LRT ‘approval’? Transport minister owes Penangites an explanation

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It was only earlier this month that the transport minister had said that the proposed elevated LRT might not be the best option for Penang.

“… our (Spad) studies showed that LRT is not the best option for Penang. Maybe the tram or other modes of transportation,” he said on 6 September. “I have asked the top management of Spad to brief the Chief Minister. A meeting will take place soon.”

But at that meeting, the Penang state government was adamant that it wanted to go ahead with the RM8.5bn elevated LRT system – and the Ministry of Transport then “approved” the plan.

How did the Minister of Transport capitulate so easily? Does he now realise that the main thrust of the SRS contractor-developers’ proposal is massive land reclamation for property development in southern Penang – and expensive transport infrastructure projects are needed to justify that 4,500-acre land reclamation?

The ministry’s embarrassing apparent turnaround has come at a time when more and more cities are moving towards street-level trams (the latest being Sydney). Meanwhile, an automated rail-rapid transit (ART) system on virtual tracks has been tested in China. This will cost a fraction of an elevated LRT system and take much less time to construct. And, unlike an elevated LET system, it won’t be an eyesore.

As Spad’s own studies have showed, an LRT line is not the best option for Penang. From what I hear, Spad is more in favour of bus rapid transit and trams (which the Hacrow consultants proposed would be largely elevated or segregated except in the heritage zone).

Now check out these trackless trams or ART as they are known in China.

So why do we want to blow so much money on an elevated LRT line?

The transport minister should explain:

  • why his ministry has now ‘approved”” elevated LRT for Penang.
  • how SRS Consortium can justify its projected 42 million annual ridership figure.
  • who will pay for elevated LRT operational losses that are likely to be incurred in the future.
  • why he is willing to ignore Spad’s own studies and Halcrow’s recommendation for bus rapid transit and trams.
  • if he has considered modern trams and trackless or virtual track trams.
  • why the ‘approval’ was announced by the state government rather than the Ministry of Transport.
  • if he is aware that elevated LRT pillars would eat up a lane of road space.

Review the exorbitant RM46bn SRS proposal!

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Cygnus Knight
Cygnus Knight
23 Sep 2018 5.24pm

The proposed LRT route does not pass through populated area, unlikely to attract ridership.

shriek
shriek
23 Sep 2018 9.03pm
Reply to  Cygnus Knight

If pass through populated areas, anil and pf will show how elevated lrt and shop houses are not compatible. In both cases pg forum will win

Hanson
Hanson
24 Sep 2018 11.45am

Today we celebrate Mid Autumn Festival, but beware of the Dark Side of The Moon lurking behind to cause racial and religious instability.

Carmen
Carmen
25 Sep 2018 11.05am
Reply to  Hanson

14 year old can get married, divorce by 20 with at least 3 kids waiting welfare help according to green moon.

Johan Khun Pana
Johan Khun Pana
26 Sep 2018 4.56am
Reply to  Carmen

Spot on there.
Isn’t it great living in Malaysia?
Can apply for Federal Social Welfare, State Welfare, BR1M and their Islamic Welfare. And NGOs too are ‘willing” to help those living off the welfare system
Adds all the welfares together and it all exceeds our National Minimum Wage.
Amazing. No wonder so many are unwilling to work.

Aaron Kong
Aaron Kong
30 Sep 2018 8.03pm

Entitlement mentality.

Yu Leng
24 Sep 2018 8.04am

Trams are great. Was in Frankfurt and primarily used that in the city.

shriek
shriek
24 Sep 2018 9.12pm
Reply to  Yu Leng

Fun as a tourist in a tram. Why no comment on hong land tram? Asia teams no good?

Carmen
Carmen
25 Sep 2018 11.06am
Reply to  Yu Leng

Need to lay tracks for tram.
Use Bas Mini simpler and faster.

Shriek
Shriek
25 Sep 2018 3.25pm
Reply to  Yu Leng

As tourist tram is great. Why go so far just to try the tram. Why no one comment on hong land tram much nearer and cheaper. Can orso drop in north point and see hokkien kinsmen. Less than rm1 per ride end to end. You orso can try light rail, similar to trams in yuen long. Yuen long can orso eat wife’s biscuits.

tunglang
tunglang
23 Sep 2018 7.07pm

The people is the ‘tauke besar’ in new Malaysia https://malaysia.yahoo.com/news/people-apos-tauke-besar-apos-070753922.html SRI AMAN: The rakyat is the actual ‘tauke besar’ (top superior) under the new Malaysia concept adopted by the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) Federal Government. Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen said unlike the previous administration, the current government listens to the aspiration of the people in charting the future of the nation as well as the country’s leadership. “This is among the major changes introduced by PH after assuming the administration of the country following our victory in the 14th General Election on May 9.… Read more »

shriek
shriek
25 Sep 2018 6.48pm
Reply to  tunglang

Being ah pek, can act like tai khor or tai loh or tai koh tai. Being senior citizen can get discounts in public transport and didi must give seats to ah pek??

