great for Penang.

  32. Trams coming to Penang?!! Hurray!! Lets do it yeaterday!!! Its long overdue. With our World Heritage status, transport in the City MUST be improved. We can learn from many Countries. It was a pleasure to ride the Trams in Melbourne to tour the City. We need to preserve our Past Glory and bring back the Joy for our children and the elderly alike!! Its a GREAT Proposal and need our whole-hearted support.Tourists will enjoy too!! Just Do It fellas

  33. Tram..why not looking for another cheper method to suit the current penang infra.. malaysia own development solution..dont take oversea as a sample..we think we develop we try we used and we sale to oversea.

  34. I always wondered why they dug up the old tram lines without any intention to reintroduce the tram. Traffic in Penang is getting out of hand. Parking prices astronomical. Trams are also safer than a subterranean transport system especially with the current crime rates.
    If we close part of Georgetown(or severely restrict vehicle entry) and install peripheral carparks so people can park and ride (ala nottingham and melbourne) this would significantly improve the congestion.
    I love the idea of trams in Penang. Let’s do it!

  35. Just for the record, I am all for trams as well.

    For quite some time, I had been taking the buses throughout Penang. And being a resident of Balik Pulau, I have always considered the AVAILABILITY of buses to be something to be thankful for rather than the PUNCTUALITY of the service.

    What other means of protests can a student who hasn’t even reached the eligible voter age make than voicing his opinion? Then accepting the fact that some adults happen to be a bunch of liars and hypocrites.

    From the various media accessible to me, I have come out with one simple plan:

    Hire a renowned expert on public transportation, and place him or her firmly in charge of the project. That means without interruptions and other excuses which would otherwise permanently delay the project.

    I fail to understand how anyone can be fixated on only the single issue of trams without considering that trams can be employed alongside other forms of public transport such as buses (which must remain to ply the Balik Pulau routes, among others), and taxis (where the State Government really should start being more bold and impose fines on drivers blatantly flouting licensing rules) which no one local uses anyway.

    Perhaps an enforcement of “public transport only” zones or by charging fees for entering a zone being plied by trams, buses, and/or taxis would go a long way in solving traffic woes.

    In essence, transforming certain zones of Penang into pedestrian-friendly cities.

    That means further considerations of shade trees, bicycle stands, etc.

    The government must also start a major campaign in favour of public transport, such as emphasising how the cost of ownership for cars and motorcycles is already quite high, when one includes the cost for fuel and maintenance, compared with a sustainable public transportation system.

    So allow me to conclude by saying, the variables involved in the creation of a sustainable public transportation system are much too complex to be simply dismissed out of hand with statements such as “they have no practical use”, or “they are dangerous” or “they will worsen traffic congestions”.

    Going back to my original solution, we should:

    Bring in an expert, let him or her analyse the problem, let him or her suggest a solution, putting that expert in charge of the project, then SUPPORTING that expert in whatever decision he or she makes.

  36. @kumar, it’s better than using the bus that full with non-malaysian =S So, you want to PG to be an international city but, u said “trams is good for tourist attraction only”.. So confusing la buddy, think before you speak out =D when we can attract an outsider, PG will be unique with the trams, so, the popularity of penang will be higher. Am I right my dear friend..?

    yess, keep voting for BN, who cares =D

  37. TRAMS for what? trams is good for tourist attraction only.. and with current state of traffic congestion in PG i dun think trams an bring any good.. we have to make way for the trams, this might create more traffic jams in the island. what kind of stupid idea is this?

  38. I’m sure that i’m going vote for BN on the next GE, not because i support the idea of corruptions or anything. DAP cant bring development to PG, i want pg to be an international city but they are doing now is keep boycotting everything. want to build this cannot that cannot. and the NGOs sucks.whats the point? i’m planning to move down to KL soon. PG is hopeless.. nuff said

  39. I know it’s ugly, but still think the monarail is a better choice.
    trams is good to transport tourist around the heritage zone, but it is really safe on penang street? i don’t think so. look at how our motorist behave, they cant even follow the simple traffic rules.
    If anything bad happen between the trams and motorist, some ppl gonna blame the state government for it.

  40. why not just get trams on the inner city of georgetown and monorail system that can connect the island and butterworth? trams are suitable in the heritage zone.

    IMO population will grow, someday in the future Penang gonna go for a monorail system, why not now? it is better to build it now in term of cost and it is easier to do it now than later, buildings will keep erecting no matter how we stop them, thats a fact and we dont want to make things more complicated when we relly do need a monorail in the future.

  41. penang is one of well know “country” .first it make immpressive on the outlook of penang,it also will reduce pollution.alot of foreign country had develop and used this method so i felt there is no reason why we should not have tram in current situation it good to revised back the transport system to run more effective .syabas penang

    new zealand

  42. Owh, now I know penang hav’ Trams before this. Thanks for the info bro..
    Anyway, i agree with u anil, penang is so jammed right now, that’s why I hate go to town around office hour, at georgetown, greenlane, bayan lepas, huh!

    I think, trams is the best solution for all penangites!

    p/s: I just add the image to campaign it!

  43. Trams are a bad idea for Penang unless they want to make The Rock 2 and use a tram in one of their action stunts and get paid billions for it. Jughead is right, they must consider distance, space, weather, other vehicles, pedestrians, dogs and also cats. If trams can cater for the whole of Penang, then they must consider banning motorist from entering crucial city limits during certain time period. This will definitely motivate the Mat Rempits to show off. If they decide on Monorails then they must approach the politically motivated Scomi to implement the project… Public Transport like buses and cabs will be required but not on a large scale. If they can come up with a phased implementation of the monorail to cater to crucial city centers and outskirts encompassing the majority of Penangites then this i think in my opinion is the best solution. Dont forget the security details like CCTV Cameras, Security at every drop off point and since Penang is a Tourist attraction, monorail services in the wee hours of the morning. Otherwise it’s useless. Geez, i forgot to consider the monkeys somewhere up there.

