TRANSIT caught this information in the newspaper yesterday, announcing plans for a Transport Council in the State of Penang which will help to look at transport issues within the state.
By MANJIT KAUR Monday March 9, 2009
GEORGE TOWN: A Penang Transport Council has been established to tackle the long standing transportation woes in the state. In announcing this, Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the council would be formalised in two weeks time, would look into the short, mid and long term action plans on how to improve transport problems and issues in the state.
He added that it was agreed in principle to set up the council during the state executive council meeting on Friday.
Chow said the council was an extended version of a working group on transport, established in May last year, that had presented their major findings and recommendations to him.
He said that among the issues that would be looked into were traffic congestion and poor traffic management, car parking problems, uncoordinated land use development and transport system and mega projects for infrastructure without a overall master plan.
“Since 92% of the population uses their own mode of transport, and only about 8% take public transport, we need to find ways to solve the problems of traffic congestion.
“There are various studies that had been conducted in the past, but there were no implementations, and therefore the council will look into how the research can help now.
“There will be 15 members in the council comprising of representatives from the state authorities, experts in transport planning and management from professional organisations, institutions of higher learning and research organisations, resident associations and civil society groups.
“Besides the 15 representatives in the council, six task force groups will also be set up where more non-governmental organisations and public can participate,’’ he told a press conference at his service centre in Kedah Road near here on Sunday.
The six task force groups are divided into traffic management and improvement, public transport, transport infrastructure, mega projects, transport masterplan and finance and public education.
He said under the short-term plan (within six months), the council hoped, among others, to improve the one-way systems in order to remove bottlenecks, to revitalise bicycle as a form of transport, start building bicycle lanes and to improve ferry services.
As for the mid-term plan (six months to two years) the council would follow up on activities to improve bus services such as introducing measures to discourage use of private cars, using economic instruments such as high parking charges, penalties for single driver vehicle and to introduce feeder systems to main arteries.
Chow said the suggestions in the long-term plan (two to five years) would be the implementation of the transportation masterplan, integration of different modes of transport such as monorail, LRT, ferries and buses, and to set up ‘park and ride’ points.
“The council shall receive funding from the state and other bodies so that it is possible to establish a secretariat, a website and to implement various studies and projects determined by the council,’’ he added.
On the masterplan, he said the council would, among others, review all previous traffic and transport studies, review the relevance of the Penang Outer Ring Road, look at how to maximize the second bridge including suggestion to add a rail line on it.