Penang mulls higher parking fees
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.