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LETTER | The inconvenience of Penang's public transport system

LETTER | I recently made a trip to Penang and had a good time there savouring the delicious street food and walking around the nicely designed outdoor seaside promenade at Gurney Drive and Persiaran Karpal Singh.

Penang has transformed a lot with sidewalks and public spaces. The Penang City Council has done a great job in making George Town a better city to live, learn, work and play in. However, I wish to express my disappointment at Penang's underwhelming public transport service.

Firstly, the Rapid Penang buses don't accept Touch N Go payments. It's disappointing that in 2022, Rapid Penang only accepts cash payments and The Rapid Penang Journey Planner Pulse App is not user friendly at all. It's really frustrating how Rapid Penang is not doing anything to improve the commute experience.

I also wish to highlight how terrible the connection between the ferry service and Penang Sentral is. I understand the Butterworth Terminal is undergoing upgrading works, but the temporary access from the jetty to Penang Sentral is awful. Commuters are expected to carry their heavy bags through a flight of stairs. Why can't the temporary access route be more comfortable?

Upon arriving at Penang Sentral, there are no signboards to direct people to the KTM Butterworth station. Again, commuters have to use a temporary exit door entrance and walk through a series of staircases with their heavy bags.

The commute from the ferry terminal to KTM Butterworth is supposed to be seamless and easy, but it was very stressful and tiring.

If Penang aims to be a developed state by 2030, it really needs to focus on improving its public transport services. While I understand public transport can be a complicated issue with many parties involved, this should be a priority for Penang.

Both the federal and state governments need to also expedite the LRT or Tram Project for Penang, as the bus services themselves cannot cover the entire Penang network.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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