Penang Transport Master Plan (2016 official SDS version)

State Government’s announced “Big Bang” approach to a “Holistic” Penang

PtMP - SDS - CMHolistic approach

The full content of the official Penang Transport Master Plan (SDS version) as available on 27 June 2016 is reproduced here for the convenience of our international visitors interested to follow progress . As indicated this is considered by local government as a living document, subject to extensions and updates. For the latest version of this document:

Any TMP development and update will be uploaded in this website. In line with CAT principles – competency, accountability, transparency – the website will serve as an intermediary between the State and the people in realising the implementation of the TMP. – Honourable Dato’ Seri Farizan Bin Darus, Penang State Secretary

Here are some of the images that appear in government documentation in support of the project, whose thematic title is “Moving people, not cars” and referred to by local government as their Big Bang approach to solving the traffic and mobility challenges of this small but booming  Southeast Asian city.

Foreword By Right Honourable Lim Guan Eng

The State Government takes issues on road congestion and public transport system in Penang seriously since it was voted into office in 2008. It has embarked on an initiative to conduct a comprehensive study, the Penang Transport Master Plan (TMP) regarding the current state of the transport system and traffic in May 2011.

Penang continues to face major problems – the 3Cs viz. crime, cleanliness and congestion. These problems have compounded due to the influx of investors and tourists to the state. In 2008-2014, Penang recorded an investment of RM48.2 billion compared to only RM24.9 billion in 2001 – 2007. This twofold increase in investment has subsequently contributed to the rise in the number of tourists both local or overseas that choose Penang as a preferred tourist destination.

It was noted that the target of 6.5 million tourists set to be achieved in 2020 by the Penang International Airport (LTAPP) was reached ahead of time – in 2015. This shows that Penang is a popular destination for tourists. As such, the State Government decided to carry out the TMP in tandem with the state motto of “Moving People Not Cars”.

Moreover, the Federal Government did not fulfill its promise to build the LRT system despite three appeals made. The TMP with the LRT system proposed under the Federal Government is different from the present plan. The TMP covers the entire island of Penang whereas the former is not focused on the island, but covers areas in the mainland like Butterworth, Seberang Perai, Seberang Jaya, Bukit Mertajam and Batu Kawan.

At a whopping cost of almost RM27 billion, the TMP does not only serve as a catalyst for economic growth but also unites both the people living on the island and mainland.

Penang will implement three (3) mega projects which include the construction of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) together with Project Delivery Partner (PDP), SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd; the construction of the Seabed Tunnel with Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd and the construction of the Sky Cab with MRCB Berhad. The three projects will be carried out based on the principles of CAT i.e. efficiency, accountability and transparency.

The TMP will help facilitate achievement of the state’s aim of 40% usage of public transportation by 2030. This will also ensure a sustainable and high quality transportation system that fulfills the needs of the commuters. If the projects are carried out successfully by all parties including the Federal Government and Land Public Transportation Commission (SPAD), Penang will become an icon and exemplary city in the eyes of the world.

Other Forewords by state officials.

Summary: All you need to know about the Master Plan

# # #

What is Transport Master Plan?

In its endeavour to create a highly liveable, economically vibrant and socially inclusive community in Penang, the Penang State Government has identified three major concerns that need to be addressed – Crime, Cleanliness and Traffic Congestion.Through continuous efforts, significant progress has been achieved in reducing crime, improving public safety, and in upkeeping a clean, comfortable environment.

Nevertheless, traffic congestion still remains a primary concern exacerbated by the dynamics of economic growth and influx of tourists to our vibrant heritage city – a case of the State becoming a victim of its own success.To meet the challenges ahead, the State commissioned a Transport Master Plan Strategy Report with an aim to improve the State’s present transport system by adopting a balanced approach for public transport and highway improvements.

The central premise of the State’s strategy is simple – which is to “move people, not vehicles”. The strategy report, a collaborative effort with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) was conducted by Halcrow and published in 2013. It offered transport improvement to be implemented in the short term (2013-2015), medium term (2015-2020) and long term (2020-2030) horizons.For highway projects recommended in the transport strategy, the adopted approach involved a land swap model to construct three new highways in Penang Island and a third undersea tunnel project to be carried out by Zenith-BUCG Consortium.

