Rapid Penang

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Rapid Penang
Weld Quay Bus Terminal 01.jpg
Parent Prasarana Malaysia
Founded 2007
Headquarters George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Service area Greater Penang, Malaysia
Service type Public bus
Routes 56
Fleet 406[1]
Annual ridership 30,309,000 (2014)[2]
Website Rapid Penang

Rapid Penang (styled as rapidPenang) is a public bus brand in the State of Penang, Malaysia. Formed as a subsidiary of Prasarana Malaysia in 2007, to date it is the main public transport operator within Penang; its bus network serves commuters within Greater Penang, including the neighbouring towns in Kedah and Perak.[3]

Rapid Penang was the second public transportation firm established by Prasarana Malaysia, a corporate body owned by the Malaysian federal government to manage urban public transportation. The first was Rapid KL in 2004, which now encompasses public bus, LRT and monorail services within Kuala Lumpur and the greater Klang Valley. Thus, similar to Rapid KL, Rapid Penang's bus fleet is under the management of Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd.[4]

History[edit]

Originally, the public bus service in Penang were fragmented and disorganised, with several local public bus operators facing financial difficulties and showing signs of collapse.[5] This situation reached a critical point when the Yellow Bus Company, one of the largest public bus operators in Penang with a 58-year history, suddenly ceased operations in 2004, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.[6][7][8]

The Penang state government at the time under the then Chief Minister, Koh Tsu Koon attempted to revamp the state's ailing bus network. Under the revamped routes that were launched in 2006, bigger buses were made to run along trunk routes while minibuses ran feeder routes which branched off the trunk routes.[9] The revamp, however, failed to improve the situation, leading the Penang state government to study the revamp already conducted in Kuala Lumpur and request for federal intervention.[10][11][12][13] It was felt that bringing in Rapid KL, which already had the expertise and know-how, was the better solution than simply purchasing more buses, although Rapid KL at the time chose to focus on its core operations in the Klang Valley.

In 2007, Koh announced that the federal government agreed to operate a bus service in the state.[12][14] Prasarana Malaysia, which until then had been running Rapid KL services within the Klang Valley, was appointed to implement a similar system for Penang, as well as to handle the procurement of the required assets. To this end, Prasarana set up Rapid Penang, which was registered under Malaysia's Ministry of Finance. Rapid Penang formally commenced operations on 31 July 2007.[3]

Initially, the remaining local public bus operators were allowed to resume their operations to complement Rapid Penang. However, since then, these local companies have ceased operations. With the exception of Cityliner, which still operates only a handful of routes within Seberang Perai (mainland halve of Penang), Rapid Penang has become the main public bus provider in the state.

Routes[edit]

As of 2016, Rapid Penang has a total of 56 routes throughout Greater Penang, which also includes routes into neighbouring Kedah and Perak.[15] These routes also include the free-of-charge services within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site and its Pulau Tikus suburb.

30 of these routes are within Penang Island, while 19 are within Seberang Perai, the mainland halve of Penang. Rapid Penang also operates three cross-strait routes between Bayan Lepas on Penang Island and Seberang Perai, also known as BEST (Bridge Express Shuttle Transit) routes, catering specifically to factory workers who commute daily to the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone.[16] In addition, Rapid Penang has four cross-border interstate routes from within Seberang Perai into Kedah and Perak.

The routes as of 2016 are as categorised below.

Penang Island[edit]

Bus Code Route Destination Note
Central Area Transit (CAT) George Town: Free-of-charge
Pulau Tikus Loop (PTL)[17] Kelawei Road (Dhammikarama Burmese Temple, Wat Chayamangkalaram, Gurney Paragon, Gurney Plaza) - Tanjung Tokong Road (Precinct 10, Island Plaza) - Fettes Park - Mount Erskine - Burmah Road (Penang Chinese Girls' High School, Indonesian Consulate, Penang Adventist Hospital, Convent Pulau Tikus, Church of the Immaculate Conception, Pulau Tikus Market) - Jalan Pangkor Free-of-charge
10 George Town (Weld Quay - Penang General Hospital - Penang Botanic Gardens)
11 George Town (Weld Quay - Perak Road) - Jelutong - Gelugor - Batu Lanchang
12 George Town (Weld Quay - Macallum) - Jelutong (Bandar Sri Pinang)
13 Paya Terubong - Farlim - Batu Lanchang - Gelugor (Tesco)
101 George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar) - Pulau Tikus (Burmah Road - Kelawai Road) - Tanjung Tokong - Tanjung Bungah - Batu Ferringhi - Teluk Bahang Double-decker buses in use[18]
102 Penang International Airport - Bayan Baru - Sungai Nibong - Gelugor - George Town (Dato Keramat Road - Komtar) - Pulau TIkus (Kelawei Road) - Tanjung Tokong - Tanjung Bungah - Batu Ferringhi - Teluk Bahang Double-decker buses in use[18]
103 George Town (Komtar) - Pulau Tikus
104 George Town (Komtar - Northam Road) - Pulau Tikus (Kelawai Road) - Bagan Jermal - Mount Erskine - Fettes Park - Tanjung Bungah
201 George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar - Dato Keramat Road) - State Mosque - Air Itam (Rifle Range - Air Itam Market) - Paya Terubong
202 George Town (Weld Quay - KOMTAR - Dato Keramat Road) - State Mosque - Air Itam (Rifle Range - Farlim) - Paya Terubong
203 George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar - Dato Keramat Road) - State Mosque - Air Itam (Farlim - Air Itam Market)
204 George Town (Weld Quay - Light Street - Farquhar Street - Penang Road - Komtar - Magazine Road - Dato Keramat Road) - State Mosque - Air Itam (Rifle Range - Kampung Melayu - Air Itam Market - Penang Hill Railway Station)
206 George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar - Dato Keramat Road - Sungai Pinang) - Batu Lanchang - Green Lane - Gelugor (Tesco)
301 George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar - Dato Keramat Road - Sungai Pinang) - Jelutong - Gelugor - Sungai Dua - Bukit Jambul - Relau Double-decker buses in use[18]
302 George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar - Brick Kiln Road) - Jelutong - Gelugor - Bukit Jambul (SPICE Arena) - Bayan Baru - Sungai Ara - Bayan Lepas - Batu Maung
303 George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar - Macallum) - Jelutong - Gelugor - Sungai Dua - Sungai Nibong - Bukit Jambul (SPICE Arena) - Bayan Baru - Bukit Gedung
304 Bukit Gedung - Bayan Baru - Bukit Jambul (SPICE Arena) - Queensbay Mall - Sungai Nibong - Sungai Dua - Gelugor - Green Lane - State Mosque - George Town (Penang General Hospital - Dato Keramat Road - Komtar - Burmah Road) - Pulau Tikus (Kelawei Road) - George Town (Gurney Drive)
305 Sungai Nibong - Bukit Jambul (SPICE Arena) - Bayan Baru - Sungai Tiram - Batu Maung (War Museum) - Teluk Tempoyak
306 Penang International Airport - