TRANSIT dedicates this post to stories from up north, namely Penang and the Northern Corridor Economic Region (comprising Penang, Perlis, Kedah and Northern Perak).
We find that RapidPenang has really become a leader in providing information to the public and making public transport interesting & fun.
Prasarana to build RM3m integrated terminal in Penang (Business Times) – about the proposed integrated terminal at Weld Quay.
We are happy to hear about the plans to improve the Weld Quay terminal and will keep you up-to-date with information about the renovations.
Expanded Public Transport Service
Rapid Penang to hit the roads in all NCER states (Business Times) – Rapid Penang will expand service to other states in the Northern Corridor Economic Region.
We find the idea of the expansion of RapidPenang service into the other states in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) to be an interesting one.
It certainly makes sense to have the expansion. The towns and the cities in the Northern Corridor Economic Region all focus on Penang as the manufacturing & economic centre. Hence, a well-planned transport system needs to be designed to further economic activity in and around Penang. And, yes RapidPenang should take the lead by expanding into the other states.
On the other hand, we have to ask ourselves – should RapidPenang, a government-linked company, be expanding its services into areas that already have existing public transport services? After all, public transport is not an industry that benefits from competition – it hurts more than it helps.
And frankly, is it fair for a government-linked company with financial backing from the Ministry of Finance to be competing with privately owned & operated companies?
But TRANSIT does have a solution: Instead of applying for permits with the CVLB and waiting for the purchase of new buses, RapidPenang should just enter into a joint venture with the bus companies that already operate in the Northern Corridor area.
Basically, RapidPenang would pay the companies for the use of their permits, but all the revenues collected would go to RapidPenang. There would also be service requirements and KPI that the operators would have to meet.
Instead of competing with these companies, RapidPenang would be aligning these companies to operate together for the sake of better public transport.
Penang Master Plan
Images for the Penang Master Plan can be found at the Penang government website. Below, is the transport masterplan for Penang.
We are interested to see more about the Penang Structure Plan and the transport component. There are clearly some areas that have to improve, but it is a start.
Now we just have to make sure that developers and Prasarana do not ignore the plan and do whatever they like.