To further enhance connectivity between the island the mainland, there is a proposal by Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) for a cable car project linking Penang Island with the new transport hub in Seberang Perai, called Penang Sentral.The sea tunnel and cable car connections are two of the five links that will connect Penang Island and the mainland, with the other three links consist of the two existing Penang Bridges and the proposed George Town-Butterworth LRT line.

The State has taken a pragmatic approach to the PTMP’s proposed integrated public transport system with a central ambition to actively influence mode shift from private to public transport.SRS Consortium’s proposal in answering the State’s Request for Proposal (RFP) which began from August 2014 till February 2015, encompassed a holistic and integrated public transport and road network to cater to future travel demands in the next 50 years.In solving Penang’s transport problems, SRS Consortium’s proposal will also deliver significant economic and employment benefits to Penang in a sustainable manner through the creation of reclaimed islands in the southern coast of Penang Island.

Project Company
Public Transport 

  1. Bayan Lepas LRT
  2. Ayer Itam Monorail
  3. Tanjung Tokong Monorail
  4. Raja Uda – Sg Nyiur – Bukit Mertajam – Permatang Tinggi  Monorail
    – Extension (BRT) northwards to Kepala Batas
  5. Tram
SRS Consortium

Project Delivery Partner


  1. Pan Island Link 1
  2. Pan Island Link 2 & 2A
SRS Consortium

Project Delivery Partner


  1. North Coast Pair Road
SRS Consortium

Project Delivery Partner

Interchange (IC)

  1. Butterworth – Kulim Expressway (BKE IC)
  2. Juru IC
SRS Consortium

Project Delivery Partner

Missing Links and Road Upgrading

  1. Permatang Pasir- Perda
  2. Bukit Minyak
SRS Consortium

Project Delivery Partner


1. Permatang Tinggi – Batu Kawan line.

-Extension northwards to Bukit Tengah / Seberang Jaya
-Extension southwards to Nibong Tebal

SRS Consortium

Project Delivery Partner

Penang Undersea Tunnel

  1. Phase la
  2. Phase lb
  3. Phase 2
  4. Phase 3

Special – PurposeVehicle (SPV)

Sky Cab Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB)

# # #

Penang Transport Council

State Transportation Council or the Penang Transport Council (PTC) was established in 2009. The proposal of establishment for PTC approved by the Executive Council on 27 May 2009 and ratified on 3rd June 2009.The original establishment of the PTC is to tackle the problem of traffic congestion in the State Penang which involves three (3) states that the main challenge Cleanliness, Congestion and Crime. In addition, PTC also serves to give technical advice on the basis of traffic and transport management in Penang.

Council members are appointed by the Chairman of PTC with the concurrence of the Chief Minister. PTC chaired by State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation and council members made up of government officials and also of NGOs. The main achievement of PTC is production of Penang Transport Master Plan which has been used as an official document of the State on March 23, 2013.

Now, the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) Penang are in the process of implementation in which the tender Request for Proposals (RFP) to appoint the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) is in the valuation stage. Along the Transport Master Plan (TMP) Penang, PTC role will be to act as the official forum for the departments and agencies as well as individuals who have been appointed to ensure the implementation of the PIP is on track as the will of the State. PTC is one of the State Government platform connected directly to the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) appointed for the implementation of the TMP.

PTMP in brief

 PTMP will be the key solution to meet the expected increase in travel demand in Penang over the next 50 years (2015 – 2065) from higher employment and investments, population growth and the booming tourism industry.

Why does Penang need it?

 The PTMP is key to enhancing Penang’s economy, attractiveness and liveability. It is envisioned to change the transportation and housing landscape of Penang, upgrade public transport system and improve connectivity and accessibility. It also helps to: • Reduce major traffic issues in Penang • Lower travel expenses • Reduce journey time • Create job opportunities • Offer various modes of transport Without improvements to the current public transport infrastructure, road congestion will continue to deteriorate as Penang’s population increases. This will impact travel time and the overall quality of life in Penang.

What are the components proposed by SRS Consortium under the Penang Transport Master Plan?

When will the project construction begin and will it be done simultaneously?

 The Bayan Lepas LRT and Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) are deemed as priority projects and major works are targeted to commence as early as 2017.

What is the total cost of the project?

 RM27bil is the initial estimation of the project cost. However, the actual cost will only be known once the PDP undertakes the detailed design and completes the tender process.

