The First LRT Project in Penang to Help Ease Traffic Congestion upon Completion

A view of George Town, Penang; image by TIAM SEONG YEW/Vecteezy

The Light Rail Transit (LRT) Mutiara Line project in Penang is set to start construction in the fourth quarter this year and to be completed by 2030, following approval from the Cabinet for its development proposal in March 2024.

The first such transit system in the state aims to alleviate travel costs and prolonged commutes faced by road users. To this end, the LRT route of approximately 29 kilometres will provide 20 stations, together with two interchange stations to serve Komtar on the island and Penang Sentral on the mainland respectively. It will be linked to present Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) rail tracks to facilitate interstate commuting.

As the project is being undertaken by the Federal Government, the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, fully owned by the Minister of Finance (Incorporated), has been appointed as both the developer and asset owner. Its procurement components include the following:

  • a civil construction contract for Silicon Island-to-Komtar line, which has been offered to SRS Consortium;
  • a civil construction contract for Komtar-to-Penang Sentral line; and
  • a contract for turn-key systems and rolling stocks.

The rolling stock depot will be integrated in a transit-oriented development at Tapak Pesta of Sungai Nibong while Silicon Island, a reclamation project started in September 2023, has been proposed as an additional depot site.

The LRT development is a first of several initiatives outlined in the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), as Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow remarked during a media conference in April 2024. The blueprint itself comprises multiple transport services—covering elevated LRT; monorail; bus rapid transit (BRT); trams; water taxis; e-hailing; and ferries—complemented by measures to improve road network and overall connectivity. —Construction+ Online

Sources: Buletin Mutiara, Navigating Penang’s traffic woes; Buletin Mutiara, 1 to 15 May 2024 Edition; Buletin Mutiara, Historic visit to Silicon Island; Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) وان ایکس بت بت فوروارد