Why are we thinking of cross-channel cable cars when it is not in the Penang Transport Masterplan, for which the state government paid RM3.2m to consultants to undertake?
Why are we so excited about a cable car system when we do not even know the cost and how it will be financed? By land swaps? Is this the best use of our limited resources and is this something we should prioritise?
Why are we going for cable cars when the now-privatised ferry service is so badly neglected that there are now only one to four ferries operating whereas in the late 1970s and 1980s, about a dozen ferries plied the channel? Which would be more cost effective to implement – more ferries or an entirely new cable car system?
How viable are cable cars as a form of cross-channel public transport? Wouldn’t we be better off with a cross-channel rail link that would link the new high-speed rail service from KL to Butterworth (the launch for which has once again been postponed, this time to September) to Penang Island?
I am not against a cross-channel cable car system but I don’t think it would be a viable daily public transport option for regular commuters. The ferry fare is RM1.20 now for an adult. How much would the cable car fare be? Surely more expensive. So cable cars would be more for tourists.
If a private company wants to handle the project, let the firm raise its own financing without any ‘land swaps’ and government subsidies, provided the project meets genuinely independent environmental approval based on stringent standards.
I don’t think this is something that the state government should be involved in.
Blog visitor Michael adds:
It seems that the State Government gets all excited about any ‘exotic’ transport stimulus.
The computer image in today’s paper shows the ferries as ghostly images behind this latest creation. The cable cars are small and probably won’t even fit a bicycle …so hardly a serious link in the great transport master plan for Penang.
The extension of the fast rail link onto the island would seem to me to be the most intelligent and efficient way to relieve movement of people from the island to the mainland. A rail link should also accommodate a separate rail corridor for local/fast commuter trains (tram system even better) extending throughout the major built-up areas of the island and the mainland.
If a private company funds the cable system (tourists) and is given permission to build it, then it needs to be located where it does not prevent serious transport solutions would be placed in the near future.
Governments spend too much money here compensating private companies for mistakes.
That is why modern towns/cities must use plans, to reduce inefficient placement of ideas that become obsolescent.
The ferries should be revamped and made more efficient to encourage people to use them and keep the price the same as the bridges.