How will the project be funded?

 The PTMP projects are proposed to be financed by the sale of reclaimed islands in the southern coast of Penang Island. The Penang State Government claims full ownership of the reclaimed land and will carry out tenders to sell the land in the open market.

Will the PIL1 highway be a tolled highway?

 Similar to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, Penangites will continue to enjoy toll-free access to the PIL1 highway.

Which roads will be closed during construction?

 The construction elements will be determined through the design stage. A proper traffic management plan will be put in place to ensure efficient movement of traffic and help minimise traffic disruption.

Will the heritage site be affected?

 We recognise and value the importance of World Heritage Sites as some of the most unique places in the world because of the range of natural or cultural features and values that have stood the test of time. To ensure the conservation of the special characteristics and unique forms of architecture, culture and cityscape of the buildings in the George Town World Heritage Site, the proposed Bayan Lepas LRT and future transit lines will accordingly be aligned around the perimeter of the heritage site and buffer zone. In compliance with the heritage guidelines, the tram line within the World Heritage Site will be at-grade (on ground).

How does the proposed transport network improve connectivity?

 The proposals by SRS Consortium, Zenith-BUCG Consortium and Malaysian Resources Corp Berhad (MRCB) form a collective and holistic transport network that aims to improve integration with existing and future infrastructures and developments that are underway, while incorporating a clear hierarchical approach in terms of delivery. The identified corridors in the proposed projects will result in comprehensive transport coverage across both the island and the mainland. Among the key considerations made in the proposed transport network are critical high-density residential, employment and commercial areas to ensure the highest catchment and ridership. Importantly, while mass rail transit will form the major backbone for public transport in Penang in the coming decades, it will be well supported by a strong network of feeder buses to improve accessibility within the immediate catchment of the respective stations.

How many property acquisitions will take place?

 Studies are currently been conducted to identify the amount of property lots and tenants whose properties will be needed for this project. We will work closely, sensitively, and respectfully with all affected tenants and property owners throughout the acquisition process. We will also be engaging with people whose properties will not be required for the project, but will be affected by its construction. Studies are currently been conducted to identify the amount of property lots and tenants whose properties will be needed for this project. We will work closely, sensitively, and respectfully with all affected tenants and property owners throughout the acquisition process. We will also be engaging with people whose properties will not be required for the project, but will be affected by its construction.

How will the tender process for Work Package Contractors?

 In line with the procurement guidelines, a competitive tender process will be carried out in an objective and transparent manner.

I want to give my feedback on the LRT and PIL1 alignment, how can I do that?

There will be several avenues to share feedback and suggestions including the feedback form available in this website, during ongoing public engagement sessions, as well as during the public display period that will be announced at a later date.

# # #

Other sources of information and references on TMP

  —  27 June 2018. To be updated. Stay tuned.  –

This set of references in support of the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility project, and in particular the component involving civil society participation in determining the future of Penang’s transport/mobility system, has been carefully pieced together over the last two years, in response to a system on the part of the government that was providing little information to support citizen enquiries into the program which is also referred to by them as the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).


  1. Halcrow reports library  –  (13 items)
  2. EcoPlan reports – (13 items)
  3. Useful references –  (61 items)
  4. Future visions of Penang – (11 items)
  5. S/P Open Forum archives – (7 items)
  6. Sustainable Penang Classics – (15 items)


  1. 2013 Transport Master Plan –
  2. Highway Plan (May 2013) –
  3. Institutional Plan (April 2013) –
  4. Overarching Strategy –
  5. Overview of existing conditions –
  6. Penang Accessibility Plan –
  7. Pubic consultation report –
  8. Public Transport Plan report –
  9. Recommended Transport Master Plan Strategy –
  10. Survey report (2011) –
  11. Water Transport report –



  1. Penang State Transport Master Plan –
  2. PTMP: Government’s response to NGO Statement –
  3. SRS documentation – Promised and to be posted as soon as we have it.
  • If you would like to join the Sustainable Penang 24/7 Open Forum discussions, please drop a line to the organizer, Dr. Thean-Heng Lim at

Questions, suggestions:

Contact Eric Britton, E.  T. +336 5088 0787   S. newmobility

# # #

About the author:

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | | #fekbritton | | and | Contact: | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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