WHILE foot passengers at the moment are happy to journey throughout the Penang channel in quick boats, motorcyclists too are grateful that one iconic ferry continues to be retained to supply the same service.
Rela (Volunteer Corps) member Selvarajah Ramanmayandi, 66, is grateful that he can nonetheless journey again dwelling to Paya Besar, Kulim, utilizing the ferry service.
“I ended utilizing Penang Bridge after one unhealthy expertise after I was nearly thrown off my bike on the mid-span.
“The crosswinds are very harmful and even these younger motorcyclists have issues coping with the winds at instances, particularly when it rains.
“As of late, it’s a lot simpler to simply look ahead to the ferry and take a quiet and leisurely journey dwelling after disembarking from the ferry in Butterworth, ” mentioned Selvarajah when met on the Raja Tun Uda ferry terminal lately.
Goh Lun Tong, 58, who works at a plating firm in Chain Ferry Highway on the mainland, says it’s handy for him to take the ferry to work.
“If I am going through the Penang Bridge, I should journey from my place in Jelutong and go by Prai to get to Chain Ferry Highway.
“The bridge is all the time busy within the morning and I positively don’t wish to be caught within the gridlock.
“I’ve been travelling by ferry for the previous 20 years and I hope the long-lasting ferry service can be retained for motorcyclists like me.”
Muhamad Tahir Mat Taib, 56, mentioned he travels together with his spouse from Kulim to go to his mom on the island each week.
“As we have to journey quick, it’s harmful to trip on the bridge with a pillion rider, particularly when it’s windy.
“We choose to take a gradual trip on the Butterworth Kulim Expressway and later take the ferry which is snug and stress-free, ” he mentioned.
Beginning Jan 1, Penang’s ferry service is seeing a brand new period of effectivity and reliability through two quick boats for foot passengers, whereas one of many previous ferries is used for two-wheeler automobiles solely.
From 6.30am to 11pm, there’s a journey each 20 to 30 minutes, as much as 27 spherical journeys per day.
That is the interim section till June 30 subsequent yr whereas the ferry terminals are being upgraded and hi-tech water buses and vehicular ferries are being constructed.
The primary cross-strait ferry service began in 1894, making it the oldest such service within the nation. The fleet has been changed many instances through the years.
Steamships of varied sizes have been first used and after WWII, even military tank touchdown crafts of the Allied Forces have been modified into ferries.
The earlier fleet of boxy, double-deck previous ferries have been commissioned between 1971 and 2004.
The only ferry of the final fleet can be in use for the two-wheelers as a result of many motorcyclists choose to keep away from utilizing Penang Bridge throughout unhealthy climate to keep away from crosswinds.