  44. The tram suggested is a very good idea , but in this prospective I suggested that create an additional modes of transport that is a very good services by bus operator , monorail for the entire Penang island combine with the most important factor that is changes of the public towards public transportation . All of this combine will create a very good transportation system that will benefit ALL .

  45. Edit (above post)

    I Created a new picture for the Trams Support…I am not using your image as of now as i am not too sure if you would be okay with it :)…thank you anyway…do visit my blog.

  46. Anil,

    add me to the list of bloggers too. I am adding this pic to my blog too to show support. Thank you very much. i hope you don’t mind me pinching this photo.


  47. I fully support re-introduce Trams back on Penange. I am a Penangite now living in The Hague, The Netherlands. Tram is a main public transportation here in The Netherlands, be it in The Hague, Amsterdam or Rotterdam. The roads in these city are narrow and car are aplenty, yet you will be amazed how Trams co-exist so efficiently with cars on the road, cyclist and pedestrain a like. And the Trams here are not for tourist, it is really a main transportation for the general public, people use it to go to school, go to work, go about their normal daily live. I do beleive it is a viable option for Penang Island.

  48. Trams maybe good from the tourism point of view but do you think our roads are wide enough for them? You wanna have wires hanging all over your heads in our narrow streets? What a mess! Don’t compare with Melbourne, Zurich, whatever. It won’t be practical here.

  49. Read through all the posting. I think everyone has their good intention and view. Tram or not, I think the root cause of Anil proposing this is to resolve 1 issue. Penang public transport system.

    Lets step back and look at the situation,

    1. Who run the show for Malaysia public transport department? Federal government

    2. Does State government has any authority to make changes? No. They can suggest or influence BUT no.. No changes..

    3. So can CM make any push to change? Not really..

    So.. conclusion end of the day, be it Tram or NOT Tram.. to change public transport is near to equally only 1 answer.. Everyone should by now know the answer…… Go figure..

  50. This is an excellent idea for a very long time.
    Keep it up Guan Eng. You are now making Penang more attractive as a historical City, worthy of its name.
    Wondered why the last Gormen did not think of this?
    Maybe Trams do not costs BILLIONS!!!

  51. Why doesn’t the Penang govt. try a pilot program first?

    1 – Increase the number of buses on popular routes.
    2 – Then slash the fares to something standard like:
    $0.20, $0.50 per person depending on zones, $0.50 being the max
    $0.20 school students in uniform
    3 – Introduce an “express” service, say from Bayan Baru to Georgetown with only 2-3 stops (using the coastal road) and free feeder buses from those coastal road stops to other main bus routes.
    4 – Introduce car parks for car poolers or public transport users in strategic places. Charge a flat fee and don’t make it exorbitant.

    This means that the fares are heavily subsidized. Now run this program for a few months and compare this to building a tram system which would still be susceptible to jams, rempits, etc. The tram is a nice novelty but I don’t see trams improving much of anything. If you want cleaner air, then get cleaner buses (NGV ones).

    BTW, do all things have to be privatized? I rode on MPPP and Yellow buses when I was in school. Seriously, no difference. Both have bad service.

    I like an underground LRT system, but there is no money for it.

    Just a thought.

  52. Hi Anil,

    I think your idea is brilliant!I too agree with many others that trams would work better in Penang than monorails.I’ve been living in Dublin Ireland for the last 2 years and they too have trams called LUAS which have been operating around the city centers and suburbs for a few years now.It’s pretty efficient in terms of getting people around the city centers although it is true that sometimes the time schedule gets interrupted by traffic jams on the roads,cyclist that don’t bother to watch out for the trams and also motorcyclist.But this is only a small matter because average delay that these trams do get is about 7-10 mins.So I think your campaign is brilliant and I would love to help u in every possible way so that this campaign would be a success.I’ll be back to Penang for good middle of this month so if u have any campaigns,talks or watever..count me in!Let’s make Penang a better place to stay!If Abdullah Badawi doesn’t want to support the Penang Government…who cares!This tram project will cost much much less…and we can start implementing this in Georgetown are first and then slowly expand it!We can do this!!

  53. Whether is the tram system by the City of Edinburgh or San Francisco, the tram system will give Penang a class by itself.

    Let the tram system fund, build, operate, and manage by Penang folk and no “outsider” shall put their hand on it, especially the BN…. If they put their hand in tram system, before even an inch of soil is moved, … inflated cost.

    A tram system build on the existing road system will not cost billions but less then RM20 millions. I am sure the Penang govt. or even the Penang folks are capable to fund the project and keep it for the Penang folks.

    With low cost to build, dense population, and tourism, the Tram system will made profit in not time.

    Let go for it and show what Penang lan can do by themselves. Penang had done it before, this time, you can do better.

  54. For years, there is only talk, talk and talk. That was under the old government. If they have been sincere and firm, Penang would have an efficient transport system as early as 10 years ago. So now if it’s still talk and talk, I think the tram project is the best, cleanest, cheapest and most beneficial of all. The time has come to stop talking about improving the bus system which pollute the air, take up Penang’s limited road space and is, to me, a short term solution that benefit’s the people but more of some people’s interest. Stop talking about monorail if the cost is soooo expensive because talking is cheap. So start getting serious on the tram project. The new government can show the rest of Malaysia and the world how it can be done and do it fast before the next GE. Stop wasting time and start doing it now!!

