At least RM500/mth to use the second Penang bridge


second penang bridge

Now that oil prices have gone up by 41 per cent and diesel by even more, our planners should scrap the proposed second cross-channel road link for Penang.

If the RM4.8 billion second Penang bridge (all 24km of it, 17km over water) sounded like a bad idea before the oil price hike, today it sounds like a terrible idea in the light of higher fuel prices.

Let’s try this out for size to see how much it will cost the average commuter every month to use the bridge.


  • The bridge and approach roads will take up about 24km (17km over sea)
  • The average car consumes 10 litres for every kilometre 100 kilometres at cruising speed
  • The average commuter has a five-day working week, which means roughly 22 working days/month
  • Petrol price is now RM2.70/L
  • The distance from home to the bridge and from bridge to work-place is an additional 10km each way
  • The toll is assumed (conservatively) to be RM10 for a return journey (toll for present bridge, half the length, is RM7)

Let’s measure the distance travelled per month:

24 km x 2 (both ways for return journey) x 22 days = 1,056km

Now we work out how many litres of fuel is needed for this:

1,056km x 10L/100km = 105.6L

And how much will this cost?

105.6L x RM2.70/L = RM285.12

Now let’s work out the toll for the month:

RM10 x 22 days = RM220

So total cost is

Petrol cost RM285.12 + Toll charges RM220 = about RM500 for the month (could be more if the toll is higher or if you work a six-day week), just for using the bridge.

Mind you, this does not include the petrol cost for the portion of the journey from your home to the bridge and from the bridge to your workplace. Say this comes to 10km each way:

10km x 2 (return journey) x 22 days x 10L/100km x RM2.70/L = RM118.80

so add another RM120, arriving at a total of RM620 for the total travelling cost for the month.

What happens if the oil prices rise yet again, perhaps in August, from RM2.70/L to RM4.00/L (an increase of 48 per cent?

(RM285.12 + RM118.80) x 48% = RM193.88, say RM200

This means you could be spending over RM800 per month if you want to use the second bridge to get to work and back. And that’s based on conservative assumptions. If you have a bigger car, work a six-day week and your home and workplace are farther away from the bridge, you could be spending closer to RM1,000/month. Enjoy!

Who knows what the oil price will be like once the bridge is completed.

We haven’t even factored in carbon emissions that contribute to global warming as well as the heat generated during construction.

Now you see why expanding the ferry service makes more sense? And why a shorter cross-channel rail link would be cheaper for commuters besides being environmentally friendlier? Think of all the oil the country would save if regular commuters could leave their cars at home and use modern, efficient public transport across the channel.

I suggest that the additional lane on the existing Penang Bridge be dedicated to buses and trams or exclusively for rail. Or build a dedicated rail link parallel to the Bridge. And expand the ferry service, 24 hours, round-the-clock.

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Why can’t we just work with and improve on what we already have? Why this need to build bigger and usually-not-better as the only solution? We keep running around in circles chasing our tails! With the rise in petrol and diesel prices, I see bus fares and taxi fares rising as well – along with the rise in everything else. How can they be ‘warned’ not to raise the prices of things? Where is their money supposed to come from? After all, people provide us a service and need to be paid for that service in real money. I wish… Read more »


boycott petronas? sure, lunas 0h lunaih.. if you want the country to go bust.. petronas is 40% of the country’s economy,mind you… dont blame petronas, blame the goverment for misusing the petronas funds… and blame yourself for voting in bn all this while.


We need some kind of a second link, for security purposes and to lessen the current burden. However, if they decide to build the bridge in expectation of more and more personal vehicle traffic, then that’s lousy planning. It’s imperative to get the public transportation in place and fully integrated to keep the traffic levels in check, i.e. if the population grows by 30% the traffic would only increase by ~5-10%. On another note, there might be a net benefit to the island traffic-wise. Perhaps the government is planning to shift the jobs from the island to Prai (esp. Batu… Read more »


Better have more ferry crossing points on both sides, & hv more frequent ferry schedule 2nd bridge can wait, perhap, 2020.


Better have more ferry crossing points on both sides, & hv more frequent ferry schedule 2nd bride can wait, perhap, 2020.


just spend RM200 million to upgrade the ferry service and internal bus routes and viola, there’s no need for a 2nd link. But, the fat cats will die of starvation if this plan is to be adopted.
No, fat cats have to be fed well and they cant look scrawny coz it doesnt jive with the fancy cars and their girlfriends and of course their opulent lifestyle.


