The first phase of the new public transportation hub for Penang is due to open by the end of the week. The completed facility of Penang Sentral is however due by 2020.
The soft opening of the RM2.9 billion (US$692 million) Penang Sentral public transport hub will take place this coming Thursday, November 22. It has taken some eight years to build up the massive infrastructure with a surface of almost 92,000 m2. The facility integrates Penang Sentral terminal as well as offices in the first phase. In successive phases, a business hotel as well as service apartments will also open. By 2020, Penang Sentral will also become a destination on its own with a shopping mall offering 40,000 m2 of retail.
Penang Sentral is located in Butterworth, the satellite city facing Penang on the mainland, boosting the appeal of the city as a new place to live, shop and work.
The facility is similar to the one existing in Kuala Lumpur under KL Sentral. Like in KL, Penang Sentral will concentrate under a single roof all transportation options for the State.
Penang Sentral had completed its linkages to the express bus routes, the KTM rail service, the cross-channel ferry services, taxis and e-hailing services. Eventually, more connectivity will materialise with the help of the proposed water taxis which will ply the water between the area and the island. In the longer term, Penang future light railway system will also stop at the terminal.
Penang Sentral integrates also a parking lot with a capacity for 600 vehicles.
Managing director Mohd Imran Mohamad Salim of MRCB group – the company which will run the service- declared to media that the soft opening of the facility marks another milestone in the nation’s development of its transportation infrastructure. MRCB Group expects to see the transportation hub accommodating 3,000 to 4,000 passengers on a daily basis.