So we are going to have a montrous RM2 billion terminal in Butterworth that is supposed to be the gateway to Penang.
This project is supposed to be located on a 12.8ha site “at the existing Butterworth train, bus and ferry terminal and will integrate KTM’s rail services, road transport facilities and the ferry services operated by Penang Port”.
It’s going to be a big money project for Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) and Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputra Berhad (PHBB).
Last year, The Star reported that “it would have two ferry platforms, two monorail platforms, four train platforms, 50 bus platforms and 4,000 parking bays”.
Oops, no federal money for monorail – or trams for that matter – now. It’s pathetic that the state has to celebrate because the federal government has approved RM40 million to revive the broken down Penang Hill railway. (Under the Penang Hill project, a new one-stretch cable railway track will be laid between the lower and upper stations, doing away with the present middle station, reports Malaysiakini. The rail track will be laid to accommodate larger and longer funicular trains.)
The ferry service operates at half the frequency it used to in the 1970s.
We are getting 200 new buses though, which is great. (I hope they are of better quality and accessible by people with disabilities.)
But RM2 billion for a new transport hub – just for 200 new buses spread across the state? If you ask me, it looks like they are putting the cart before the horse. And a mighty expensive cart at that. This is what you call “over the top”. But hey, it’s big bucks for the boys. I guess the money is in the construction.
Why don’t we get the basics of public transport right before we go for this kind of project?
Look at how others are making better use of their funds (Thanks to blog-reader Razwan for highlighting this article from Spiegel Online):
A RENAISSANCE ON RAILS
France Rediscovers Its Love of Trams
By Stefan Simons in Paris
Trams are enjoying a comeback in France. From Nantes to Marseille, city planners are building new, high-tech streetcar lines as central elements in urban redevelopment. And they haven’t forgotten any of the French flair the world has come to love.
It’s bright yellow with black stripes — like some kind of futuristic tiger on rails — and it runs through Mulhouse at eight-minute intervals like a streak of light. This city in France’s Alsace region was once a leader in the industrial revolution, but it is now visibly struggling with structural change. The new tram system has brought it fresh pride and and a new sense of self-confidence. Full article
C T Choo has suggested one way of financing the trams.
In contrast, see how we are wasting funds: here’s another look at the sale of MV Agusta on the Benar blog.