Shuttle buses/trains/trams across the Penang Bridge?


Did the second stimulus package announced by Najib give enough attention to public transport – or did the discounts offered owners of older vehicles to replace their cars with new Proton and Perodua cars overshadow the public transport component of the package?

Blogger Ong Eu Soon has come up with a proposal to ease congestion on the Penang Bridge, which deserves serious consideration.  It involves the use of shuttle buses (or trams?) and park-and-ride facilities. If ferry services are also increased, expanded and upgraded, we could go a long way in easing road congestion in Penang. I hope the Penang state government will seriously consider this. The state government is also considering an earlier suggestion to have a rail link from the mainland to the island. This is worth considering for that would mean folks from JB, KL, and the mainland could enter Penang Island by rail while leaving their cars at home.  This would be a great first step in promoting the wider use of public transport in Penang in a bid to create a more sustainable and liveable habitat.

Each day hundred of thousands of Penangites face traffic congestion as they commute to work in their cars via the Penang Bridge. The impact from this congestion is substantial in time, resources, and pollution. The vehicle trips per day are estimated to be 120,000. It is estimated that the Penang Bridge congestion alone cost travelers 328 million hours of delay, 10 million litres of wasted fuel, and minimum RM140 million in toll fees per annum.

For financial and environmental reasons Penang cannot build its way out of congestion. Unfortunately the Penang state government and the federal government are not different when come to deal with mass transit. Mass transit has been ignored for decades. The Penang state government as well as the federal government until today still continues to approach our traffic congestion problem with piece meal solutions instead of developing an overarching strategy that could be use to guide the development of public mass transit; land use and development policies supportive of mass transit are totally absent.

For our transportation system to sustain future growth we must use road space and transit facilities more efficiently and we should not dependent too much on private vehicles. Penang with its limited resources and the land scarcity should use public bus transit in innovative ways to improve mobility. Why public bus transit is the ultimate transportation choice to create a more efficient and resilient public transit system? Full article here.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

All these layman talk just don’t help solve transportation woes. Its not economical to do a train across Penang Bridge UNTIL Penang itself have a train system. A dedicated bus for crossing the bridge makes a bit of sense BUT without an effective bus system and better yet a train system on the Island, it will not ease congestion especially without a dedicated lane for bus and trucks which is only doable with a 4-lane each side highway.. You would be better off instead building a dedicated pedestrian walkway for people to walk over. Transport systems are hard. If you… Read more »


the stimulus package is for their own pocket, since the fisrt stimulus package release what happen n where is the $$$ go? nothing is done!!! money go to their pocket more n more stimulus will launch!!!!


Whatever it is – whether it is tram, buses, monorail, ferries – it requires funding. Even to conduct a study requires funding. Where is the State Govt going to get the funding ? Obviously from the Federal Govt. – which is the right of every state to obtain funding from the Fed govt under the Federal Agreement. But the Fed Govt does not honour the agreement. This is the issue. The solution is therefore to change the Fed Govt during next GE. Then funds will be available for the states and then, and only then, can we judge whether Pakatan… Read more »

Dalbinder Singh

the rakyat should be directly involved in what the government does.

Dalbinder Singh

even if the DAP government cant do it as it involves a lot of money and they dont have it, nevermind, try privatising it but with a very minimum corporate interest impact, make it a peoples project, where the rakyat is involve in building it, as long as the DAP practices clean politic-people-economy link politics, it would remain in power.

Dalbinder Singh

all i want is a fairer stimulus package, we dont need to give ideas on transport, our DAP government knows what to do, its whether they want to do it or not. A campaign should begin to protest Penang Sentral.

Ong Eu Soon

This is an effort to kill a bad crony and help the cronies that benefit the people.

Ong Eu Soon

150 buses to replace 40000 cars, the best way to kill the toll concessionaire. Like it or not, the toll concessionaire can’t do anything about this. All you need to do is convince Rapid Penang that the Penang Bridge route will be a big cash cow for the company without extra investment.

