GEORGE TOWN, April 8 — The Penang state government has plans to implement water taxis as part of its Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) but it was unable to do so without approval from the Ministry of Transport (MoT), said city councillor Nurhafiza Huda Idris. 

The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) councillor said the city council submitted an application to the MoT for an approval to implement a proposed water taxis plan on September 15 last year. 

“We have written to the ministry to consider and approve our plan to call for an open tender through request for proposal to implement water taxis in Penang,” she said. 

She explained the RFP was to obtain proposals from interested companies to prepare and operate water taxis in Penang. 

“It has been more than six months, MBPP is yet to receive any response or approval to hold any discussions on this programme from the MOT,” she said. 

She said water taxis are needed as another mode of public transport to reduce traffic congestion on the island while at the same time promote tourism activities in the state. 

“We are unable to implement this now as it is under the MOT’s jurisdiction as per the Federal Constitution,” she said. 

Nurhafiza, who is also representing Persatuan Kemajuan Nusa Pulau Pinang, called on the MoT to speed up its consideration of the application.