Kuala Lumpurs public transportation system is the most viable for Penang, state Local Government and Traffic Manage-ment Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said.
He said the state had studied various public transportation models around the world and the Kuala Lumpur one, with a separate bus owner and operator, was the most suitable option.
In Kuala Lumpur, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, a subsidiary of the Federal Government, owns the buses while Rapid KL is the one that operates them.
All the operator has to do is to operate the bu-ses, he said, in response to a question during the Penang Local Government Consultative Forum at Cititel Hotel yesterday.
Dr Teng said the Singaporean model applauded by forum participants could not be imitated as the Singapore Government itself provided all the money needed, unlike in Penang where funds had to be sourced from the Federal Government.
Penang is now trying to expedite the approval for a RM50mil soft loan from the Federal Go-vernment to buy new buses.
On the issue of taxi meter ruling, Dr Teng said Penang cabbies were getting RM1 more for the first km compared to their Kuala Lumpur counterparts who were allowed to charge only RM2.
There is no excuse for taxi drivers not to use their meters on Aug 1, he said.
Dr Teng said the state would also be setting up a natural gas vehicle (NGV) station on the island so cabbies could cut costs by switching to a chea-per fuel.
The price of natural gas is only a third of the petrol price, he added.