Selvam
Selvam
25 Sep 2018 8.10pm
Reply to  tunglang

Please direct your message to Sim who has forgotten the people of Bayan Baru who voted him hoping to have the library restored at Mayang Mall.

Reality
Reality
28 Sep 2018 2.31pm
Reply to  Selvam

Selvam can contact Sim directly?

tunglang
tunglang
29 Sep 2018 3.05pm
Reply to  Reality

🙂 🙂 🙂 Gandhi contact Chiang Kai Shek!

tunglang
tunglang
29 Sep 2018 7.24pm
Reply to  Reality

Selvam of Bayan Baru? Hmmmmm.

Kampong Lad
Kampong Lad
23 Sep 2018 4.00pm

Wakil rakyat dah jadi maharajah .

謝金財
23 Sep 2018 2.58pm

Project larger,

Coffee thicker

Sherman
Sherman
26 Sep 2018 4.56pm
Reply to  謝金財

Sim Tze Tzin bigger votes GE14,
Library Bayan Baru disappeared.

He cares more for AP Coconut Community, not Bayan Baru community longing for a library!

Jennifer Mourin
23 Sep 2018 1.45pm

Vested interests???

King Kong
King Kong
23 Sep 2018 6.41pm

Penang voters are to blame for not allowing at least one Gerakan or MCA be voted in to make noise for Rakyat.

Heng GS
Heng GS
24 Sep 2018 11.17am
Reply to  King Kong

Gerakan Oh Tong Keong now opposition chief in Penang should be a wiser choice in Bayan Baru. Many residents now regretted voting for Sim Tze Tzin who did nothing to allow PDC to overlook public interest and give way to Jabil/Swaroski to overtake cyber library at Mayang Mall.

Yoges
Yoges
24 Sep 2018 5.59pm
Reply to  Heng GS

YB Sim pls hear us we need a library to read newspapers and access internet.

Carmen
Carmen
25 Sep 2018 11.09am
Reply to  Yoges

YB Sim please understand 100 days honeymoon is long enough. Need to learn from Anthony Lome to implement new plans fast for Bayan Baru as repeatedly requested by its residents. PKR too involved in internal politics after 509, please turun padang to listen to the people who voted for you.

Aaron Kong
Aaron Kong
30 Sep 2018 8.00pm
Reply to  Yoges

Wonder why Penang Forum never rally for the library so desired by Bayan Baru folks, from what I have read so far.

Heng GS
Heng GS
24 Sep 2018 11.23am
Reply to  King Kong

Gerakan now pushing for local election in Penang. Jason Loo can check balance greedy developers on island?
Local election in Bayan Baru can bring voices of public directly to the ears of Sim and Saifuddin, both service centres not able to attend to growing needs of the community.

tunglang
tunglang
25 Sep 2018 9.19am
Reply to  King Kong

That’s true. But I would still prefer Gerakan as check & balance of arrogant Developer Associated Party.

tunglang
tunglang
25 Sep 2018 9.20am
Reply to  King Kong

Sim is heading for extinction! We will see.

Cygnus Knight
Cygnus Knight
26 Sep 2018 4.12pm
Reply to  tunglang

Concerned Bayan Baru folks got a psychological boost from tunglang.

shriek
shriek
25 Sep 2018 7.06pm
Reply to  King Kong

You mean ah pek making noise here not enough? Ah pek louder please.

Shriek
Shriek
28 Sep 2018 8.39pm
Reply to  King Kong

Why umno and those mamak don’t make noise like what they did to tokong? They love chow mien more??? But tung lang begin to dislike chow mian more.

tunglang
tunglang
30 Sep 2018 4.29pm
Reply to  Shriek

Instigating in a washing machine?

Swee
Swee
24 Sep 2018 8.24am

Maybe dap needs rebranding as Developers Action Party.

tunglang
tunglang
29 Sep 2018 7.23pm

May be. Have you not heard of getting whatever @ a discount?

tunglang
tunglang
23 Sep 2018 12.26pm

Money Sense of brick+mortar development: 1) Elevated LRT for Penang will cost more = more money to be churned by developers 2) Modern trams, trackless or virtual track trams & BRT will cost much, much less = less money / profits to be reaped. Money sense of developers has no proper sense for alternative mode of transport solutions for Penangites except for their sleepless dreams of super-profiteering of 3 islands from sea reclamation down south, which is justified for their financing (via controversial swap deals) of this super-expensive PTMP. Should property bubbles burst in the midst of carrying out this… Read more »

Shriek
Shriek
25 Sep 2018 3.29pm
Reply to  tunglang

Why ah pek go and buy apple computer and 4wd? Why not buy clone. or kedua. . Better still support pg lang boon siew kapcai

tunglang
tunglang
29 Sep 2018 3.16pm

China is now ahead of western nations in developing transport solutions aided by digital tech like this sensor guided ARRT (Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit) – a bus-rail combo without rails!
Soon, this new ARRT development will supersede the ‘old’ + expensive + space consuming LRT, MRT & even the subway. As it is slim, easily dismantled, modified, added-on (coaches) & schedule-managed, it looks more appropriate for Penang’s streets in the near future. Why not make it a trial run (by Rapid?) before we decide it’s feasibility & affordability. It can be dismantled if it does not meet our needs.

