COMMENT | Over the past week, we have observed a renewed interest from the public regarding the debate on the SRS Consortium -proposed Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
Various concerned NGOs, academicians, consultants, park users, residents and parents-teachers associations have all spoken up en masse to highlight the lack of transparency and ineffectiveness of the SRS Transport Master Plan.
Rather than clearing the air, we have witnessed continued attempts by the Penang state government to engage in rhetoric and to suppress productive debates by labelling concerned parties as ‘spreading fake news’.
Regardless, we will continue to raise awareness on the deficiencies of the SRS Transport Master Plan directly to the public.
This article will focus on the Bayan Lepas–George Town LRT project, where the ridership projections by SRS Consortium was identified to be highly suspicious and unrealistic. These concerns, if left unchecked and unexplained by relevant authorities, could easily result in a financial scandal as will be highlighted in this article.
Ridiculous ridership forecasts for the Penang LRT
The annual ridership for the Bayan Lepas–George Town LRT that is forecast by SRS is 42 million passenger trips within its first year of operations. Such ridership figures are partially derived based on a population projection which is not supported by data from the Department of Statistics.
To give the public a better perspective of how ridiculously high this LRT ridership forecast is, comparative data on the actual ridership for other mass transits lines in different cities around the world are presented (figure below).
The metric of “annual passenger journey per person” used in this comparative study is calculated by dividing the annual passenger journey with the city population for a fairer comparison of cities with different population sizes...