GEORGE TOWN, May 29 — The Penang government together with Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) are exploring a ‘low- to medium-capacity’ system for the Penang Mutiara Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) project.

State Infrastructure, Transport and Digital Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the procurement board of the Ministry of Transport will choose the type under the LRT system based on passenger projections and the state’s needs.

“When we talk about LRT, many people imagine an LRT like the Kelana Jaya LRT Line, which is a high-capacity medium which can accommodate 15,000 to 30,000 passengers per hour one way but this system is not suitable for Penang,” he said.

“We will not choose a system like the Kelana Jaya Line, it’s too high capacity for Penang. We will choose a scalable system where we can start with a frequency of approximately two-car trains so that when we want to add in the future, we can put three-car trains or four-car trains,” he said.

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Zairil said this when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks to the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Penang Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak’s speech in the state assembly sitting here today.

Commenting further, Zairil said the selection of the appropriate mode of transport will be decided in line with the projected needs of passengers and the cost of development and operation in proportion to financial ability.

He said in order to optimise infrastructure development costs, the government is considering modular construction taking into account current and future needs.

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He also said that the detailed design for the construction of the LRT actually takes into account the use of sufficient electricity resources with each station being connected to a Traction Power Substation (TPSS) which will supply electricity to the train system later.

The LRT project, comprising an estimated length of 29 kilometres, with 20 stations includes two interchange stations at Komtar Station and Penang Sentral Station, is expected to start in September or October this year.

With regard to the implementation of the National Information Dissemination Centre (NADI), Zairil said that so far three NADIs have been operating in Penang namely in Sungai Pinang, Tasek Gelugor and Taman Prestij while another 11 have been completed in Permatang Pasir, Seberang Jaya, Perai, Bukit Tengah, Machang Bubuk, Berapit, Sungai Bakap, Pengkalan Kota, Komtar, Pulau Betong and Bertam.

He said that 10 NADIs are expected to be completed on May 31 in Bagan Dalam, Bagan Jermal, Pinang Tunggal, Sungai Dua, Sungai Acheh, Air Putih, Air Itam, Bayan Lepas, Pulau Tikus and Batu Maung.

The state assembly sitting continues tomorrow. — Bernama