  55. Yes, bring the trams back. Not only will it help to ease some of the traffic congestion but it also brings back part of our historical heritage. I am sure tourists will love it too.

    However, we must also increase our bus service to be more regular. Today, my maid who wanted to go out shopping, had to wait one and half hours for a bus. She almost gave up. So, the Penang government must come up with a solution to solve this problem. Maybe the Penang Govt can start a blog asking for the people’s suggestions on how to do this. Some brilliant person out there might have a solution. Maybe advertise in the paper as a competition to help solve this problem.

  56. Hello Anil,
    enjoyed yr blog. Penang’s traffic has to be resolved if it is to attract tourists and those who wish to live on a retirement basis.Locals and foreigners.
    TRAMS: YES – we have to go for what is environmentally friendly, can move the people and fast trams would do it
    LRT: Penang may also need this.
    BUS: Rapid Penang isn’t rapid at all. It doesn’t even have shelters for those wishing to ride them. Hardly an incentive to get people to take public transport and believe me, this is where the entire world is headed. Get them built. Increase frequency of buses. I am a traveller. They should be running every 15/20 mins. All over the island.
    If other cities in the world can do it, so can Penang. Get the facts/figures/get it done/organise the money to build what is needed,clear the streets of so many cars/pollution. Pedestrianise where possible. Make Penang tourist-friendly. BRING BACK THE PEARL IT ONCE WAS. Can be done, all it needs is community will, drive,committment,money to make it happen. GO FOR IT PENANG.

  57. Well for me, I’ll support anything that can help to improve lovely Penang. May it be monorail or trams, both would be wonderful for Penang(wonderful alternative to ease the congestions and also a superb tourists attraction).

  58. Expensive, maybe, but still a lot cheaper than monorail (and minus the ugly pillars) or subway.

    And yes, the buses need to be improved. No reason why that can’t be done together with looking at other modes of public transport.

  59. I think trams will come later in the future. Focus on the task at hand to improve the bus services in Penang. Then only talk about trams.

    Good idea but very expensive to implement.

  60. […] will! And perhaps, a bit of intensive lobbying by us Malaysians. Penang bloggers are lobbying for trams in the Penang (I’m all for that). Perhaps Selangor bloggers can lobby for pedestrian and biking lanes in […]

  61. Dear Anil,
    IMHO, Penang island is a unique place where many roads (especially in town area) are narrow and short. To overcome traffic congestions we need to stop or discourage vehicles into the traffic in order for mass public transportation like buses, tramps to arrive on time.
    The cheapest and quickest way is to shutdown certain roads and to give priority to public buses, bas kilang, school buses etc. I guess this can be carried out almost immediately. This idea may sound drastic or unwelcome to many of us who have our own cars but is good for all.

  62. 1.can you justify the actual cost involve including the hidden cost.
    2.can you please estimate the profits or return on investment.
    3.Your ealier costing is very low and very tempting for business people if you can prove its profitable.

    I believed you as accountant already workout a formula in your mind.
    The figure you quoted is very low and my idea is simple as follows-

    1.If the amount to revive the tram is low and the Penang chief minister can buy your teory the money should be none issue.

    1.Alots of malaysian still cash rich.
    2.Returns of fixed deposit is mere 3%.
    3.The public can be your investor ( with such low sum,u can create malaysian public to invest in your dream.)

    MR.ANIL – EVERYONE HAVE A DREAM AND EVERYDAY WE DREAM – I CAN BET MY LAST PENNIES IF YOU DO A BIT MORE PUSH IN YOUR DREAM PROJECT-your dreams will become a reality.Lets this project become malaysian holding company.

    I am in as a small minority shareholder in your dream.Its up to you to pursue further.

    rajraman-still dreaming in my dream to be malaysian putra.

  63. What I’ve read so far:

    Tram, don’t take up a lot of road space. For any good public transportation to work that competes with car for space on the road, it would need its own dedicated lane on the road. Now, how do you do that on the road in Georgetown?

    Before you want to do that, might as well have the dedicated bus lane as the main backbone for the public transport. But that itself would be difficult because of the road condition in Georgetown.

    Tram can only work effectively if there is a good bus system that compliments it but if the bus system is deplorable, how do you expect people to abandon their car and take the tram instead. Tram are not able to stop in front of the destination that you’re going (most of the time) so you’ll still need to use the bus to reach your destination. And with our inconsistence bus service in Penang, how long would a normal journey take? Oh I forgot, most of the people who support the tram do not use the public transport in Penang. Most of tram supporter have seen and took the tram before in other country before and would like Penang to implement it. Well I’m sure in those countries, you can see a lot of people cycling to their destination but would you promote that in Penang? Would you let your teenage son/daughter to cycle to school or to Georgetown?

    Just because it is ‘clean, energy saving and user-friendly not to mention fast, efficient and also cheap’, it looks good on other place doesn’t mean it is feasible in Penang

    Most of the country that have tram is a 1st world country where most of it have wide road compare that to the congested small road in Penang with no more room for expansion unless you want to tear down the >80+ building found along Georgetown

    Even if ‘Melbourne city is 10 times larger than Georgetown and that the whole Penang state population still could not match Melbourne.’, Penang island is denser than Melbourne:

    Melbourne population / area : 3,806,092 / 2153 km² = 1767/ km2

    Penang Island : 678,000 / 295 km2 = 2298/ km2

    Data taken from Wikipedia

    Is that the end of it? Nope. Kindly open up Google Earth and check out Penang Island and compare that to Melbourne. You’ll notice that Penang Island is make up of more than 50% hill and it is concentrated mostly in 1/3 of the west side of the island. So if we were to take this into account, our density should be 678,000 / 100km2 = 6780 km2. That is 4-5 times denser than Melbourne

    If you want to have tram in Georgetown, you must ensure that there is a sizeable people who will abandon their car and use it. Road user would not like the idea that there is going to be a tram competing with them on the narrow road of Georgetown. At least monorail and the subway system would not compete with road user.

