GEORGE TOWN, Jan 1 ― Traders at the Raja Tun Uda Terminal in George Town will be offered small lots at Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) to continue their business, Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said today.
SPCT is the new embarkation and landing spot for the new fast boat fleet plying the Penang Channel that started its run today, replacing the iconic but ancient ferries.
“Give us two weeks to make arrangements for them and rest assured, they will be given priority for lots when the terminal upgrade is completed,” he told reporters after visiting the fast boat operations at SPCT this morning.
The terminal upgrade is expected to take 18 months.
Tan said PPSB might also consider a waiver on rental or charge a minimal fee to cover maintenance costs during the 18-month interim period pending the upgrading works at the terminal and arrival of new water buses.
He said PPSB had already approached the traders on December 18, 2020 to discuss the options available to them after the ferry operations were discontinued and foot passengers had to take fast boats from SPCT.
He said the traders were given a few options and if they wanted to move to SPCT, they might have to make do with smaller lots due to lack of space at SPCT.
“PPSB will be discussing with them again on their options so they don't have to worry,” he said.
Tan was responding to complaints by the traders that they were left hanging and uncertain on the future of their businesses for the next 18 months.
The Penang ferries stopped operations today with only Pulau Angsa continuing operations to ferry motorcycles and bicycles across the Penang channel during the interim period.
Foot passengers have been diverted to SPCT to take fast boats across the channel from today onwards while there will no longer be any vehicular ferries for four-wheeled vehicles.
New water buses for foot passengers and vehicle transporters for two-wheeled vehicles are expected to arrive and start operations from the upgraded terminals in July 2022.
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