GEORGE TOWN: The state government must explain why the Komtar-Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT) project was estimated to cost RM7bil last year but has now risen to RM8.4bil.
Penang MCA Youth chief Datuk Michael Lee said the new estimate meant the cost per kilometre of the LRT would be higher than the LRT3 project in the Klang Valley.
He said the 30km LRT line would cost RM280mil per km compared with RM243mil per km in the LRT3.
“The LRT3 is 37km with 2km underground and one underground station. The cost is RM9bil.”
Lee said what was more worrying was that the state announced on June 19 that the LRT and Gurney Drive-Bayan Lepas expressway had been approved at state-level and the cost of both was about RM17bil.
“That means the expressway will cost RM8.6bil. It is 19.5km long and so the cost is shockingly high at RM441mil per km,” he added.
Lee urged the state government to provide proper cost breakdown of both projects and explain the sudden increase in the LRT project cost.
The expressway and LRT are part of the Penang Transport Master Plan, touted by the state government as a “five-in-one public transport solution involving highways, LRT, monorails, catamarans or water taxis, buses, taxis and cable cars.”
It was projected to cost RM27bil in the conceptual stage after a 2011 study. Penang Transport Council chairman and state exco member Chow Kon Yeow said last month that the PTMP cost had ballooned to RM46bil after several components were added.