Pe­nang mulls higher park­ing fees

New Straits Times - - Prime News -

GE­ORGE TOWN: Pe­nang will con­sider in­creas­ing park­ing charges to en­cour­age peo­ple to use the pro­posed light rail tran­sit (LRT), said state Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Traf­fic Man­age­ment and Flood Mit­i­ga­tion Com­mit­tee chair­man Chow Kon Yeow.

He said this in a brief­ing yes­ter­day on the RM27 bil­lion Pe­nang Trans­port Mas­ter Plan (PTMP), which fea­tures the use of the LRT.

He said the fee in­crease was nec­es­sary to en­sure that the pub­lic used the LRT if the pro­ject re­ceived the nod from the Land Pub­lic Trans­port Com­mis­sion.

“We may have to look into the pos­si­bil­ity (of rais­ing park­ing charges). It (the de­ci­sion) is not easy (to make).”

Chow lauded Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s de­ci­sion to in­crease the park­ing charge in the cap­i­tal to en­cour­age the use of pub­lic trans­port.

The park­ing charge in Kuala Lumpur’s cen­tral busi­ness dis­tricts has been in­creased from 80 sen an hour to RM2 for the first hour, RM3 for the sec­ond hour and RM3 for sub­se­quent hours.

Ear­lier, Chow commented on the tram pro­posal pre­ferred by civil lib­er­ties group Pe­nang Fo­rum for its al­ter­na­tive “Bet­ter Cheaper Faster” PTMP last week.

Its steer­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber, Dr Lim Mah Hui, who is also Pe­nang Is­land City Coun­cil coun­cil­lor, had said one LRT line would cost RM6 bil­lion com­pared with a tram­line, which would cost RM1.6 bil­lion.

Chow said a de­tailed study by PTMP pro­ject de­liv­ery part­ner SRS Con­sor­tium showed that a tram sys­tem was not suit­able for Pe­nang as the lim­ited road space made it im­prac­ti­cal for tracks to be laid down, adding that the road-shar­ing con­cept with ve­hi­cles would worsen con­ges­tion.

The 22km Bayan Lepas LRT Line would tra­verse the state cap­i­tal’s south­ern sub­urbs of Je­lu­tong and Gel­u­gor, and pass by Univer­siti Sains Malaysia, the town­ship of Bukit Jam­bul, the SPICE Arena and the Bayan Lepas Free In­dus­trial Zone, be­fore run­ning par­al­lel to the Pe­nang In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

The line is slated to end just south of the air­port at Per­matang Da­mar Laut in the south­east­ern end of Pe­nang is­land.

Con­struc­tion of the line is ex­pected to com­mence in 2018 and take six years to com­plete.

Mean­while, on a re­port by a scholar on the tra­di­tional Malay set­tle­ment af­fected by the LRT, Chow said only 43 houses would be af­fected by the el­e­vated struc­ture of the LRT.

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