PHASE one of Penang Sentral, a new transit-oriented development (TOD) project in Butterworth, is expected to open to the public by December this year.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the first phase of Penang Sentral will serve as the terminal for both public and intercity buses, and is physically connected to the adjacent Butterworth railway station and Penang Ferry Terminal.
“This is another step forward for public transportation in the country. Penang Sentral is an integral part of connectivity between bus, rail and ferry.
“We are very happy to know that Penang Sentral will be ready soon and this will usher in a new era of public transportation in Penang and the northern region,” he told reporters after visiting Penang Sentral yesterday.
Penang Sentral, modelled after the KL Sentral central business district in Kuala Lumpur, consists of a five-storey building to accommodate bus ticket counters, 38 bus bays, 55 retail shops and one food court, as well as 577 parking bays.
Chow said with the integrated public transportation hub in Penang, he hopes the parties concerned could improve the ferry and rail services.
“For us, I think the ferry service needs to be improved and there are also talks of introducing catamaran, while the rail service can increase its frequency to Penang and the northern region can be further improved with commuter service from Butterworth to Alor Setar, as well as Butterworth to Kamunting, to make public transport more accessible in the northern region,” he said.
Chow also said there are several locations proposed for the skycab stations and the holding company of Penang Sentral Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), will continue to fine-tune its plans.
MRCB COO (property) Shireen Iqbal said the development component of Penang Sentral consists of seven phases and currently three phases are still under construction — comprising retail mall, office tower and business hotel — scheduled to be completed in 2030, while future phases will include serviced apartments, SOHO (small office small home) and a commercial development.
“The current capacity is between 2,500 and 3,000 people daily. With this fully integrated system, we expect the number to rise to 3,000 to 4,000 people per day,” Shireen said, adding that MRCB has invested about RM230 million in the project.