    To Khoo San,

    ‘Hong Kong’s tram is working smoothly after 100 years of service and tram is considered an effective mode of transport.’

    They can do that as they got a good bus system as a backbone to support it. Do we have that in Penang?

    There was also a plan to use back the old tram road on Penang road. I wonder how senior citizens are going to cross safely to the sidewalk with all the mat rempit around. Ever thought of that?

    To lucialai,

    I’ve downloaded the PowerPoint by Ric Francis and notice one thing about it. Did you notice that all the tram that is available in other cities does not have traffic condition similar to Penang and I don’t see a lot of mat rempit in it. And about the propose tram route in Georgetown by Ric, I don’t see it doing any better than what a good bus system would provide instead. More comfortable ride? We’re not living in Penang as a tourist

    Don’t get me wrong on this, if we have the extra space around in Georgetown, we don’t have mat rempit roaming around, we got an excellent bus service, people would actually give up driving then I’m all for the tram service

    Please do not learn the mentality of BN, just because a plan sound and look good, they want to implement it. But with the delivery system not existing at all, it is usually swept under the carpet.

  64. I’ve taken trams in Manchester (or was it Liverpool? I can’t remember) and in San Francisco. Absolutely love them. I believe this is totally possible in Penang, my state of birth. :)) Imagine the tourist possiblities too!

    One thing I noticed about San Francisco’s tram – the line goes around the city in such a way that whereever you get down you can walk to your destination. Then again, SF is a pretty small city and it’s easy to walk every where.

    The tram routes in Penang could function very much the same way. It doesn’t have to zig zag around the streets of Penang. It could just circle the town so that people can get down and walk to their destination …

    Oh, if I remember correctly, the tram in Liverpool/Manchester has a barrier between it and the road. So, if you’re worried about pesky pedestrians and cars criss crossing the lane, that could work too.

  65. […] The tram initiative is building up momentum. So far, 25 bloggers and websites have signed on to the campaign. […]

  66. Look at world most liveable city like Melbourne, Adelaide and Endingurh, they are all choosing tram.

    Look at poorly manage transport like Kuala Lumpur, LRT is not integrated well, or is it?

    Please study carefully population of Penang. MRT is only for large cities. If you implemented MRT on Penang island, you would go bankcrupt.

    What historical city like Georgetown needs is to implement (very much lower cost than monorail) tram network like Melbourne. Have you visited Melbourne? By the way, Melbourne city is 10 times larger than Georgetown. Correct?

    The whole Penang state population still could not match Melbourne.

    Is tram in San Francisoc nice? It is just romantic.

    Tram is a tourist product as well as could replace RapidPenang going around inner city of Georgetown. Why? Try to ride on tram in Melbourne and you would know why. Feel it yourself.

    Tram could also be fast deployed on 3rd left lane of Penang Bridge when the extention completed by UMNO company UEM.

    Monorail could have NO WAY to use existing Penang bridge but tram track could be laid on present Penang Brdige.

    SO, where is the wisdom of the leaders and Penangites? If you want fast public transport to be on island and pay low commuter ticket, go for tram!

    KL LRT is messy. Look at Melbourne and Adelaide first.

    Please look at world top 30 cities first: who are they? By identifying who are they, you would see more clearly what are they?

    Tram is suitable for narrow streets like those in Europe.

    Try to visit world most liveable Melbourne and feel it.

  67. Buses for Penang??? I would be the first to say yes BUT subject to what their routes would be. Bus services should begin from points outside Georgetown City itself. Bus/Tram terminals should be located at such points as Jelutong (around Bukit Dumbar or Tesco area), Ayer Itam Road (near Han Chiang High School) and Tanjong Tokong area (near the fire station/temporary Hawker stall site. While these are suggested locations for bus services to begin and tram ser4vices to end, the MPPP can review and look at other possible alternatives. Bus services should should begin from these terminals to radiate outwards to Bayan Lepas,Balik Pulau, Telok Bahang, Batu Feringgi, Ayer Itam and the out lying areas of Penang while tram services should be from the same terminals and proceed into all parts of the city itself. Trams can be designed to be ‘slimmer’ to ensure that not much ‘space’ is taken when the trams travel through the city. ‘Mat rempits’, selfish drivers or rickshaw riders etc., will remain a problem IRRESPECTIVE of whether buses or trams are allowed to run through the city. As such, control of these ‘road demons’ should be the problem of the police. Be aware that the provision of Tram service will be more beneficial to the city (less exhaust fumes,tourist attraction) than exhaust spewing buses in the hands of dangerous drivers.

  68. With trams there’s always a romantic notion
    Whatever the actual speeds for their motion
    They bring along their uniqueness to the nation
    Let’s get the trams back and not miss the next station

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 010608
    Sun. 1st June 2008.

  69. Dear Supporters of TRAMP IN PENANG,


    I agree to this idea but only have 1 question to it. Look at the size or rather width of our Penang City Streets, eg,Penang Road,Beach Street,Chulia Street,Burma Road,CArnavon Street..etc which consist of our major Penang City Streets.
    Question is is it wide enough to put up a Tramp that goes 2 ways and still allow the usage of cars,lorrys,vans,motobikes,rickshaw.etc to travel on it.
    At the moment it is already and almost immposible to expand the width of the access roads which we are using so how to add in a TRAMP SYSTEM on the same road space…?

    Can someone enlighted me on this or some expert town planning people explain the feasibility of this project first.

    Then we can see if it is practical and applicable..I just cannot imagine where to put it or how it can be done even though it is a Nobel Idea and I support it.

