BUTTERWORTH, March 26 — The project to upgrade the two ferry terminals in Penang will be completed in August and will have airport-like facilities as well as cater to persons with disabilities (PwD).

Penang Port Commission (PPC ) chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said the upgrading works at the Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH) ferry terminal in Butterworth here, and Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda (PRTU) in George Town near here, were more than 60 per cent complete, which is 1.24 per cent ahead of the original schedule.

“Both ferry terminals, occupying an estimated area of 400 square metres (per terminal), are expected to be fully completed by August. The project is currently progressing ahead of schedule.

“Overall, I am satisfied with the upgrading process where more than 60 per cent has been achieved and we estimate that each terminal will be able to accommodate 300 people at a time and will be operational before National Day,” he told reporters after working visits to both terminals today.

The upgrading project began last year, among others, for easier convenience of the public in using the ferry services in the future. The new ferries will be used to carry pedestrians, motorcycles and bicycles.

Tan said when completed, both terminals will be equipped with modern and complete facilities, including a universal design to meet the needs of PwDs using the ferry services.

However, he said was unable to provide details of total allocation or the cost to upgrade the two terminals because it is a Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) project, adding that those details will be announced later by PPSB.

He said next year, five new ferries, worth RM30 million and allocated by the federal government would be used at the two terminals to facilitate foot as well as motorcycle and bicycle travel to and from the mainland to the island and vice versa.

“Based on forecast, in 2023, there will be a total of 1,643,919 passengers using the ferry services and it will increase to 1,685,430 people by 2028,” he also said.

He added that bicycles and motorcycles would record usage of between 680,000 and 711,000 units next year and in 2028, the total handling of the two-wheelers is expected to remain the same. — Bernama