MELAKA – The state has added a new public transport service – water taxis along Sungai Melaka.
The service, which allows passengers to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the river and escape the hassle of traffic jams, has two boats plying the waterway from Dataran Pengkalan Rama to the river mouth.
Melaka River and Beach Development Corporation (PPSPM), which operates the service, said there would be over a dozen jetties for the water taxis to serve passengers.
“The fare from one jetty to another is priced at RM1 while the full route will cost RM8,” said its chief executive officer Datuk Murad Husin.
Mr Murad said the service would be extended to Batu Hampar under the second phase of the river cruise route.
“We are facing the issue of sediment that impedes the boat movements and are working closely with the Irrigation and Drainage Department to resolve this,” he added.
Mr Murad said the water taxi service could reach up to Rumpun Bahagia jetty under the second phase and the plan was to extend the service up to the Melaka Sentral bus terminal.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Jusoh, who launched the water taxi and the new headquarters of PPSPM at Dataran Pengkalan Rama on Tuesday night, said the corporation had grown by leaps and bounds since it was established in 2005.
Mr Seri said PPSPM’s business began with a river cruise tour using only two boats.
“It now has a fleet of 40 boats. From 2006 to May 8 of this year, a whopping 13 million people have enjoyed the service. This is an outstanding achievement in 18 years,” he added.
The plan to introduce the water taxi service was first made by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Dr Mohd Ali Rustam when he was chief minister in 2011.
However, the RM130 million (S$38.6 million) rehabilitation and beautification of Sungai Melaka project hit a snag after the earlier contractor appointed by then Natural Resources and Environment Ministry failed to complete the job as scheduled in 2017.
The second phase of the project is expected to be completed by mid-2025. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK