Rapid Ferry

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Rapid Ferry
Rapid Ferry (Pulau Undan).jpg
Locale Penang, Malaysia
WaterwayPenang Strait
Transit typePassenger and automobile ferry
OwnerLogo prasarana.png
Began operation1894; 125 years ago (1894)
System length3 km (1.9 mi)
No. of lines1
No. of vessels6
No. of terminals2

Rapid Ferry is a shuttle ferry service within the State of Penang, Malaysia, connecting the city of George Town on Penang Island and Butterworth on the mainland. This cross-strait transit has been operational since 1894, making it the oldest ferry service in Malaysia.[1] Its fleet of six ferries carries both passengers and automobiles across the Penang Strait daily; each roll-on/roll-off ferry could accommodate cars either on its lower deck or on both decks.[2]

The first cross-strait ferry service between Penang Island and the mainland began in 1894.[1] Originally a passenger-only service, the ferries were later refitted to carry automobiles in 1925. From 1924, the ferries were operated by the Penang Port Commission (formerly Penang Harbour Board), through its subsidiary, Penang Port Sdn Bhd.

In 2017, the Malaysian federal government began transferring the ferry service from Penang Port Sdn Bhd to Prasarana Malaysia, a government-owned entity which manages urban public transportation across Malaysia.[2][3][4] Following the handover, the ferry service has been rebranded as Rapid Ferry.

Ferry fleet[edit]

The seven ferries in the current fleet and ten retired ferry are named after islands in Malaysia.[5]

Status Configuration Name Year built Deadweight tonnage IMO ship identification number Photograph
Retired Passenger (upper deck)
Vehicle (lower deck)[6]
Pulau Labuan 1971 139 7038408 Pgferry Pulau Labuan.jpg
Out of
Mixed Passenger/Vehicle (upper deck)
Vehicle (lower deck)
Pulau Rawa 1975 262 7343736 FERRY RAWA.JPG
In service Passenger (upper deck)
Vehicle (lower deck)
Pulau Talang Talang 1975 262 7343748 Pgferry talang.jpg
In service Mixed Passenger/Vehicle (upper deck)
Vehicle (lower deck)
Pulau Undan 1975 262 7343724 Pgferry undan.jpg
Out of
Mixed Passenger/Vehicle (upper deck)
Vehicle (lower deck)
Pulau Rimau 1980 100 7911076 Pgferry Rimau.jpg
In service Mixed Passenger/Vehicle (upper deck)
Vehicle (lower deck)
Pulau Angsa 1981 100 8010491 Pgferry angsa.jpg
In service Mixed Passenger/Vehicle (upper deck)
Vehicle (lower deck)
Pulau Kapas 1981 280 8101082 Pgferry kapas.jpg
In service Vehicle (both decks) Pulau Payar 2002 440 9254393 Pgferry Payar.jpg
In service Vehicle (both decks) Pulau Pinang 2002 440 9275244 Pgferry Pinang.jpg


At present, the two ferry terminals - one each in George Town and Butterworth - are also run by Prasarana Malaysia.[3]

Map Location Terminal Image
Seal of George Town.svg George Town Raja Tun Uda George Town Ferry Terminal, Penang.jpg
Truelogompsp.png Butterworth Sultan Abdul Halim Butterworth Ferry Terminal, Penang.jpg

Major events[edit]

Ferry schedule[edit]

A typical passenger deck
A typical vehicle deck
The Butterworth passenger waiting area

Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (Mainland Side)[edit]

  • First ferry departure : 0520 hours
  • Last ferry departure : 0000 hours
  • Duration : 15-20mins
  • Hotline : 604-3102 377

Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda (Island side)[edit]

  • First ferry departure : 0540 hours
  • Last ferry departure : 0040 hours
  • Duration : 15-20mins
  • Hotline : 604-2102 363

Arrival Interval[edit]

  • 5.20 am to 10.00p.m. : 20 – 30 minutes with 4 ferries operational
  • 10.00 pm to 1.00a.m : 40 minutes with 1 ferry operational

Ferry rates[edit]

The information and ticketing counter at Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal.


Type Rate (in Malaysian Ringgit (RM))
Adult RM1.20
Children (between 5 and 12 years old RM0.60

Season ticket (pedestrians) – valid for two months from date of issue[edit]

Type Rate (in Malaysian Ringgit (RM))
Adult RM30.00

Special passengers[edit]

Type Rate (in Malaysian Ringgit (RM))
Students in school uniform RM0.60
Holders of Kad Orang Kurang Upaya (Disabled Person Card) Free


Type of vehicles Rate (in Malaysian Ringgit (RM))
Bicycle RM1.40
Motorcycle (inclusive of pillion rider) RM2.00
Trishaw/tricycle RM3.00
Motorcar (including station wagon, four-wheel drive, three-wheel commercial vehicle, motorcycle with side car) RM7.70
Lorry (2 axles with 4 wheels) RM13.20
Lorry (2 axles with 6 wheels) RM27.50


  1. ^ a b Cheah, Jin Seng (2013). Penang: 500 Early Postcards. Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 9789671061718.
  2. ^ a b "Penang attractions painted on two ferries - Metro News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  3. ^ a b "MMC eyes handover of loss-making Penang ferry ops to Prasarana in 2 months". The Edge Markets. 2017-05-11. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  4. ^ "Prasarana to take over Penang's ferry service for token sum of RM1 - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  5. ^ Shipping Data - Ship Reference
  6. ^ "Off-limit zone held waiting folk: Captain", New Straits Times, 1 Mar 1989
  7. ^ "Still traumatised after 29 years - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2018-03-01.

External links[edit]