    Desmond Lee

  70. Here’s my two sen worth.

    I stayed in Melbourne, Australia for three years where trams are its common mode of public transport within Greater Melbourne.

    Yes, trams gives the city some elegance and “cuteness”, but it also comes with a great deal of discipline on the part of pedestrians, commuters and motorists.

    In Melbourne, trams have the right of way. PERIOD. No IFs or BUTs about it. Whenever a tram stops to pick up or drop off a passenger, motorists following behind stops. Since its lines are in the middle of the road where the stops are situated, whenever passengers wishes to get off/on, they have the right of way to cross the road, and motorists stops. Whenever trams wishes to turn at the traffic lights, motorists give way.

    I really cannot see Malaysians (be it Penangites or locals from elsewhere) doing the same here. I would like to be proven wrong !!

  71. […] far at least 20 bloggers have joined in the campaign. That’s brilliant! Click here to see the full list. If you are a blogger and you want to join in the campaign, just leave a […]

  72. Trams for Penang? I would urge everyone of you to consider this very carefully. I live in Melbourne. The streets here are much, much wider than those in Penang. And yet we have acute congestions where tram lines run. If your aim is to present Penang in a more “romantic” light, I’ll say “go for it”. But if it is to ease traffic congestions, my advice is, don’t do it. Monorails, though more expensive initially, would in my humble opinion be a better option if solving the traffic nightmare in Penang is the ultimate aim.

  73. hei there anil & hamid ibrahim!!! I agree with you … we need to bring Penang back to what it was. Thanks to the previous ‘jokers’ .. Penang had lost it’s city status. i wonder .. how can a city simply be downgraded to a town??? hhmmmm … so .. now i hope and pray that with Guan Eng as our C.M., we will be able to regain the city-stats and also … bring the TRAMS back into the city. being the younger generation, i never did get the opportunity to see the trams of penang. enjoyed riding on them in Melbourne and fell in love with it though. LET’S DO IT!!! … Let’s revive the TRAMS in PENANG!!!

  74. well mr.anil,

    i still follow up your dream project buts its seems your gang of bloggers forgoten about it by now.

    i dont see the sign of banners in their blogs anymore.You are consistent but some are not.I came to know about your blogs throu some blogs owner mention highly about u but this guy doesnt support u.

    This what i call human-will champion others until they are famous than they champion for themself.

    rajraman666.wondering who am i championing.

  75. Well, can the current bus service be improved first? Consolidate/buyout all the inefficient bus companies into one organization owned by the state, put some capable people to manage it, and hire your own drivers & maintanence teams instead of subcontracting/renting out the buses. That way, you don’t have to worry about competition of routes, schedules, and fares.

    Otherwise if you just add trams, you’re gonna make the situation far worse than it is…

  76. Although i’d like to see trams in Penang, it cost way too much to implement a decent tram system, lets no forget the maintainance of such a system and whether we have the expertise… me thinks trains are the way to go..

  77. Anil,
    I am trying again for the fourth time to send this comment.

    What about trolley buses? It may be more feasible bec you don’t have to lay tracks.

    Justin Choo

  78. Dear Anil

    I have not been well lately; hence I did not write to you.
    Yes, this is exactly I wrote to you sometime ago that when
    I landed in Penang in 1950, I saw Trams running along jalan Penang. I trust Penangites dreams will come true.

    Guan Eng should draw up a new Plan to bring back Penang
    as a City which it was. The previous politicians purposely destroyed and downgraded it – but now it is up to DAP with the assistance of others to rebuild the city.

    In 1960 Singapore was similar to Penang but it has been completely beautified. It can be done and it must be done.

    I pray.

    Hamid Ibrahim

  79. Before asking experts to revamp our public transport system, let’s get the public involved in the planning of it. Some of the previous government of Penang never knew what the daily commuter goes through each day. They only assume what we go through and normally make no changes based on their assumptions. They just say, ” Looks ok mah!”. They should try waiting for a bus or taxi like the rest of us, then go back and think hard.
    Or try driving to and from work each day like everyone else at peak hours. That will give them insight to what we go through everyday. Bumpy roads, bad drivers, slow drivers, cars parked in no parking zones, etc.
    This is typical of the Penang driving attitude. Inconsiderate drivers, who will just keep the car running while waiting for someone. Just go to Beach Street and experience the amount of cars waiting in front of the banks. Or even park their cars right at the junction. Put a policeman there within visibility and, suddenly, all drivers behave like model citizens! But then, have you ever seen a policeman in Penang? I forget what they look like for not having seen them in the streets for years.
    And what does the old government do about it? Nothing at all, cos it’s all “ok mah!”.
    And the suggestion of trams? Let’s not decide on something temporary that will last for 15 years. Most government projects for Penang is designed and implemented 10 years later. By then, the population would have increased, cars would have doubled, even more housing and prices would have gone up. Talking about white elephants, there’s Komtar to look at. We need forward looking visionaries as government. Of course, Koh Tsu Khoon and visionary is an oxymoron.
    A visionary would predict our travel habits for the next 100 years.

  80. Yes. We need Trams – cheap, efficient and a great tourist attraction. I have this “Penangites for Trams” campaign in my blog.

  81. Trams are only good in short distance or a sort of tourist attraction for Ulu Malaysians. If Trams are really good, why San Franco and HK do not build more trams? HK trams run a short distance from Sau Kei Wan to Central.

