Project Delivery Partner and Contractors
SRS Consortium is a triumvirate joint venture of Gamuda Berhad (60%), Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd (20%) and Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd (20%). SRS Consortium was appointed as the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) for the RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) projects in August 2015. SRS Consortium’s proposal comprises a staged delivery plan with a clear hierarchical public transport network starting with the Bayan Lepas LRT line, followed by subsequent rail and BRT lines in Penang Island and Seberang Perai.
It considers a more appropriate long term (50-year) timescale in arriving at the proposed transport systems while relieving the pressure on the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway by way of Pan Island Link highways across Penang Island. The proposal, besides bringing forth a solution to Penang’s traffic woes, will also uplift Penang’s economic dynamism to greater heights by reclaiming a land parcel of sufficient area for a long-term (more than 50 years) masterplanned development. It will create a new strategic commercial hub (Smart City) and diverts development pressure away from the overcrowded area surrounding George Town. Most importantly, the projects under the proposal will be independently funded by the sale of reclaimed land that belongs to the State Government.
Equally critical reason in adopting a 50-year development timeframe is because rail projects are generally considerably costly to construct and have a long (more than 100 years) operational lifespan. It would not be viable to consider a transport demand strategy that is less than 30 years considering the scale, time and hefty investment needed for construction, anticipated economic returns, as well as the exhaustive planning efforts required for the realisation of such large-scale infrastructures.
From the perspective of public transport, SRS Consortium’s proposal aims to help increase public transport modal share in Penang. In doing so, the proposal is to elevate generally lower–capacity transport systems such as trams and BRT in the PTMP strategy (Halcrow study) to higher-capacity, fully segregated modes to attract the public to convert to public transport for better comfort and convenience.
Practicality also ranked high on SRS Consortium’s proposal, due to Penang Island’s narrow and congested roads which render at-grade trams and BRT systems impractical. From an operational standpoint, constructing at-grade (on-the-road) public transport systems may otherwise lead to:
- Reduced operating speed and increased headways due to interface with existing road traffic;
- Reduction of traffic lanes (worsening traffic congestion); and
- Significant social impact.
To ensure continuous economic growth, upgrading and improvements on Penang’s existing road and highway network are also required. To this end, the proposed strategic bypass in the form of Pan Island Link highways will meet the urgent need to disperse traffic arising from existing and new infrastructures such as the Second Penang Bridge and the planned airport and industrial zone expansions. Interchange upgrades are also proposed in Seberang Perai to enable a smoother driving experience along the North-South Expressway.