Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Designated bus lane mulled....can work in Penang???

A DESIGNATED bus lane on Penang Bridge is being considered to ease traffic congestion along the Bayan Lepas coastal highway and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah on Penang island.

State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said a special task force had been set up to study the effectiveness of such a lane for high-occupancy vehicles to solve traffic woes.

“We will hold our first task force meeting on Wednesday with Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd, LLM (Malaysian Highway Authority), Frepenca (Free Industrial Zone Penang Companies Association), Rapid Penang and other relevant authorities,” he said in an interview.

He said the meeting would look into Rapid Penang’s earlier proposal to use shuttle buses and the park and ride system to ferry employees working in the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) that the state had accepted.

Chow was responding to a StarMetro report on Saturday that increasing congestion on the coastal highway was attributed to the high traffic volume and numerous factory buses entering and exiting the Bayan Lepas FIZ.

The proposal that was tabled during the traffic management committee meeting two weeks ago focuses on the concept of providing shuttle services for employees in Seberang Prai to the island from 6am to 9am.

“According to the proposal, there will be pick-up points at different parts of the island and Seberang Prai to the FIZ.

“We are looking at a few spots — the Sunway Carnival area, the Seberang Jaya expo site and a piece of land before the Penang Bridge toll plaza for employees to park their vehicles there,” Chow said, adding that the idea might be extended to George Town area should it be successful.

However, he said a study on the effectiveness of the plan would need to be conducted to see the people’s response to the concept.

“We will have to see how many employees actually need the shuttle bus service.

“It may be inconvenient for some of them who prefer greater mobility by using their own vehicles or transport to attend appointments and have lunch,” he said.

It may work at other state, but I think this idea won't work at the already congested roads here. The only way I can think of is IF they managed to widen up the road and the widen road make it into a bus lane :)

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