What is stopping more Penangites from taking the bus and cycling?

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Independent film producer, Andrew Ng Yew Fan, one of three winners of the Freedom Film Fest’s Malaysia Film Grants awards, decided to take the bus in Penang. He shares his experience with us.

And this was his experience cycling from Jelutong to Komtar together with activist Que Lin:

This is a more leisurely ride along the coastal bicycle lane from George Town to Queensbay:

So what would it take for you to catch a bus or cycle to work in Penang?

READ MORE:  London's new Mayor Sadiq Khan takes the bus to work
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37 COMMENTS

  1. Nowadays very difficult to find bicycle repair shops even in the heritage zone. Is this another victim of modernisation?

    • Go to Carnarvon Street, you will find a few cycle shops like Chin Air Bicycle Shop (of more than 50 yrs humble history).
      These are no longer the typical old & run down bicycle shops but are more like lifestyle shops.
      One needs to go around to find them, which is unlike the old days when every street had an uncle bicycle shop.
      The same predicament for trishaws & in the future for manual drive vehicles (which future car mechanics will know what is & how to repair a carburettor?)

  2. Wonder if the current state govt have a future plan to reduce combustion powered vehicles.If yes then when?
    Several major car brands are phasing out such engines.
    And for certain the Federal govt have no idea on what to do.
    Federal govt can only come up with tax rebate on hybrid vehicles and ‘syiok sendiri’ media release.
    Not even serious to change it’s fleet of fossil fuel powered govt vehicles.
    Am sure it is NOT included in the soon to be known Budget.
    Are there plans to implement more charging stations for Penang territory?
    Can Pakatan state govt and our MPs & ADUNs play the leading role ?
    Why Penang’s RAPID buses are using diesel?

    • Licencing is under central gomen. What can state do if perak car refuse to pay? If less out stn cars come, more pg lang will move over the sea for more jobs and opportunities. All ah peks will left behind with bangla and burmese age care workers in pg

      • Already many young Penang lang moved to SingLand for higher wages although MTUC has pressured government for RM1800 min wage. So Ah Pek taukeh git no choice but hire cheap banglas.

    • Politicians do not lead. They adopt policies that provide political power and wealth. What is the average Malaysian asking of them? As soon as they have got their head above water (achieved some affluence), they exhibit uncouth, brutish, communalist and elitist behaviour. They endanger and bully others with big vehicles, and park wherever they fancy. Are they going to submit themselves to the discipline and uniformity of public transport? Do they want their fantasies of achievement burst by facts about climate change?

      • Problem are the peaks provided for politicians. There should be a limit or rakyat is too passive. You should voice out beyond this forum. Why should chiefs are allowed to travel in tax payers paid plane from East to West Malaysia and all in the family outing overseas? Or personal toilet for a speaker? Whenever they go, outsiders in front will tell us off.

  3. A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transport.
    — paraphrased from Enrique Penalosa, former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia

  4. What is stopping buses and bicycles? We have been through this a few times. In a word, vested interest or capitalism. All other aspects and details are distractions. Gomen is addicted to income from cars, insurance, repairs, highways, flyovers and petroleum. Those in gomen are addicted to bribes. In the religion of capitalism where the greedy led the blind, it would be hellish or sinful to shrink the economy by spending and consuming less, even on the corollary activity of transporting people. As long as some countries continue to undermine their own interests, others – even the most benevolent or advanced – will continue to export dirty or obsolete products or industries, or import resources they do not want to extract within their own borders.

    Thank the stars for the sane countries in Scandinavian, Benelux and (two in) South America. China has also learnt the bitter lesson and reversed course – in just a stunning 3 decades.

    “You cannot wake up someone who is pretending to sleep”.

    • You mean you enourage cycling from one end of the island to the other end? Or to cycle within certain radius and take about half hour the most? If half hour the most, how the cyclist going to complete journey?

    • Be inspired by 8TV’s Baki and Rickman on Sunday 8.30pm “Let’s Cycle” now in Sabah.

      Baki Zainal speaks good Mandarin. Can inspire more Malay parents to send their kids to SJK Cina to learn Mandarin, to cope with 1 Belt 1 Road intrusion (now in Kuantan already!).

    • Safety is a major issue in cities designed for car capitalism. The citizens of Paris and othe cities demonstrated for the right to safe (and sane) transport by bicycle.

      In Bolehlend, however, the major consideration may be conformity, status and enforcement. Motorists bully (and look down on) motorcyclists, who bully cyclists, who bully pedestrians. Bolehlanders are not going to learn until it gets much worse – as bad as it was in a few years ago China, and decades ago in some US, German, Japanese and Korean cities. If we have the time.

      • Speak to mca who is the transport minister. Can ask Mr C2 who always question pg gomen. Now time for him to act and do something instead of questioning. If not, then speak to Android R2C2 in Star Wars

      • That is why more people wants to drive car. They can look down and bully kapchai riders. No wonder those making comments here can boast they have more than a car. Some has 2 and some 4 w drive with 8 wheels to change when off road in jungle track

      • Confirmed from what you said you are zoro!
        What a shame trying to hide behind a shrieking identity!!!
        … Komtar Dedak fails to come?

  5. Gleneagles Medini and Regency Specialist Hospital in JB are Medisave-accredited private hospitals approved by the Ministry of Health, Singapore.

    Medisave is a Singapore national medical savings scheme for members of Central Provident Fund (CPF) who contributes part of their income into their Medisave Account to meet any future personal or immediate family’s medical expenses.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/horizonhills.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/did-you-know-you-can-use-your-medisave-in-jb/amp/

    Thomson medical centre to be opened soon in Iskandar JB, to the delights of Malaysians with CPF-Medisave account living in JB. Private hospitals in Penang should get Medisave approval as many Penangites who have worked in Penang have Medisave account, and can attract Singaporean patients as well.

    • For remote area like Gertak Sanggul, better take Uber or Grab.
      Going to Komtar many buses, if during transit recommend you to get a bite of Ah Beng Bak Kwa roti (non Halal, RM2 and RM3), it’s tagline is “Taste of Yesterday” good for nostalgic folks who miss such buns so popular outside former Rex cinema in 70s and early 80s.

      http://www.noweating.com/2017/07/ah-beng-bak-kwa/

    • 10 years anniversary of RapidPenang 2007-2017, ridership on rise but still not high enough. Most Penangites can’t walk from home to nearest bus stop, still hoping bus to stop in front of their homes.

      My first ride on RapidPenang was on its first day launch. FREE ride to Gertak Sanggul to meet my fishermen friends there.

  6. When we’re in Penang, we always catch the bus. It’s cheap and clean and the bus drivers are polite and helpful. The 101 bus from Tanung Bungah to the ferry is very frequent so waiting is generally not too long. We have no problem with parking or traffic jams. Definitely yes for the bus.

  7. When cars become expensive with high duty charges, when RON95 hits RM2.80 a litre, when traffic choking becomes unbearable, when driving a car no more bin chui factor, when ringgit plunges further, when GST is 10% to make living cost tougher, then probably more will switch to public transport.

    • Probably true. When driving – or parking – becomes more expensive, more people will find it cheaper to take public transport. Right now, the bus fare is probably the same as the cost of petrol when driving.

      The general hospitals now seem more crowded. Maybe fewer people can afford private hospitals?

      • When G Hospital too crowded, some can opt for cheaper at your own risk youtube trained doctors or dentists ?

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