Penang Port expects about 10,000 passengers will take fast boats on first day

Opalyn Mok
·2-min read
Penang Port Commission chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng (left) welcoming Hisham Mohd Radhi, (second, left) his wife, Salwani Salleh and their children after they arrived at the Sultan Abdul Halim Terminal in Butterworth January 1, 2020. ― Pictures by Opalyn Mok
Penang Port Commission chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng (left) welcoming Hisham Mohd Radhi, (second, left) his wife, Salwani Salleh and their children after they arrived at the Sultan Abdul Halim Terminal in Butterworth January 1, 2020. ― Pictures by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 1 ― The Penang Port Commission (PPC) is expecting to see up to 10,000 passengers taking the fast boats across the Penang channel on its first day of operations today.

PPC Chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said they have already recorded about 2,000 passengers between 6.30am and 10am today.

“Since 6.30am to 10am, the fast boats have already made 16 trips across the channel and transported about 2,000 passengers during that time,” he said.

He said each boat capacity is 200 passengers but due to it being a public holiday today, there were less crowds early in the morning.

“We expect to see more passengers by noon or in the afternoon,” he said.

As for complaints on the flight of staircase at the Sultan Abdul Halim Terminal for commuters to connect to Penang Sentral, Tan said a van will be on standby to transport senior citizens, the disabled and pregnant women to Penang Central so that they do not have to climb the steep staircases.

He said they will be upgrading the terminal to be an air-conditioned and enclosed terminal with proper facilities for the disabled including elevators and escalators during this interim period.

“It will be upgraded to connect directly to Penang Sentral for the convenience of commuters and we hope to complete it even before the 18 months,” he said.

The Tun Raja Uda Terminal in George Town on the island will also be upgraded to accommodate new water buses and vehicle transporters, he added.

Passengers alighting from the fast boat at Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal in George Town January 1, 2020.
Passengers alighting from the fast boat at Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal in George Town January 1, 2020.

He said the terminal will also be modernised and fully equipped with disabled-friendly facilities.

As for allegations that PPC will destroy the old ferries that have been discontinued from service, Tan said they will preserve the ferries for other usage.

“For now, Pulau Angsa is still in operation to ferry motorcycles and bicycles during this 18-month interim period before the new vehicle transporters arrive,” he said.

He said once the vehicle transporters arrived, Pulau Angsa will also be converted for other uses.

“We are still considering using the old ferries as a floating restaurant, a floating museum or even as a tourist cruise ferry,” he said.

He said PPC is open to receive any feedback and proposals from the public on what they can do with the old ferries.

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