Trams could be back in Penang as early as 2017

28 Jul 2015 / 15:44 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: The return of trams in Penang could be a reality by 2017.
    This is because the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is set to propose it under the Land Public Transport (PAD) Act 2010 during the Parliament sitting in October.
    The amendment would augur well with the state government's plan to revive the tram service of the late 19th century until 1936.
    Under Penang's Master Transportation Plan, the state administration applied to the federal government for licences to run the tram services last year, as an alternative to LRT or monorail, that is not in compliance with Unesco's requirement in preserving George Town's historical sites.
    However, for the past couple of years the plans for tram services by historical cities Penang and Malacca, have been held up as the federal government needed to put the appropriate legislation in place first.
    SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal told theSun there is no provision in the current law on the pedestrian-friendly tram service in the country.
    "For trams to be in service, it requires amendment to the relevant laws since trams share the same space on the roads with other vehicles. On our part, we are proposing an amendment to the PAD Act to accommodate the request by the local councils," he said.
    Nur Ismal said tram is a unique mode of transportation unlike LRT, monorail and other rail services.
    "Unlike monorail, you can just walk in or get on the tram on the street level. It is low-floor, ideal and much easier to take the trams. It can transport many people for short distances such as in the central business district (CBD) or city centre," he said.
    Stating that SPAD welcomes local council's effort to initiate tram services, he added: "It must also use technology that is proven to be safe, reliable and efficient."
    In 2011, Malacca government had proposed to build 40km tramways that would run on eco-green tram with NGV engine, covering 11 out of 14 tourist spots, from Ayer Keroh toll plaza to the Heritage Town of Malacca and later, to be extended to Alor Gajah, Merlimau, Jasin, Durian Tunggal and Masjid Tanah.
    It is learned that Kuala Terengganu City Council has also outlined tram service as part of its local plan to boost tourism.
    Earlier this year, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor voiced out the intention to introduce trams in KL's CBD in responsed to theSun's exclusive report on SPAD's proposal to introduce 'tuk-tuk' or motorised tricycle in suburban areas by year-end.

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