More free bus rides from April 1

GEORGE TOWN: Forty-six buses will be plying areas in Penang not covered by Rapid Penang starting from April 1.

And the rides will be free.

Called Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT), it will supplement the two existing free bus service programmes, the Central Area Transit which began in 2008 and Bridge Express Shuttle Transit launched in 2011.

State Transport Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said CAT would provide the shuttle service to every part of the island and mainland.

Island route: A map showing the number of buses and estimated travel frequency for the island under the CAT free shuttle service.

He said in a press conference that the service from 6am to 10pm daily would act as a feeder bus service linking commuters to main bus routes.

The routes identified for the service are George Town, Tanjung Tokong, Sungai Dua, Bayan Baru, Ayer Itam and Balik Pulau.

On the mainland, the routes being planned are Bertam, Bukit Mertajam, Simpang Empat, Nibong Tebal, Seberang Jaya and Batu Kawan.

He said the service was being introduced to encourage public transport use to reduce congestion on roads.

Seberang Jaya route: A map for the Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT) free shuttle service coverage in Seberang Jaya.

Chow said the buses would be plying essential routes which has hospitals, schools, government departments, shopping complexes and markets.

The state government, said Chow, would spend RM15mil on the service, jointly run by Rapid Penang with 46 buses initially.