LRT Project in Penang to Enhance Public Transport by 2030

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The LRT Project in Penang, Malaysia is a Light Rail Transit project set to begin construction in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The First LRT Project in Penang

The Mutiara LRT line is a transit system aimed at improving traffic congestion in Penang. This project will further enhance urban mobility in the state by connecting urban and suburban areas. The light railway system will span 29 kilometers, and feature 22 stations–from Silicon Island to Penang Sentral. The project will directly link to Penang International Airport and connect with Keretapi Tana Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) commuter rail tracks, and the Electric Train Services (ETS).

As the first LRT project in Penang, the Mutiara LRT line will serve as a vital link and enhance transportation across the state. The project will target densely populated urban areas and industrial zones between the city center and Bayan Lepas. It will also boost tourism for the region and its UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Sites.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that this project would involve transit-oriented development concepts to turn LRT stations into main focal points for residential and job development.

According to Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, the Mutiara LRT line project will benefit the socioeconomic development of the residents in Penang, while it may not completely resolve traffic congestion, the project is a significant effort to address the issue.

The Mutiara Line will include 1,220 car parking spaces, and 1,315 motorcycle parking spaces, designed to be OKU-friendly. Operations for the LRT will start from 6:00 am to 12:00 am, catering to commuters around the clock.

Also Read: Penang Airport Expansion: Malaysian Government Allocates RM93 Million

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Mutiara LRT line approved by the cabinet

The Mutiara LRT line gained cabinet approval in March 2024. During the announcement, transport minister Loke Siew Fook stated that the federal government appointed the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC) as the project developer and asset owner.

The alignment starts from Penang Sentral on the mainland and travels to Macallum, the proposed first station on Penang Island. It will then pass through key areas including Komtar, Jalan Gurdwara, Solok Sungai Pinang, East Jelutong, and ends at Silicon Island. There are three components to the procurement strategy. This includes civil construction works for Segment 1, a line from Silicon Island to Komtar. Segment two will be the line from Komtar to Penang Sentral. The third segment will be a turnkey contract for system and carriage works. These three segments will ensure the project’s comprehensive development.

According to Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook, the first segment will be offered to SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd. The company is a subsidiary of Gamuda Berhad, an engineering and construction company based in Malaysia. There will be an open tender basis for the remaining two contracts.

The Penang state government introduced the Mutiara LRT project back in 2015. The Penang state government introduced the LRT project as part of the Penang Transport Master Plan or PTMP. The blueprint includes other transport system services such as a monorail, bus rapid transit (BRT), trams, water taxis, e-hailing, and ferries. The blueprint also included overall improvements to the road network and connectivity in the region.

The Mutiara LRT line will provide enhanced transportation and connectivity accessibility across Penang.

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