Ong Eu Soon

10 buses every 2 minutes that is what Rapid Penang need to provide. 150 buses will be able to do the job. Since Rapid Penang going to get another 200 buses this will not be a problem. After peak hour, the buses can be deployed to some other service areas. The Penang Bridge route will be the most lucrative route for Rapid Penang. It will help Rapid Penang to grow, only fools don’t want to make monies out of Penang Bridge. This is a totally private funding initiative, not only it provide the much needed public transportation, it also create… Read more »


If one refers to RapidPenang bus guide there are actually two bus routes proposed across the bridge from Seberang Perai: U704 and U705. Perhaps they will be launched soon. It will be a good idea to reduce traffic jams on the bridge.

The old Kiara bus service across the bridge from Penang to Kulim was often delayed by car jams at rush hours. Bus priority lanes needed?


Study Singapore’s policies. Implement those suitable in Penang. Generate funds to fund shuttle busses across the island. Monorail & tram are too expensive. Better to control car population through toll charges. With funds, subsidise shuttle busses. Introduce Park & Ride
Still need cooperation from federal government. Ain’t any…. Better grab federal govt


yeah.. are you guys dreaming like MyBlog said…
I dare not to hope for better public transport under the BN/UMNO jungle management. Better public transport means:
– lower petrol consumption = lower Petronas revenue
– lower local car purchase = lower Proton/Perodua sales
– lower toll collection (never mind our world class Boleh Government will compensate them for losses)

Talking about environmental care??? the government care the s…. they care more about their pocket well being…


Has anyone any consideration for the toll concessionaire, you know how much revenue it will loose. Better to have traffic congestion than see a lost of revenue of the toll operator. After all this federal gormen has a resonsibility to the toll operator.

You guys dreaming or what? This will never happen

Do you think that the CVLB will give a licence for a bus to operate for this….

Just wait for next PRU


I think a solution for traffic congestion on Penang Bridge which can be implemented immediately without much cost would be to incur a surchange for single-occupant vehicles (SOV) crossing the bridge during rush hours, or the state gov can subsidise a little to reward those who carpool. If every SOV driver now carpools with someone, the traffic would be halved! It may sound like the wrong time to burden drivers with higher tolls during an economic crisis but this may be the necessary push to force Penangites to actually carpool. Penangites have been too pampered to the point that we… Read more »

Right On

Right on Ong Eu Soon.


i tell u one secret. and if DAP managed to pull this one off, surely and i am very sure penang will stay theirs for a very long time. forget about the stimulus. forget about fed government. whether u like it or not, money is not coming fast n thick. especially for those under non BN’s clutches. i want to see the resilience now, which will tackle my heart n my mind when the ballot comes 2013 (?). get someone to build a monorel or tram system in and going in/out penang. dont care how they gonna do that, but… Read more »

Dalbinder Singh

and we talk about changing or maybe regenerating and renewing the system through massive bail outs. What goes around comes around. Obviously the people will suffer if this mega companies die as the lay people were conned into quick rich scams by investing a bit in shares or whatsoever into this companies for the benefit of a few individuals actually, but now? I feel the government should bail the people out instead to renew and regenerate the ecoonomy-people-political link to a more clean, moral and culture values rich economy-people-politic world.

Dalbinder Singh

we must have more a more environmental friendly transport system. Obviously, the stimulus package hasnt given attention at all i can say, to pubilc transport. all it has done is given more room for corporate companies to continue monopolising the markets as they are through bail outs. but this companies will surely die even how much you can bail out. Abuse of Money in the corporate world has detroyed the politics-economy-people link. i really thank you anil for the consciousness, this days, i speak more confidently about the economy though i am not an economist through your awareness anil. At… Read more »


Some are busy with SMS messages on who is sleeping with which newscasters to have any time to look into public transport woes in Penang / Seberang Jaya… LOL!