An alternative transit hub for George Town
The SRS Proposal
SRS have proposed a transit hub on the site Penang Heritage Arts District (see right), a 5.5 acre space at Sia Boey, next to Komtar. However, the Penang Heritage Arts District was launched in September 2015 to redevelop this area into a premier art destination in Malaysia anchored by an iconic art museum. It is unclear how these existing ideas will now be integrated with a transit hub for the elevated LRT and future monorails. However, adopting an alternative modern tram system allows us to rethink the transport hub infrastructure in George Town, and rather than displacing the Penang Heritage Arts District, a modern tram system can complement the existing plans, by better utilising the public space of Komtar Walk.
The alternative proposal with Trams
In the alternative modern tram based system, it is proposed that the line from the airport arrives over the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway elevated and then drops to grade along a 250m ramp, entering the existing Sia Boey marketplace building which can be converted into a modern tram station.
From here the line would continues at grade across Lebuh McNair into the under-utilised open public space along the front of Prangin Mall, continuing across Lebuh Lintang into Komtar Walk, where the existing temporary building structures give way to an open air transport hub, where the future Paya Terubong and Tanjung Tokong lines connect with a city centre loop.