The Penang state government wishes to clarify certain misconceptions printed by the by the press (e/c)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 20.4.4015.

The Penang state government wishes to clarify certain misconceptions printed by the by the press about the proposed Sky Cab, Light Rail Transit(LRT) or Mass Rail Transit(MRT). Both the LRT and MRT are not linked to the Sky Cab, a cable car proposal initiated by the state government with the operator of the RM2.5 billion Penang Sentral in Buttterworth. Penang Sentral has been identified as the Northern Corridor Public Transport Hub.

Both the LRT and MRT are key components of the RM27 billion Penang Public Transport Masterplan, a “big-bang” approach to resolve our communication woes and traffic congestion once and for all, involving both road, rail, sea and land. The key element of the Public Transport Masterplan is to “move people, not vehicles”.

The Penang Public Transport Masterplan was born out of frustration with the Federal government for refusing to fulfil on their promise, made three times over the last 8 years, to build a LRT/MRT. When the Federal government repeatedly refused to fulfil their promises, the state government had then written to the Federal government to seek approval to do the LRT/MRT on our own, through self-financing without relying on any federal funding. Unfortunately, there was no response.

A Request for Proposal(RFP) by open tender to select a Project Delivery Partner(PDP) for the Penang Public Transport Masterplan, closed on February 16, 2015. The PDP is responsible for drawing out the framework of the entire network, set out the financial architecture to fund the project, secure the license from the Federal government as it is a form of public transport, and assist in conducting open tenders for the contractors. Presently, the Penang state government is evaluating those who submitted bids to be appointed the PDP.

Under the proposed Public Transport Masterplan, the LRT/MRT would connect the island and the mainland. It is not true that the LRT/MRT line is only on the island. All 3 districts on the mainland has already been identified as part of the network from Bagan Ajam in Seberang Perai Utara(SPU) to Seberang Perai Tengah before ending in Batu Kawan in Seberang Perai Selatan. If successful, the estimated time for full completion would be 2030.

Therefore there is a need to have some medium-term alternatives whilst waiting till 2030, for the long-term Public Transport Masterplan with its LRT/MRT components to be completed. One of the medium-term alternatives is the cable-car Sky Cab, a five-in-one for the Penang Sentral which would have buses, taxis, rail, sea and air(Sky Cab).

The Sky Cab was not a component of the Public Transport Masterplan because Penang Sentral was the landing point identified on the Seberang Perai side, with Gat Lebuh Nordin on the island side. The Sky Cab proposal, could not be initiated until the Penang Sentral project was confirmed. Only when work had begun last year on Penang Sentral, could the planning of the Sky Cab project commence.

Further, the Sky Cab is considered either a “soft” public transport mode or a tourism product because it will take only a maximum of 10 passengers per cable car. In other words, there is no need to apply for regulatory approvals from the Transport Ministry.(it is not a light public transport like the LRT) However there is an urgent need for an alternative form to the ferry service, of “soft” public transport mode. The standard of ferry service has been disappointing, with each journey taking at least half an hour.

The Sky Cab can be an alternative even though it is a soft public transportation mode because each journey would take only 15 minutes. Penang Sentral had estimated completion by 2018. The state government hopes that the Sky Cab can be self-financing. Again it is untrue that there are plans for land reclamation to finance the project. Any land reclamation would be minimal to build the cable-car station or car parks.

LIM GUAN ENG

槟州首席部长林冠英于2015年4月20日在乔治市光大发表文告:

针对建议中的“空中德士”、轻快铁或地铁在平面媒体上出现部分误解的情况,槟州政府现欲予以澄清,事缘轻快铁及地铁并未和空中德士连接,有关建设缆车的计划乃由槟州政府和槟城中环广场的营运者合作。而位于北海的槟城中环广场是北马走廊计划里的公共交通枢纽,预计耗资25亿令吉。

至于轻快铁及地铁,则是槟政府耗资270亿令吉的槟州公共交通大蓝图中,所提出一揽子纾缓交通问题的其中两项重要元素。该一揽子计划涵盖道路、轨道、海面等部分,借以贯彻大蓝图的主要精神,即“移动人群,而非交通”。

联邦政府过去8年来三度出尔反尔,说好为槟州带来轻快铁或地铁,但至今仍遥遥无期。职是之故,槟州公共交通大蓝图因应而生,但,就算我们写信予相关单位,表明我们愿意自行承担轻快铁或地铁的费用,惟对方还是不愿给予回应。

较早前,州政府透过公开征求企划书的方式寻求槟州公共交通大蓝图的交付伙伴(Project Delivery Partner,PDP),而有关公开征求企划书的活动已于今年2月16日结束。该交付伙伴必须绘出整个联络网的框架、订定计划的金融架构、向联邦政府取得通行证,和以公开招标的方式选择承包商等。目前,槟州政府正进入评估企划书的阶段。

建议中的公交大蓝图,轻快铁或地铁计划将连接槟威两岸,而非单独建设在槟岛之上。威省三县全在轻快铁或地铁的路线之上,即从威北的峇眼亚占路经威中,终点则在威南的峇都加湾。若一切顺利,整个工程会在2030年完成。

因此,在等待2030年完成轻快铁或地铁在内的公共交通大蓝图长期目标之前,需要有交替方案的中期目标。其中一个中期目标交替方案就是空中德士,作为槟城中环广场的巴士、德士、火车、海运及空运(空中德士)其中一环。

空中德士并不在槟州交通大蓝图的一环,因为是以槟城中央广场作为着陆点,连贯槟岛港仔尾(现红灯角对面地段)。一直到去年槟城中央广场开始动工,空中德市计划才开始。

况且,空中德士被认为是“软性”交通工具或旅游产品,因为它只能乘载最高10名乘客。换言之,空中德士不需要经过交通部的批准。(其不同于轻快铁之类的交通工具)。无论如何,如今迫切需要一种与渡轮服务交替的“软性”交通工具。目前渡轮服务水准让人失望,每趟必须耗费半小时。

虽然空中德士乃软性交通工具,但它仍能作为交替的交通工具,因为它每趟只需15分钟。槟城中央广场当局已经预料其将可在2018年完成。再次重申,关于空中德士是以填土作为融资条件是不确实的指控。只有少许填土工程,作为空中德士的缆车站及停车场。

林冠英

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