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Penang Transport Master Plan 1 (PTMP 1) is now approved. Here are 6 things you need to know


The Penang government just confirmed that it will continue with the projects in PTMP Phase 1 – You can soon hop onto a train from Penang International Airport directly to KOMTAR or take the new highway to get to Gurney Drive in 15 minutes flat.

© tang90246/rf123

PTMP is an ambitious multi-billion ringgit project by the state government to address the worsening traffic congestion on Penang island. It includes an undersea tunnel, highways, LRT and monorail lines as well as an extensive bus service statewide.

With the projects in the first phase of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) now given the green light to proceed, the Pearl of the Orient is set to scale to greater heights. The official announcement was made at a state assembly held on 9 November 2018, during which concerns on the project’s social and environmental impacts were also addressed.

Jagdeep Singh Deo, Penang’s State Housing, Local Government, Town and Rural Development Committee chairman, assured that the state government would ensure all required studies, including the Social Impact Assessment (SIA), are conducted thoroughly before the projects are implemented.

Prior to the 14th Malaysian general election, it looked as though the project will never see the light of day as Penang was under the opposition state of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), while the federal government was run by Barisan Nasional (BN). However, now that its former Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is the current Finance Minister under the Pakatan Harapan government, the project is finally gaining traction.

Here are six interesting facts on the PTMP that you should take note of:

#1 PTMP is exempted from the mega-projects review

Lim Guan Eng, the then Chief Minister of Penang launching the official PTMP website in April 2016. ©

It is interesting to note that while other mega-projects such as the East Coast Railway Line (ECRL), High-Speed Rail (HSR), Forest City, MRT Circle Line and Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT3) were put under review by the new Pakatan Harapan government, PTMP is the only project that was exempted.

This is definitely good news for Penangites and for the property market as infrastructure projects like these will further boost property prices on the main island, especially in the Seberang Perai and Batu Kawan localities.

#2 Phase 1 to comprise an LRT line and several main highways

The PTMP estimated cost is around RM46 billion and comprises:
© Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) / CBRE|WTW
a) Two LRT Lines – Bayan Lepas Line & Georgetown-Butterworth Line
b) Three Monorail Lines – Ayer Hitam Line, Tanjung Tokong Line & Raja Uda Bukit Mertajam Line (with the extension of Bus Rapid Transit northwards to Kepala Batas)
c) One BRT Line – Permatang Tinggi-Batu Kawan Line as well as extensions northwards to Bukit Tengah/Seberang Jaya and southwards to Nibong Tebal
d) Heritage Tram in the city centre.
© Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) / CBRE|WTW
a) Two Highways – Pan Island Link 1 & Pan Island Link 2 & 2A (PIL 2 & PIL 2A)
b) New Road – North Coast Pair Road
c) Two new Interchanges – Butterworth–Kulim Expressway Interchange (BKE IC) & Juru Interchange (JURU IC)
d) Missing Links and Road Upgrading  – Permatang Pasir–Perda & Bukit Minyak (Pink Line)
e) Penang Undersea Tunnel – Phases 1a, 1b, 2 and 3
Phase 1 of PTMP will comprise the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) project and several main highways.

#3 Bayan Lepas LRT line to have 27 stations 

Screen grab of the Bayan Lepas LRT line. ©

The proposed Bayan Lepas LRT line will be about 30 km in length with 27 stations running from KOMTAR to the future reclaimed islands in the south.

The line will pass through important landmarks such as KOMTAR, Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) and the Penang International Airport as well as several established and planned residential townships and employment hubs in Jelutong, The Light, Gelugor, Batu Uban, SPICE in Bayan Baru, Sg Tiram and Batu Maung.

There will be three interchange stations – KOMTAR, Sky Cab Station linking to the Sky Cab line across the Malacca Straits and The Light Station linking to the George Town-Butterworth LRT line.

The LRT Line will also be integrated with the Sungai Nibong Express Bus Terminal at the Sungai Nibong Station.

#4 Pan Island Line 1 to have 6 interchanges

Screen grab of the Pan Island Link 1 showing the 6 interchanges. ©
Meanwhile, the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1) is a new 20km highway built to alleviate current traffic congestion on the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (LCE) and adjacent arterials such as Pengkalan Weld, Jalan Masjid Negeri, Jalan Jelutong and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah.
According to the Penang state government’s website, “It is designed with six interchanges to link highly-populated areas and transport hubs on the island from the Second Bridge and the Penang International Airport all the way towards George Town, Paya Terubong, Bayan Baru, and Relau.”

The six interchanges include LCE interchange, Awang interchange, Relau interchange, Paya Terubong Interchange, Utama Interchange and Gurney Interchange.

#5 A travel time of 15 minutes

The Pan Island Link will cut through the mountainous terrain of the Penang island. © Khalil Adis Consultancy.
Upon completion, PIL 1 will be aligned along the mountainous terrain of the island. It will shorten the journey from Gurney Drive to the airport to roughly 15 minutes. In comparison, a motorist currently spends 45 minutes, under normal traffic conditions when utilising the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (LCE).

#6 Toll-free roads

Aerial view of the Second Bridge. Unlike this bridge, the Pan Island Link 1 will be toll-free. © Khalil Adis Consultancy

Good news for drivers as the 20km Pan Island Link 1 highway will be toll-free with limited points of access.

This is to ensure a smoother driving experience, speed consistency and faster travel time over the entire length of the highway.

The alignment along the mountainous terrain also avoids the possibility of congestions caused by future developments.

Funding for this project will come from the sale of reclaimed land owned by the Penang state government.

Edited by Reena Kaur Bhatt

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