GEORGE TOWN: Foot passengers wishing to cross the Penang Strait can accomplish that at no cost from Jan 1 to 14 subsequent 12 months underneath a two-week free trial because the Federal Authorities launched new vessels to exchange the Penang ferries.
Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) stated the free companies will likely be given based mostly on the recommendation of Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
It additionally stated that beginning Jan 1, PPSB will proceed offering companies to hold bikes and bicycles throughout the channel utilizing the remaining previous ferry owned by Prasarana Malaysia.
In the meantime, Dr Wee stated on Fb that the 126-year-old ferry service is the oldest within the nation, as the primary cross-strait ferry service between Penang Island and the mainland, which started in 1894.
“As such, it’s plain the service carries an intangible cultural and heritage to many Malaysians, ” he stated, acknowledging that many had expressed disappointment with the choice.
He famous that the transfer is aimed toward making the ferry service safer, quicker and fewer vulnerable to unsustainable upkeep prices.
Dr Wee stated the present 47-year-old ferries must go for upkeep on common as soon as a month.
“Passenger security should be paramount and due to this fact, a thought of resolution was made to modernise the ferry fleet to keep away from undesirable incidents and inconveniences, ” stated Dr Wee.
He added that he had defined the Federal Authorities’s plan to deliver the ferry service in direction of higher heights by optimising security, sustainability and security to Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
He stated the ministry has reiterated what had been agreed in a gathering on Aug 27 in Parliament.
“As clarified by the Penang Port Fee (PPC) and PPSB on Dec 15, the modernisation part will start with introducing three (passenger-only) water buses from Jan 1,2021, to be adopted by two automobile transporters in 2022 that may carry solely bikes and bicycles.
“As acknowledged by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in Dewan Rakyat on Dec 17, a complete of RM30mil had been allotted for the modernisation, to be launched in two tranches, in 2021 and 2022, ” he stated.
As an interim measure, PPSB has leased two quick ferries solely for passenger service, whereas using the companies of the Prasarana-owned ferry for two-wheelers whereas awaiting the arrival of the 2 automobile transporters talked about earlier.
Dr Wee stated a course of will likely be initiated to hunt proposals to repurpose the present ferries into eating places, museums and/or vacationer sights to protect Penang’s distinctive historical past.