GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government today said it was interested in taking over the last two open-decked ferries, provided it was given to the state for free.
“Since the Penang Port Commission (PPC) and Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) have no future plans to keep the old ferries, the state government would like to propose that these ferries be given as a gift to the rakyat,” state executive councillor Zairil Khir Johari said in a statement today.
PPC is the federal regulator looking after the state’s ports. PPSB is the licenced company operating the ports in Penang as well as the ferry services.
Zairil said if the ferries were handed over for free, the state would “plan something” to revive them.
Since Jan 1, the last two old ferries have been replaced by speedboats to ferry passengers. However, one of them is still being used temporarily to transport motorcycles.
Newer water buses and motorcycle transporters, costing RM60 million, are expected to be in operation by July 2022.
Cars can no longer use the ferries and have to take the two existing bridges connecting the mainland to the island.