    Trams also have to share the road with many road users like dogs, cats, pedestrians, cyclist, motorcyclists and vehicles. Imagine, there are many traffic lights, and road users trying to cross the road and tram lines. As a result, trams are really slow and if regular users will give and go back to cars or motorcycles. If there is an accident in the morning, all the trams in that line cannot move until it is clear. So good on you that you can have the morning w/o going to work.
    Also you may think it is cheap. No, you have to dig up the road laid with water, electricity and internet cables all over the road in Penang. Imagine, the traffic jam in the CBD while the existing road is dug for the tracks.
    Whereas for the monorail, we can be sure that there will not be any traffic jam and it is a dedicated line – no other sharer except for passengers who already prepay and just waiting to hop in and off. Whereas, trams can be delayed there are passengers digging for the coins or last minute runners trying to flag down the tram.
    So system is cheap. But to be a serious transport system that draws riders instead of losing patrons, it must be efficient and running on time and will not be delayed. If there is a system that does that I will give up my motorcycle which beat jams and parking.
    So be practical rather than base on novelty or just to attract tourist rather than sitting in the tram caused by traffic jams. Even Melbourne has not been building more tram lines.

  82. Hi, Anil,
    Stephen Doss hyperlink is not correct.
    Here the correct address:

  83. Anil congrats in being the impetus for some self organization happening. The issue here should not be which type of public transportation as everyone (and their grandmother) has an opinion.

    The way to do this is to get the expert that has been most sucessful in implementing a cost effective and efficient system.

    No one can claim this better than Jaimie Lerner the ex-Mayor of Curitiba and the ex-governer of Parana. A trained Architect from one of the more environmentally conscious schools (UC Berkeley) and a person of enomous energy, foresight and resourcefulness. He has made Curitiba the only city in the world that has achieved the 60’s dream of an environmental city. He consults with all the largest cities in the world (New York and Shanghai) and also the more recent sucessful example of Bogota, Colombia.

    He is famed for his bi-articulated buses but his city also has trams. The strategy should be to shift the debate from the type of public transportation system to getting the public/civil society to be educated and organized and push for the hiring of a truest and tried expert which no government can argue against and then to implement it quickly once the will of the people has been organized.

    The elite of our country sit on the boards of IJMs, Peroduas and Scomis are only interested in creating more roads to sell cars or create defunct public transportation systems (monorail).

    A bus and tram combination similar to the one in Curitiba is an affront to the elite and thus the logic of the plan and implementer has to be of the highest order.

    Many moons ago I had invited Lucien Kroll (another green Architect) to publish his write up in the Star, the article can be viewed here :

    Good Luck and I await the day I don’t get stuck in traffic in Jelutong 😉

    Ken Yeh

  84. My take? In all honesty, i think it will be a great project with very good and sensible intentions. However, before the trams could happen, i think that there’s a lot more that needs to be worked on, i.e. revamping the public transportation system in Penang.

    Let’s take Perth for example. Though trams system doesn’t exist there, they’ve what they call the CAT bus system. Basically, these CAT buses provide free transportation within City and Fremantle (tourist attraction). In the city, CAT runs on 3 routes (and i’m not too sure how many routes in Freo) connecting every part of the city. Because of CATS, there’s hardly any traffic congestion in the city nor Freo.

    And you probably might think that one needs to drive to the city and park their cars in the parking blocks before they can hop onto CAT. And if they do, why don’t they just drive to their desired destination? Well, the Perthians do… but not all. Mainly because petrol price is sky high (mind you, their petrol is NOT subsidised by the g’ment) and there’s very limited parking spaces in town, not to mention it’s expensive too. So. the Perthians join their rakyat hopping onto one of those suburb buses and/or trains connecting to the city. And in order for these systems to integrate well, buses and trains come on time, there are ample buses and trains on stand-by, and drivers are considerate and ethical.

    Hence, my take on trams for Penangites is that revamping the system is most vital before anyone plants another white elephant in the middle of the road. Let’s hope that the new CM will have better foresight than the previous one 🙂

  85. Hi Anil

    Good Project

    On Transport needs of Penang, I have the following to share with you.
    A] Recently I was in Penang with my family and had difficulty in locating the ferry terminal after paying the toll at Juru. I had to stop a couple of times to get directions as I did not want to use the bridge. Attention should be given to proper and adequate signage to reach the ferry terminal.
    B] Introduce the use of articulate buses and reintroduce the Tram services once Penang had.
    It is definite cheaper than the overhead Monorail or Subway Monorail. I have done a search on the net and am enclosing some of the sites that I found to be informative and self explanatory. The new models of Trams can be powered by electric or Hybrid engines such as Diesel or NGV.
    Articulate Buses fleetest/pdfs/40585.pdf

    Street cars on single rail guide

    Streetcars or Trams

    Info on Penang’s Tram services 1880 to 1963.

    Thank you and hope the above information will be useful to solve the transport woes in Penang. If the 2nd Bridge is a reality it should incorporate the Tram or at least a sky train [it will not hinder traffic movement on the bridge] to link the mainland and the island. The cost can be offset by cancelling the sightseeing deck in the centre of the bridge.

