Do our population projections warrant such a massive schemes at such tremendous cost? SRS projects a Penang state population of 2.45m people by 2030 while the Malaysian Statistics Department projects 1.94m by 2040. Penang currently has negative natural population growth and the only way SRS’s projected figures can be achieved is if there is a massive net in-migration of over 50,000 people every year – something that is highly unrealistic, given in 2013 net migration was only 1,300 and in the past twenty years net migration has averaged 9,400 a year.
In response to questions in the May 2016 Legislative Assembly, YB Chow announced that the LRT line is anticipated to carry 116,000 passengers per day in its first year of operation, 2022. This would be equal to an annual ridership of 42m a year, something that is unrealistic! Assuming current tourist arrivals into Penang airport double to 12 million by 2022 and half (i.e. 6 million) use the LRT, local ridership would have to make up the 36 million trips per year. This works out to 99,000 trips per day on just this one line. Put into context Rapid Penang carries 93,000 passengers daily across 42 bus routes for the whole state, the KL monorail carries 75,000 per day and the KLIA Express service carries less than 30,000 per day.
The financial viability of a public transport system is critically dependent on its ridership and fare structure; otherwise, it ends up as a white elephant waiting to be bailed out by the people of Penang. Will our projected ridership be able to support such costly projects as the LRT and monorail?
- Get the basics right first on Penang’s transport solutionsPenang Public Transport Users Association writes back at a hit-piece recommending the government to expedite the PTMP project
- Is LRT the best transport option for Penang?Lim mah Hui suggests LRT isnt the best option for penang as it requires hefty financial support
- Penang’s coastal reclamation – costly fantasy and reality checkKhoo Salma explain the risks in such a big project like PTMP entails, and who will bear the grunt of it.