Johan Khun Pana
Johan Khun Pana
28 Sep 2018 2.43pm

This might be a better video for readers who might want to know more about China’s latest Battery Powered Virtual Track Tram . They have a real one that is serving the public.

“World’s first train on virtual tracks” launches passenger services in China

Out of Penang
Out of Penang
23 Sep 2018 6.13pm

A very good concept. It’ll work well in an advanced law & order society of developed countries with good traffic & rule abiding drivers. Unfortunately Malaysia is no where near there. Try driving in Penang, KL & JB. Probably in two generations from now with good education system this can be achieved. Right now it’s just putting the cart before the horse.
Imagine this system mixing with lesen kopi, lesen terbang drivers, mat rempits, road hoggers, swarms of motorbikers etc. Third world mentality with first world infrastructures don’t mix well.

Out of Penang
Out of Penang
23 Sep 2018 7.08pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Probably it’s still on trial in Zhuzhou city, Hunan Province.
Have not seen any news of an official launch, even on CRRC’s own website.
Perhaps you have the latest info?
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-05/09/c_137167178.htm
https://www.curbed.com/2017/11/6/16614986/zhuzhou-china-art-rail-bus
http://www.crrcgc.cc/en/tabid/7389/sourceId/10408/infoid/286142/Default.aspx

Johan Khun Pana
Johan Khun Pana
4 Oct 2018 8.08am
Reply to  Out of Penang

I’ve attached a youtube video on this page. It already passed testing and trial runs. Currently only one ART /trackless train in public service as explained by their company’s representative. A 3 coach setting cost US$2.2 million but no mention of how much for the road guidance system or the white stripe sensor (per kilometer). As for train stations and payment system it can be develop locally. Wonder if it is possible to attach solar panels on the train’s roof to run non essential electronics like WiFi, lighting and fans/air blower. Interesting to know that there is a trackless train… Read more »

tunglang
tunglang
23 Sep 2018 7.08pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Hard labor for traffic offences!

shriek
shriek
25 Sep 2018 6.51pm
Reply to  tunglang

Include pedestrians for jaywalk, kapcai and cyclists for riding against traffic and foot paths and parking on 5 ft way?? Or pedestrians and kapcai riders have rights than motorists??

shriek
shriek
23 Sep 2018 9.06pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Please go and visit China and down under. The roads are very very wide. There are 3 motor lanes plus a bicycle lane on one side. Hundred of cities itself have population over a two million people

Z. Aziz
Z. Aziz
23 Sep 2018 8.57pm
Reply to  Out of Penang

Maybe with a wholesome public transport system in place, there will be more among the population who use it satisfactorily thus do not feel need to acquire car also no need to get illegal license also result in less vehicles on roads meaning more safety also easier for parents to deny requests for motorcycles from their hyper active teenagers meaning less rempit and more good things. No issue about cart before horse. Put in place a wholesome public transport and for sure society productivity will increase drastically.

tunglang
tunglang
25 Sep 2018 9.16am
Reply to  Z. Aziz

Exactly. My friend who worked & stayed in SingLand since the 1980s doesn’t have a driving license! I wonder how much he saved on no car maintenance, even if he travelled by cab.

shriek
shriek
25 Sep 2018 7.05pm
Reply to  tunglang

Ah pek, having a car in singland, make him pokkai. Worst than having a darling or being a sugar daddy. Our wise man LKY, said how can an island with limited land provide spaces for cars. Singland has to reclaim more land. In Hong land, owning a car spce cost more than a condo in peng land.
Your friend saved so much he can buy 2 or 3 condo in peng land. Your friend must be very happy that developers are developing peng land. He can retire happily. Only his counterpart, ah gee and ah Jo.

Aaron Kong
Aaron Kong
30 Sep 2018 8.02pm
Reply to  tunglang

Penang government can impose COE, the people will be afraid to own and drive cars.

shriek
shriek
25 Sep 2018 6.57pm
Reply to  Z. Aziz

How do be wholesome when ah pek and few writers complain waiting for 50 mins for wholesome public transport. How many walk, skate board, roller skate, bicycle, kapcai, bechah to all those seminars on PIH? Those denounce PIH, wants to go home asap or to look for one ton mee, will hurry back by cars!!