… at a fraction of the RM8bn price tag for the elevated light rail transit? The above is the autonomous rail rapid transit (ART) or trackless tram in China. For those who say trams will take up road space, compare the width of this tram with the road width required for the supporting pillars of an elevated LRT.
More importantly, is the elevated LRT financially viable? The projected passenger ridership of 42 million passengers per year (for an island with a population of just over 700,000 people) is hard to believe. Many have questioned this ridership projection but we have not yet heard any convincing replies.
Who is going to absorb the operational losses if the actual ridership falls short of the projection?
ART would be even cheaper than a conventional modern tram.
There must have been good reason why the Halcrow transport masterplan, commissioned by the Penang state government for over RM3m, did not recommend elevated LRT. Instead, Halcrow recommended mainly buses and trams and water-based transport.
Halcrow’s public transport proposal for the whole state came up to less than RM10bn. But the Penang state government wants to blow RM17bn on just two routes on the island under phase 1 (Pan Island Link RM9bn and elevated LRT RM8bn).
Why do we want expensive transport solutions when we could have much cheaper trackless trams (and bus rapid transit)? To justify massive land reclamation (4,500 acres) off the southern coast of Penang Island for mainly high-end property development? Isn’t that the real motivation for the RM46bn “PTMP” or should I say PRPD (Penang reclamation and property development) project…