Although I against on the cost of building the 2nd bridge,..I as a mainlander do feel that the 2nd bridge is necessary.My personal point is due to security and also economic reason..but mostly security..imagine what would happen if something unimaginable thing happens to the current bridge now..all Penang and the main road from Prai will be havoc-closest even was the bomb threat on the bridge last year..even the ferry cannot cushion the backlash from driver diverting from the bridge..the bridge if the artery to the heart…at least we should have a second at the same time upgrade the public… Read more »


assumptions helped us to understand, but bear in mind it’s not definite.

regardless petrol price does or does not increase, car pooling, use of public transport etc must be promoted..

sedia payung sebelum hujan, now hujan already.. got payung? if no, find one

lunas 0h lunaih


stop buying petrol from petronas(government)
assuming 1 car using RM500/month
1 million vehicle x RM500 =RM500million/month
estimate LOST IN REVENUE by petronas =RM6 billion/year

ler them feel the pinch…..dont just shout…ACTION

makkal sakti


Well,i agree with your point.However,the costs of travelling on the existing bridge are around the range or 20% less than of your calculated figure for travelling on the 2nd bridge.


Penang don’t need a second bridge or bridge extension for cars or other motor vehicle. It needs a high speed train that link between mainland and work places. If you guys think selfishly about yourself maybe then these sort of bridge does required. I glad someone brought this issue up to everyone attention. Many thinks that the bridge will resolve Penang traffic issue but it will generate even more bottlenecks in Penang roads; its an island!! I am from Penang and find it troublesome to pass through the idiotic multiple toll plaza just for two lane road! The government should… Read more »

edmond wee

the penang bridge will have a 3rd lane, it’s a great idea to dedicate this lane just for buses. however, the general public still prefer convenience and love their cars, status symbol rulez!! if it’s just me, i don’t mind taking the bus. on the other hand, it takes almost 100% longer to reach work if I took RapidPenang as compared to driving there. also it takes just RM1 more each way to work by car. it’s a matter of priorities, shorter traveling time or saving that RM1 each way for me. on the other hand, to me, there’s no… Read more »


inspiron, i know anil personally and knows he does use the bridge, but whether he does or does not use the bridge frequently is beside the point. this is his blog, he is here to offer his opinion, so why asked him to keep his opinion to himself? right from the start, when the idea of the 2nd penang bridge was mooted, i was already against it (and had blog about it too). yes why add a new infrastructure for cars when we can try to improve on the existing one e.g. public transport – bus and ferry. more roads… Read more »


We need another bridge. It’s no fun driving on the current bridge everyday. We can built a shorter one. Without the stupid observation platform.

Someone who cares for Penang

Anil, I do agreed with Inspiron that 2nd bridge is inevitable. I wish to see the dream team in Penang headed by YB Guan Eng to cushion off this by attracting more leading edge MNCs to Penang. Yes Anil, the infracture of our public transport is so dissapointed and should be improved. As a Penangites, I found myself rather embarassing whenever I traveled overseas either on leisure or business trip with regards with our public transport. My point is that do not hinder projects that benefits the rakyat. My suggestion for the our new CM is to form a focus… Read more »

why cares

Just built two(2) Penang causeways costing RM250 million each.

Rm500 million for 2 causeways is a bargain.

Toll charge 20cts one way only or toll free .


Malaysia for Malaysians.



with the price hike, will no more 4.8B, but 6B now..


Anil, I wonder if you’re one of the >60k Penang bridge user who have to endure the frequent jam on the bridge. If you’re not, kindly keep your opinion to yourself. All this talk about promoting public transport and scrapping the 2nd bridge, do you use public transport yourself? Do you actually think Penang’s public transport system is half as efficient as those in Singapore? Tell me, if you’re working the night shift on the island, can you depend on the public transport if you’re staying on the mainland? Were you butt stuck in the jam when Penang bridge got… Read more »


Everything seems to sky rocket…
Susah lah macam ini…
If the government was more competent, we Rakyat no need to suffer.

Pak Lah always ask the Rakyat to do this:-



Erm, Anil, 2 + 2 equals 4 but 4 does not equal 2 + 2. It could be 5 – 1, 12 – 8……you could carpool, hitch hike, walk it. Adopt the new BN thinking. Change your lifestyle. The bridge stays, though. Love, BN.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng

No wonder we open our mouths to ‘marvel’
When it’s getting too costly to travel
With complex economic theories to gravel
People will be ‘compelled’ to join in societal upheaval

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 070608
Sat. 7th June 2008.

Mr Smith

* The average car consumes 10 litres for every kilometre at cruising speed.

There is big mistake in the second Assumption in your above post!!