I am not sure why the Penang government is willing to cooperate with the federal government for a monorail project, when I believe the Penang transport masterplan, commissioned by the state government, recommended a combination of bus rapid transit and trams.
Which monorail companies are we talking about here?
The Penang government should realise by now that not all federal government projects are beneficial for the state. Remember the Leaning Arches of the Penang Botanic Garden?
The Penang Forum Steering Committee had earlier said “Thanks, but no thanks” to the federal government’s offer of the monorail for the state.
That said, the federal government should quickly approve the state’s plan to provide RM10m in subsidies so that the public can enjoy free bus rides on RapidPenang during peak hours. If no approval is given, it only shows that the federal government is not really interested in public transport options that do not involve mega projects for favoured companies.
In the first place, why is federal government approval necessary for the state to provide RM10m in subsidies. It only goes to show how power is heavily centralised in the hands of the federal government.
This report from The Star:
Penang offers cooperation to realise monorail plan
BUTTERWORTH: The state government is ready to cooperate with the Federal Government for a monorail project here but questions the latter’s sincerity in implementing it.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said talks about a monorail project here had surfaced more than seven years ago, but nothing had materialised.
“The Federal Government’s recent announcement about the possibilities of setting up a monorail system in Penang is nothing new as it had been proposed during former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s time.
“We are willing to give our co-operation but is the Federal Government sincere about the project?” he said after unveiling a signboard for the construction of a RM400,000 surau in Taman Ampang Jajar flats, north Seberang Prai yesterday.
Lim also noted that the Federal Government proposed to develop a RM2.7bil Penang Sentral transportation hub project under the Northern Corridor Economic region that was launched by Abdullah in 2007, but the project had yet to take off.
He was commenting on news reports yesterday that the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) would conduct a study on the possibility of introducing monorail or other alternative systems to ease traffic congestion in Penang.
SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar had said that besides providing additional buses, other solutions were needed to improve the traffic situation in the state.
Lim called on Syed Hamid to first shed some light on the state’s proposal to the Federal Government to provide subsidy of RM10mil a year for the people to enjoy free bus rides on Rapid Penang buses during peak hours from 6am till 9am and from 4pm till 8pm, from Monday to Friday.