Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) plans to conduct a study to assess the possibility and feasibility of building an underground line for the Penang Light Rail Transit (LRT) in the city center, as well as an undersea line connecting Seberang Perai to the island.
At a meeting on Thursday (Aug 17), Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced that MRT Corp had proposed the move to Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook. MRT Corp is now overseeing the Penang LRT project after taking over the project.
He explained that MRT Corp has proposed that the line that goes through the waterway in the north should be built below sea level. Furthermore, he revealed that the original proposal for the LRT line was an elevated track structure, but MRT Corp has proposed that the section of the line adjacent to the downtown area of George Town should be built underground.
He also explained that the underground section will be located in the downtown area. There are no major changes proposed to the route.
As planned, the route will start at Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas and continue through Komtar, Tanjung Bungah, Air Itam, Butterworth, Kepala Batas and Simpang Ampat.
Last month, Chow revealed that the state government is ready to start the first phase of the LRT project linking Bayan Lepas, Komtar and Tanjung Bungah after the federal government approved funds for the project.
The second phase of the LRT project will connect Seberang Perai on the mainland to Komtar on the island.
The Penang LRT project initiative is part of a joint effort by the central and state governments to address the division between Seberang Perai and the island. The objective is in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's aspiration for an LRT line connecting the two regions.