    Thank you

    With warmest regards

  86. Trams are a good idea if they solve the rampant parking on all roads in Penang first. Get the police to clear out illegal parking. Then only do you think about trams.
    To solve one problem, you have to look at other problems first. If the police and council do their jobs in clearing rampant parking, then traffic flow will be totally controlled by the traffic lights. Then again, roads in Penang have become too narrow to clear all the cars at each traffic light cos’ there are bottle necks right after each traffic light. 30 years ago, there weren’t as many cars. Then Proton came and many people now own cars. This is because the public transport in Penang were so bad under Koh Tsu Khoon’s tenure. People like him had no foresight in the future of the state. So, with more cars, roads became congested. Maybe he had a directive from someone to screw up the transport system so Proton could sell more cars.
    Anyway, monorail is just an expensive bus system that won’t last. An underground MRT would be the answer that will cope with the population for the next 300 years. Yes, it will cost a bomb, but then our Federal Govt. always spends billions in building the tallest building, sending just 1 man to space, ….etc, just to either get into the Guiness Book of World Records, or just to show the Malaysia Boleh. The amount of money Malaysia spends on these crap could solve our poverty problems for a whole generation!
    Our neighbour, Singapore, doesn’t have this attitude. They are so small, yet the money spent has totally benefited the people. And even Hong Kong, where they have one of the best transport systems in the world, and people there won’t need to buy a car. They built future proof transport systems. Can’t say that about Penang, though.
    So before thinking that trams will solve the transport problems in the city, think ahead about what other problems we may have to solve first.
    Oh, don’t think about getting the Federal Govt to send a whole team for 6 months to Germany to learn about public transport design. What they learnt and what they designed here are two different things!

  87. 37 km Penang monorail is expected to cost 1.6 billion!! This project was (allegedly) awarded to PM’s son without open tender.

    I am very sure inflated cost involved to oil UMNO politicians’ hand.

    If someone can come out a chepaer and better alternative to solve traffic congestion in Penang island with let say 500 millions budget, why we taxpayers shall object any alternative project like tram and bus integrated service.

  88. Hey Jughead, you seem to be the only one making sense around here — me, i think like you also. Monorail good for Penang. Why you all don’t like monorail ah?

  89. While the idea of trams sounds good, judging from observations in Melbourne, Sydney and now in Zurich, having it in Penang somewhat poses a challenge as there are many factors for consideration including, but not limited to, road behaviour of motorists and pedestrians, planning, training of personnel, integration with rail / bus / ports – both sea and air, maintenance, quality of trams, tariff and real estate / tracking / acquisition of road / land. It has worked for ages for example here in Zurich because of all of the above factors, and quite possibly more.

  90. Mr. Anil, is very good idea from you to re-introduce the trams back to Penang.
    You certainly got my support for the trams proposal.
    Beside that, this article already been posted up in my blog (
    Hope to see more progress in this proposal, looking forward to see trams back in Penang.

  91. We should not wait for upgrade and improvement in the services provided by buses before implementing tams. The presence of Air Asia has enabled MAS to lower fares even when fuel costs escalated. Let the proper management of trams teach the bus operators what to do! Therefore, proper management is very important to ensure success!

  92. Bro Anil

    U r Doing a good job, something nice to bring back trams, well Trams will be transportation & tourism attraction. Waiting to take a ride soon. My dream will come thru ha?

    Bro Anil; Why la they cancel the Penang Bridge Run, I know you know. May be should get to the root cause of it & give the public some opening. boleh ke?

    tks & God bless.

  93. At first I was cool with idea with trams, but I recently did a paper on BRT – (check the sources for statistics valdiation its still wikipedia:) vs LRT because where I live in the San Fernando Valley of LA theres been a debate where people are now saying it should have been a light rail instead because of the vast distances people commute.

    Penang, does not need trams for a transportation solution, and monorail is the worst of them all. Firstly, to show need, the bus use must be maximized first for justification. Penang has very space but subways would be too expensive. The in-between compromise would be a dedicated, right-of-way bus transit (BRT,that somewhat works like rail).

    There is no one way solution, and most metro’s a ‘multi-modal’ approach. A subway for georgetown cbd, lrt for the peripheries, feeder busses to supply this main rail artery, but DONT buy into the monorail lie. Once its built theres no turning back and future generations have to pay. Itll be a white elephant- look at the kl lrt which is a joke for people to RELY ON TO GIVE UP THE CAR. Its great for looks and tourists but not a solution at all, and trams are included(unless city of edinburgh says its made for speed)

  94. As a Penangite I would like to wholeheartedly support this initiative. Hope the DAP will act fast on this, hopefully before its too late 🙂

    p.s I have put on record in my blog to support this initiative .

  95. Anil

    Congratulations to you and the others on your initiative.

    You have the support of the Kelana Jaya People’s Parliament group (

    Some people may disagree with the value of trams on the roads, but I dont think that is the point.

    The point is, we need to be able to look at alternatives beyond the traditional solutions (LRT, Monorail, or more cars).

    Trams may or may not be a solution for Penang’s public transport issues. However, it is our responsibility to look at all the solutions before we make any decision.

    Good luck, and please contact me at [email protected] for further discussion of your proposal.


  96. san francisco had it, why not penang ? rushers won’t need it but penangites prefer it,the mat rempits were umno bred so ‘f’ them off ! what are the police for ? go ahead penangites give full support for trams and also a few important route for monorails will do ! come on penangites show your support 🙂

  97. getting trams back on the penang street is a good campaign but i think before that an indepth study need to be done – is it really possible, seeing that our penang roads are now so congested? i am all for trams in penang but there need to be capable competent people involved in the project and running it.

    ok one day when i’m free i’ll put up the penangites for trams banner up in my blog. i’ll link it to the post where ric francis (the aussie rail expert, and a friend of mine) came to give a talk on trams in penang.

  98. Wednesday, April 16, 2008
    Anil Netto’s article on TRAMS; that could replace monorail in Penang is interesting. Some of its highlights are as follows;

    >“Trams are pollution-free and are being used in cities with narrow roads
    > Estimated that less than RM3.8mil (US$1mil) was needed to get an electrical tram system up and running in George Town.
    >Old tramlines such as from Prangin Mall to Weld Quay still exists underneath the bitumen road and can be restored for use,” he said. A 50m tramline was unearthed at the Chulia Street-Penang Road junction in 2004 during road works and was preserved by the Penang Municipal Council.
    >There are many second- hand trams in other countries that are for purchase.”
    >Existing street poles could be used to support the one-cable electrical wiring for trams, he added

    See for details

    May 14th:

  99. Trams, good idea but the potential of current public transports should be exploited to its fullest.
    Current Bus service is appalling, uncomfortable conditions and irregular schedules just to name a few. the taxi? well, how many penangites use taxi? why?
    improve the bus service, bring cleaner, more n newer buses, retrain all drivers and conductors to be more professional and be pride in what they do. Have dedicated bus lanes and just make it more appealing in general.
    Trams are only good within the city and shopping districts but wont solve the traffic problem.
    Public transportation should never be privatised.

