Trams for Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Kajang and Bangi – and Penang?

A tram cruising along a narrow street in Lisbon - Photograph courtesy of Ric Francis

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.

A tram cruising along a narrow street in Japan.

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in Penang Island (apart from a very short stretch in George Town) with elevated LRT and monorail (which many say is outdated technology) and new highways (groan).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.

Penang leads?





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8 Mar 2018 6.29pm

Just look at the congested road.ib the photos shown by anil. Ah peks and ah boys have to watchful otherwise get hit by the trams. Ths trams have to be watchful too. In doung the trams slow down resulting in walking or bicycle is faster than the turtle.

Calvin Sankaran
Calvin Sankaran
8 Mar 2018 10.02pm

Yes, Penang leads in endless rhetoric, chest-thumping and syiok-sendiri claims of being Clean, Green and CAT.

It is a shame that we lost the opportunity to lead the country and even the SEA region in having a sustainable public transport. In fact Penang is more suitable for tram system than less dense Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.

9 Mar 2018 7.16pm

Spinning. Your Paymaster proposed monorail for more than 10 years ago . Structures for monorail are building in the air. The PJ transport interchange has been cater for monorail with piers and beams suspending in the air.
Tell paymaster, where the $£€¥ for pg transport and drainage projects? Go and claim back $£€¥ from down under. Even study no need to bank in hundreds of thousands straight away. Many overseas students are living on weekly or monthly allowances of few hundreds.
Yet come here and peddle snake oil.

7 Mar 2018 7.34pm

Of course trams are cheaper than lrt to build abd operate. What you pay is what. First where are the easement for trams? Yet pf wants to complain about bicycle sharing footpath with pedestrians. With trams it will be a nightmare. The road sharing with cars, buses, bicyckes, kapcais and pedestrians.. Accudents will be higher. If the trams had an accident with buses, trucks and. Cars, trams will be out of service. Accudents with bicycles, kapcais and pedestrians will be serious. Trams cannot follow any timetable and hence unreliable. How to catch a tram to airport unless one double the… Read more »

KC Poh
KC Poh
1 Apr 2018 2.27pm

Sarawak to get LRT in Kuching, ahead of Penang!

KC Poh
KC Poh
1 Apr 2018 2.11pm

New York could be imposing ‘Congestion Pricing’ to ease traffic congestion, similar to road pricing in Singapore.

I think something similar should be done in Penang too as there are too many cars in Penang city centre.

Mah HS
Mah HS
12 Mar 2018 9.00pm

Anthony Tan, the 36-year old Malaysian co-founder of ride-hailing company Grab, ‘has taken Singaporean citizenship, according to a Grab filing with the Singapore government last year’.

13 Mar 2018 6.23pm
Reply to  Mah HS

Ah pek still sleeping. Star papers mention few thousands malaysians jump plane and work in hankok. Even bumis are working in cinstruction sites in down under

Mah HS
Mah HS
12 Mar 2018 6.20pm

George Town heritage zone should be car-free.
Promote walking with proper pedestrian walkway, healthy living avoid obesity.

13 Mar 2018 6.26pm
Reply to  Mah HS

Orso tram free. Any knocks with trams is school of hard knocks