Chow wants detailed report on ferry terminal upgrade

GEORGE TOWN (Aug 26): The Penang state government has asked the relevant parties to prepare a detailed plan on the proposed suspension of the ferry services in the state for three months beginning Sept 1 for renovations and upgrading at the terminals.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pictured) said the Transport Ministry secretary-general has notified the Penang state secretary of the planned suspension to implement new ferry services, just two weeks before the suspension yesterday.

“We were informed the renovation was in preparation for the new ferry fleet which would be managed by Penang Port Sdn Bhd and not Rapid Ferry Sdn Bhd. We were informed two weeks ago that they want to close down the ferry service for three months.

“For us, it is too sudden. In view of that, the state government has requested to put on hold the plans to upgrade the ferry terminal and operations until a detailed plan is tabled,” he said in a press conference here yesterday.

He said the ministry also plans to provide bus services from Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda here to Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim, Butterworth, as an alternative round trip for three months.

Chow said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong has invited him to a meeting on Thursday to discuss the state’s transport issues, including Penang International Airport (PIA) expansion, ferry service, and Penang’s proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT). 

In a separate development, he said the state government would introduce a new CAT Bridge free bus service as an alternative mode of transport to carry passengers across the Penang Bridge from Sept 1.

Chow said the bus service would utilise 18 buses starting from 6 am to 11 pm daily during the four-month trial period until Dec 31 this year.

“The CAT Bridge will start at Blanket Hotel pick-up point in the Seberang Jaya to Megamall Penang, Jalan Baru before crossing the Penang Bridge with stops at Queensbay Mall, Bukit Jambul hub and ending at the Bayan Baru hub.

The public can give their feedback (pertaining to the CAT Bridge bus service) to the state via the ePintas system. Alternatively, the public can e-mail to [email protected] 

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