  100. Ever since i was a kid and my dad used to tell me that there were such things called Trams in Penang in the early 1920s, i always used to wonder how Penang looked like when Trams wandered the streets. Now this dream is about to become a reality.

    Now do not get me wrong. It is not only because i want to see how a Tram would look like in PG but ever since i realised what a Tram was, I did my research and found out how cost efficient, and nature friendly they were.

    Every time i traveled and saw a Tram it would make me feel so exited and i would take loads of pictures, here are some of my personal “stash” on Trams. There are more pictures but i think this will do to give you a gist on what Trams are.

    Here is a Tram line in Manchester, England

    Here is a Tram in Manchester, England

    Here is a Tram and Tram line in Bydgoszcz, Poland

    Here is a Tram in Bydgoszcz, Poland

  101. I go for monorail and tram system that is well integrated together.. each completes the other… learn from KL (do not repeat) where monorail, Star and Putra LRT did not integrate together….

  102. mr.anil,

    still majority support you althou some comments become very personal.

    goooo for it.Penang need some kind of tourist attraction.If mat rempits wants to show off and die let its be.The ferries also should remain with some upgrading.

    Loose some but always gain some,tourist money i believe second largest investment.with economies slow down and uncertain federal funding,Penang need to atrract more tourist.

    Your pet project wont cost much,hope the chief minister can look into it.No harm to invest a bit,if other countries can do it why Penang cannot.(your statistic does show some points there)

    Rajraman666.Love anything classic and enjoy the human factor.

  103. Improve the “bus system” before looking into trams??? and how do you propose we do that…from MPPP bus to rapid Penang…has things changed? The looks of the bus have changed but the system still sucks! C’mon, sometimes you just can’t patch up an old shirt using new cloth… Other countries have proven that tram system is a much efficient and cleaner system than buses. Why not subways? LRT? MRT? Well, if money is not a problem, why not? But as you know, global recession is looming and “water tap” has been shut off by the Federal government since 308…and we definitely need to do something to plan for the future with something within our means…just talking or should I say dreaming about a better bus system isn’t going to help…We need something practical and workable…also if the project is small enough to ward off those cronies and vultures who are only interested in big money, then we can be sure that the money spent will be on the tram project and not into somebody’s pocket! Go for it…for a better and cleaner transport system…Penang will lead the way!!

  104. Comment by jughead | Wednesday, 14 May 2008

    Would someone _please_ put on their brain before they start talking about putting trams on the road in Penang?

    Wanna make Penang better, please go for it. But please, stop making STOOOOPID suggestions that will only make Penang a ridiculous place to be.

    Thank you very much !!


    Hong Kong’s tram is working smoothly adter 100 years of service and tram is considered an effiective mode of transport.

    Before calling other stupid, take a mirror to see your own ugly face first.

  105. Kick back payment to UMNO politicians is based on total amount spent on a project. The formula is simple, more we spent, then more kick back they get.

    Smaller budget tram project does not look good for UMNO cronies.

  106. Penangites for Trams! Totally! To revitalize the city you need to increase human density without increasing numbers of cars and heat-generating car parks. The only answer is public transport, good, clean and cheap to run. It’s the first step towards a eco-sensible direction and a liveable future for Penang.

  107. Would someone _please_ put on their brain before they start talking about putting trams on the road in Penang?

    Wanna make Penang better, please go for it. But please, stop making STOOOOPID suggestions that will only make Penang a ridiculous place to be.

    Thank you very much !!

  108. Trams are slow and can be delayed by traffic jams. Imagine there are thousands of motorcycles and they are Mat Rempits trying to show off and cut across the tram lines. Also there are many traffic junctions which can delay the trvel time. Ask ourself, how long should a journey last? If at normal speed, it is half hour but with jam, will it take 1 hour? Imagine standing for 1 hour. Still prefer monorail. At least we have a view to look down or at the shophouse and for sure, the monorail can go according to the time table as it stop and pick up passengers. whereas trams cannot follow the time-table. No wonder in Malaysia, we have rubber time.

  109. Go for it! Trams will run a “more organized” route and schedule – something the “Rabbit Penang” can’t seem to do! It’ll also make Penang look more like a tourist destination – what’s more it can be turned into a “Projek Rakyat” where the investment could come from Penangites with a body of professional no-nonsense (CAT) management running and turning out social and monetary profits to be shared among Penangites! In that case, whether there’ll be a fast or slow change in the Federal Government does not matter! If we make make world cup football live telecast a reality with the people’s “investment”, certainly a more meaningful “tram project” will receive more support!

  110. Why invest in trams when there are a lot of room for more development and improvement in buses, especially in Penang where we don’t even have any integrated public transportation system at all. In my personal opinion only when the benefit and the capacity of buses are fully tapped and capitalised should we be looking into trams.

  111. Mr.anil,

    MY sincere salute for you.
    You follow up,critised by some but stay focus and now the seeds in your minds slowly growing in others blogs.

    Hope your pet project will take off and become like a “bayan tree” for the people you fighting for.

    I hope there will be many blogs owner will be focus as you and get the public support.

    Raj raman666.not the devil999


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