Penang govt to bear all operational deficits for Komtar-Bayan Lepas LRT line

08 Nov 2019 / 20:18 H.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government will bear all operational deficits for the proposed Komtar-Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) line, which is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pix) said this was because transport infrastructure is not a profit-driven public service as almost all urban rail systems in the world are a government-subsidised public service.

“A successful rail transit model, such as in Singapore, depends on the government’s support to constantly maintain and upgrade the public transportation assets.

“As such, the Penang government will initially bear the operational deficits for the (Komtar-Bayan Lepas) LRT line,” he said when winding up the debate on the state’s Supply Bill and motion on the 2020 Development Estimates at the state assembly sitting here today.

Chow said the state government would also study and review sustainable public transport operation models, as well as the financing models for capital expenditure (Capex) and the operating expenditure (OPEX) for the LRT project.

“This is to ensure that the LRT can provide high-quality services and that its assets are well maintained and managed efficiently and safely,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the passenger forecast of 42 million for the Bayan Lepas LRT was in line with the Penang government’s goal of achieving a 40:60 ratio for public transport and private vehicle use by 2030.

“This objective will be achieved if the necessary actions are introduced during the operation in promoting the use of public transportation,” he said.

The LRT project covers a distance of 29.9km with 27 stations within Penang Island from Komtar to Bayan Lepas and three other areas on the manmade islands in the south, involving a cost of RM8 billion.

Meanwhile, the state assembly was adjourned sine die today after sitting for six days from Nov 1.

Two motions, namely on the 2020 Development Estimates and on the setting up of the State Medical Trust Account had been debated and passed, while the State 2020 Supply Bill was also tabled and debated during the sitting. — Bernama

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