Penang mulls subway system instead of monorail

Penang is mulling the idea of building a subway system as a long-term solution for its traffic and flooding problem, instead of the elevated monorail project mooted by the federal government.

"The final say on this matter, however, rests with the federal government, since the monorail is a project which is to be financed by the federal authorities," Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said.

He was speaking to reporters after chairing his second state executive council meeting in George Town yesterday.

Lim said he realises that an underground transportation system will cost at least three times more than the monorail system.

The chief minister, who received a courtesy call on Tuesday from Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) officials, said he was briefed on the monorail project.

"The parties involved in the monorail project said that they are unable to secure financing for a subway system," Lim said.

MRCB, together with Penang Port Sdn Bhd and Scomi Engineering Bhd's subsidiary, Scomi Rail Bhd, have jointly bid for a monorail project on the island.

In January, Syarikat Prasarana Negara (SPNB) issued a letter of intent to the consortium for the monorail job. The monorail is said to comprise two lines measuring 25km.

The first route proposed is between the Penang International Airport and George Town, while the second line will be from George Town to Tanjung Bungah. - By Business Times

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