After ferries, Penang to have water taxis?

The Penang government also wants the ferry services to be improved. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government is planning to work with federal agency Prasarana Malaysia Berhad to boost water transportation in the state.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state is blessed with a few hundred kilometres of waterfront, but it was not fully utilised.

“We are looking to work with Prasarana to introduce water taxis or catamarans in the state. We also have these components in the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

“Prasarana is an ideal strategic partner. It is a federal agency, and comes with the blessings of the federal government,” he said today.

Chow had raised the issue while debating the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He said the state government would be happy to share information on the feasibility studies for water transport services implemented by the state before this.

The Tanjong MP expressed hope that the federal government, apart from considering the services of water taxis or catamarans, would also look into improving the ferry services.

He said the state had discussed with the transport ministry in early 2016 to take over the ferry services.

“However, after scrutinising several documents and additional information, we have decided to delay the decision on taking over the management and ferry operations,” he said.

The ferry services now come under Prasarana, with its operations carried out by Rapid Feri.

“Even though  several improvements were carried out, the ferry services have not improved. The number of ferry journeys remain the same as under the previous management.

“We hope for greater cooperation to overcome this problem and to bring back the glory days of the ferry services,” he added.