Cable cars to lift Penang tourism

The future of Penang Hill: An artist illustration of the cable car service project. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: A public transport station will be built at the lower station of the Penang Hill Cable Car project near the Botanic Gardens, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said the station would provide parking bays for public buses, tour buses and e-hailing drivers.

“There will be a carefully designed traffic management system in place.

“There is also a multi-storey parking complex,” he told a press conference at Komtar yesterday.

The event saw both Chow, who is also Penang Hill Corporation chairman, and Hartasuma Sdn Bhd executive director Tan Sri Ravindran Menon signing the concession agreement for the development of the project.

In the agreement, Hartasuma, a leading integrated rolling stock and rail services company, will own the tourist attraction concession over the next 30 years.

Chow said the signing marked an important milestone for Penang in turning the cable car project into reality.

“The project is known as one of the most environmentally sustainable and future-proof public transportation modes for terrestrial, hill resorts and urban areas.

“The cable cars run on electric power and emit very low noise pollution.

“The construction of cable cars requires minimal cutting of trees so this will not bring detrimental effects to the environment,” he said, adding that a holistic approach would be taken to ensure that the project would become a world-class attraction.

Chow said the proposed investment of at least RM245mil by Hartasuma would also include the beautification of the surrounding areas of Penang Botanic Gardens.

“The project will benefit both locals and visitors. It will significantly enhance amenities and facilities at the area for everyone’s comfort,” he said. The project is expected to be operational in three years time.

Hartasuma will partner with Austria-based Dopplemayr Group on the project.

Dopplemayr is a global market leader in the manufacture of ropeways and people movers, having built about 15,100 installations for customers in 96 nations.

The cable car system will have a capacity of 1,000 passengers per hour at a speed of 6m per second, using 43 gondola cabins. There will be 15 towers along the line and the journey from lower to upper station will take 10 minutes.

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