So it looks like the Klang Valley and surrounding areas will get trams ahead of Penang.
The Spad CEO said:
“The new system will help to alleviate congestion in the areas. We have not decided when the RFP will be issued, but it will be in the next three to six months.
“We are learning from other countries, both in Asia and Europe, so that we will be using the best technology for the new system,” he told a press conference highlighting the Land Public Progress Report 2017 at the Sime Darby Convention Centre today.
Mohd Azharuddin said SPAD had already conducted a feasibility study for the new transportation system, and had identified the areas to be covered.
He added that the electric-powered tram would provide a cleaner, greener and more efficient transport solution for the public in these areas, as well as being suitable for the terrain in question.
“In terms of capital expenditure, it is at least 50% cheaper than constructing a monorail.
“While for the operational cost, it will be 30% to 40% cheaper. Furthermore, it is environmental friendly as well,” he added.
He said the tram system, which is expected to be run for 53 km, would be constructed in phases, with priority given to the Putrajaya area.
Actually, Halcrow, the consultancy firm engaged by the Penang government in 2011 to draw up the Penang transport masterplan, came up with the idea for bus rapid transit and trams (which would be on elevated and segregated tracks along long stretches and then a shared lane in the heritage area) for Penang. This was probably long before Spad thought of trams.
But then SRS Consortium, the ‘project delivery partner’ engaged by the Penang government to implement the Halcrow masterplan, came up with its own RM46bn proposals to replace the trams in Penang Island (apart from a very short stretch in George Town) with elevated LRT and monorail (which many say is outdated technology) and new highways (groan). The controversial Zenith tunnel-and-three highways was included in the mix as well.
So it looks like Putrajaya and Cyberjaya will see the return of trams in Malaysia in the next few years – even though Penang once had trams before we went backwards, turning to fossil fuel-powered private motor vehicles (at that time, this was seen as ‘progress’) and now plans for an RM8bn six-lane Pan Island Link.