Catamarans get positive response

Passengers disembarking from the fast boat ferries at Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal in Butterworth. — Filepic

PENANG’S fast boat ferry (catamaran) service for pedestrians has received positive response since it was launched in January this year.

State infrastructure committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said that as of October, a total of 357,898 passengers had used the ferry.

“The service is perceived to have received encouraging response based on ridership records submitted to the state each month.

“The increase in ridership is also consistent after the state allocated fare subsidy for all pedestrians since July.

“The service has also received positive feedback from users as they are more comfortable, safer and faster compared to the old ferries,” Zairil told the state assembly here yesterday in response to a question by Muhammad Faiz Fadzil (PH-Permatang Pasir).

Muhammad Faiz had asked about the ferry’s ridership and response from users since its launch.

On Jan 1, Penang’s ferry service entered a new era by introducing two fast boats for foot passengers while one of the old ferries was maintained for two-wheelers only.

The ferry service is now under the administration of Penang Port Commission.

On a separate matter, the Penang government said it was considering building a new parking space near the Pulau Tikus market for market-goers.

State local government, housing, town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said Penang Island City Council (MBPP) was studying the suitability of having the parking space there.

“The state, through MBPP, has no plans yet to upgrade or rebuild the market but maintenance works are still being carried out from time to time to ensure that the market is operating smoothly,” he said in reply to an oral question by Lee Chun Kit (PH-Pulau Tikus).

Lee had asked if the state would consider accelerating the market upgrading works and also whether there were plans for a new parking area nearby the market.

When asked by Azrul Mahathir Aziz (PH-Bayan Lepas) who wanted to know about the construction of a market in Teluk Kumbar, Jagdeep said MBPP was in the middle of calling for Request for Proposal (RFP) to build the market and an affordable housing scheme.

“MBPP will continue to study the residents’ needs after the RFP for the Teluk Kumbar market is done,” he said.

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