PSM man moots congestion charge to ease Penang traffic

Opalyn Mok
PSM central committee member Choo Chon Kai says the Penang government should impose a fee on motorists driving during peak traffic hours to reduce the state’s chronic congestion. ― Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 28 — The Penang government should impose a fee on motorists driving during peak traffic hours to reduce the state’s chronic congestion, said a Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leader said.

PSM central committee member Choo Chon Kai claimed this would also reduce the need for highways.

“The Penang government should make an unpopular choice to manage the congestion by penalising those who use private vehicles so that there are fewer cars on the road,” he said.

He also suggested permanent bus lanes be created instead of building a light rail transit (LRT).

“There might not be enough riders for the LRT in the long run but with more bus lanes and frequency, people will be more motivated to take the bus instead of driving,” he said in a press conference today.

He said the majority of road users during peak hours were work commuters and could be encouraged to stop driving daily if a better bus network is in place.

Choo added that another highway would exacerbate instead of alleviate traffic jams in Penang as it would cause more people to drive.

He said the state government should  consequently scrap the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) project, which involved building a highway connecting the northern part of the island to the southern part of the island.

PIL1 is part of the state government’s ambitious RM47 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

Non-governmental organisations and residents associations have objected against PIL1 and demanded that PTMP be reviewed.

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