GEORGE TOWN, Sept 5 — The state government here is planning to set up an umbrella body called the Digital Penang Corporation (DPC) to coordinate its various smart city initiatives, said exco member Jagdeep Singh Deo.

The local government, housing and town and country planning committee chairman said the move was timely as Penang was now at advanced stages of implementation for several of these initiatives.

“Now these initiatives are being implemented by different agencies, by the public works committee under Zairil Khir Johari, by the respective local councils, so we need to streamline all these efforts and put it under one umbrella body,” he said at the launch of a pilot smart bus stop project here.

He said the state exco already approved of the PDC several months ago.

However, he said its formation will require a new enactment to be legislated by state lawmakers.

“We hope to table it for approval at the Penang legislative assembly in November, but if we can’t make it in time, we will look at other ways to set it up first,” he said.

He said other interim measures include establishing the PDC as a private entity first.

He said the DPC would be able to tie together the state’s smart city projects and serve as a hub for the various agencies implementing such projects.

“We hope to take our smart city initiatives to a higher level through the DPC,” he said.

Earlier, at the launch of the smart bus stop at Jalan Sungai Dua, Jagdeep said this is the second such installation in the state but5 the first on the island.

The smart bus stop project is fully funded and installed by Edotco Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Jagdeep said it is a trial run to evaluate at its effectiveness before wider adoption.

“We have a total 1,729 bus stops in the state and if this is effective, we may consider expanding this to other bus stops,” he said.

The first smart bus stop was installed at Jalan Tenggiri in Butterworth in May.

He said the trial run for the two smart bus stops will be for a period of six months.

After the trial run, the system will be reviewed before the state makes a decision on whether to introduce it to other bus stops.

The smart bus stop features elements such as CCTV with analytics, Wi-Fi, phone charging services, solar panels, a digital board on the bus route and a panic button linked to the city council’s intelligent centre in Komtar and the police.

He said if the project proved successful, the state will then call for a request for proposal to implement the project.

“I have instructed both local councils to identify hotspots that needed this smart bus stops, in strategic locations, as we can’t be turning all 1,729 bus stops in the state into smart bus stops,” he said.

Edotco Malaysia’s managing director Wan Zainal Adileen Wan Puteh said the two smart bus stops are fully funded by the company.

“We will need to look at the success rate and optimise it as we go along while working with partners such as telco companies, the local councils and other companies,” he said.

He said they do not have the full costs of the smart bus stops yet.