Studying ways to finance LRT

Lee asked about the estimated peak period demand for the LRT line from Komtar to Penang International Airport.

The ‘fare box’ revenue will not be enough to cover the operational cost of the proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) system under the Penang Transport Master Plan, said state Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow (DAP-Padang Kota).

“The business model for the LRT operation is still being studied by SRS Consortium and the state government will be looking into the feasibility on how the operation can be financed through the letting of retail spaces, interchanges and transit oriented development.

“Fare box revenue is expected to finance only 30% to 40% of the LRT’s operational and maintenance cost so other revenues are very important,” he said.

“Among the proposals being looked into by the state government is for revenue from land reclamation to be used to finance the capital expenditure of the LRT system.”

He was replying to an oral question from Lee Khai Loon (PKR-Machang Bubuk) on the estimated peak period demand of passengers for the LRT system from Komtar to Penang International Airport in 2022.

Chow said the estimated number of passengers taking the LRT from George Town to the airport was 116,000 daily by 2023.

“The number of passengers needed is based on the business model proposal for the LRT system.

“However, the proposal will not be finalised until the Land Public Transport Commission’s approval is obtained.

“Any business model proposal will be looked into thoroughly including having a financial feasibility study or viability study for the proposed LRT system.” - The Star

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