GEORGE TOWN, May 30 — The implementation of Penang’s first light rail transit (LRT) project is expected to commence earlier, now that the federal and state governments have agreed to build an LRT depot on existing land on the island, as opposed to the previous plan to construct it on the reclamation island under the Penang South Island (PSI) project.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said both parties are currently studying several matters which need to be finalised, such as the location of the depot, which will involve either Penang Development Corporation land or federal government land.

“There are two to three areas which are being looked at and once they are finalised, we expect the tender for the construction of the first phase of the project to be called by the end of the year,” he said in a press conference with Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, here today.

Advertisement

Loke was on a working visit to the state to inspect the LRT station construction site.

He said that the government hoped the project could start immediately, considering that the construction period of the project could take five years.

“According to the previous plan, the first phase LRT route should start at the Penang International Airport and end at Komtar, but the MRT Corp feels it is more appropriate if it is connected to Tanjung Bungah.

Advertisement

“The first phase will involve 27 stations along 29 kilometres. All of it will be elevated,” he said, adding that for the next phase, the government hopes to extend the project to Butterworth and Kepala Batas.

In terms of financing, he said that the project will be included in the federal government’s development expenditure, or MRT Corp will issue bonds. — Bernama