Plan ahead to boost LRT use

Chow shaking hands with Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) members after launching the Penang International Construction Conference 2019 in Komtar.

Developers hope local authorities will look into policy changes now that Penang’s long-awaited dream of having a light rail transit (LRT) edges closer to reality.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Penang chairman Datuk Toh Chin Leong said Penang now needs long-term planning to change how the state will be run to encourage people to use the Bayan Lepas LRT.

“The council should consider reducing car park bays in the city or raising parking charges to help the ridership of LRT,” he said.

For future development, he said the council must look into giving higher plot ratios for projects along the LRT alignment while reducing car park requirements.

“We must find ways to discourage people in Penang from driving cars and choose the LRT instead.

“Another factor to sustain LRT operations is to increase the population through creating new jobs, education hubs, MMH2 and incentives for foreign ownership of property.

“Rehda fully supports the LRT plan but we foresee that the consortium, state government and city council will need to work hard to over?c?ome the challenges of making it a reality,” Toh said.

The Transport Ministry recently announced that the LRT line from Bayan Lepas to Komtar was conditionally approved.

Malaysian Hoteliers Association (MAH) Penang chairman Khoo Boo Lim welcomed the announcement? but called on the state to help expedite the creation of a larger airport as the LRT alone will not increase tourist arrivals.

The Malaysian Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Penang, said it looked forward to the materialisation? of the LRT.

“It will reduce congestion and create a new wave of growth,” said its president Datuk N. Gobalakrishnan.

?Meanwhile, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state was preparing to exhibit documents on the project for three months to get public feedback starting from the middle of next month.

“This will be the platform for the public and stakeholders to review, inspect and comment on every aspect of the project. They can give their feedback by writing in or online,” said Chow in a press conference after opening the Penang International Construction Conference at Komtar.

The locations to study the documents are the State Secretariat office in Komtar, Seberang Prai Municipal Council, Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) Penang and Apad Putrajaya.

“We will also have six mobile booths for people to study the documents at public places such as shopping malls and transportation hubs.

“The exact dates, time and venues of the public review will be announced in local major print media soon,” he said.

He said the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) website was being upgraded through a complaints management system called Pantas which will automatically update all complaints, feedback and concerns from the public.

Chow said there were “certain people” manipulating information on the project and also on Penang South Reclamation for their own benefit.

“We are not hiding any information and we urge these people to stop all their stalking and digital harassment immediately and look at the bigger picture,” he said.

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