Penang ferry service to be upgraded
GEORGE TOWN, July 7 — Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) plans to upgrade its ferry services by adding four more ferries to its existing fleet.
Managing director, Datuk Ahmad Ibnihajar, said the new ferries would be designed with motorcyclists and pedestrians in mind.
He said the plan was mooted in view of the second Penang bridge which is expected to be completed by August 15 next year.
“When the bridge is completed, motorists and drivers of heavy vehicles will prefer to use it rather than the ferry.
“The proposed model is different from the existing ones. It only has a single deck with a lower corridor and can accommodate 150 passengers at one time,” he told Bernama at the media appreciation night here last night.
He said the new design would enable the ferries to travel faster and therefore shorten passengers’ waiting time by 50 per cent, besides reducing maintenance costs.
Nevertheless, the project which requires a financial boost of RM50 million, needs the approval of the federal government.
“The proposal papers have been submitted and we are still waiting for the final say from them (federal government),” he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Ibnihajar blasted those who had criticised the concessionaire for failing to meet performance expectations.
“Other ports only had to deal with cargo while we have to manage six ferries that have to cross a 3.2-km channel daily from 5.30am to 1am. To make comparisons is obviously unfair,” he said.
Penang port is said to have failed to perform on par with Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas, with a mere growth of 5.8 per cent between 1995 and 2009, compared to Port Klang which progressed by 14.2 per cent annually. — Bernama