KUALA LUMPUR: New water buses and vehicle transporters will be used to operate the Penang ferry service beginning end of next year, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Henry Sum Agong (pix) said Penang Port Sdn Bhd was in the process of implementing the new ferry service after taking over the operation last Jan 1.

“In line with the takeover by Penang Port Sdn Bhd, the use of the old ferries, which are no longer effective and safe, has been stopped to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers.

“The port authorities, namely the Penang Port Commission and the port operator, Penang Port Sdn Bhd, have planned to upgrade the port facilities and the Penang ferry operating service system,“ he added.

He said this in response to a question from RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) on steps to be taken by the federal government on the maintenance and restoration of the Penang ferry service.

Henry said during the transition period, the Penang ferry service would operate using ferries leased by Penang Port Sdn Bhd to carry passengers, comprising pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.

“With the introduction of the new ferry service, the federal government will ensure the operation remains relevant and meets the needs of consumers,” he added.