Is Gerakan serious about supporting public transport in Penang?

It was reported in Star, 20 July 2016, that the Gerakan party in Penang supports Penang Forum’s proposal for a Better, Cheaper and Faster (BCF) transport masterplan.

Whilst Penang Forum (PF) welcomes support for its BCF proposal from any and all members of public, it wishes to categorically state that PF is a non-partisan civil society network not affiliated with any political party.

We encourage any member of public, organisation or political party to support our proposal.

BCF is a citizens’ manifesto, not a partisan issue. The purpose of PF’s BCF transport plan is to carry out a critical and independent analysis of SRS Consortium’s RM46bn proposal, and to offer suggestions for a transport system that is:

(a) better – as it is more environmentally suited to Penang’s charm and heritage status, more integrated and accessible for the young, old and people who are physically disadvantaged,
(b) cheaper – to build, operate and maintain; more affordable to the public and with less financial risk to the state
(c) faster – to build with less inconvenience to the public.

The BCF blueprint takes seriously the major modes of public transport recommended in the original RM27bn Penang transport masterplan, formulated by consultants Halcrow, who mainly recommended bus rapid transit (BRT) and modern trams.

If Gerakan is serious about supporting the proposal, we request the party to use its influence within the Barisan Nasional to:

(a) push for greater decentralisation of powers over transport issues from the federal to state and local governments;
(b) get the federal government to improve bus services and assist in the introduction of BRT in both Penang Island and Seberang Perai;
(c) help in the sale and transfer of the ferry service to the state;
(d) obtain federal funding for BRT, modern trams and other sustainable transport projects in Penang.
(e) ask SPAD to conduct wide consultations with stakeholders before even giving conditional approval to the Penang state government/SRS proposal;
(f) help to moot a proposal to introduce public transport links (e.g. BRT and modern trams) across the existing Penang bridges.

Let us all irrespective of party, race or religion work for the betterment of Penang.

Penang Forum steering committee
20 July 2016

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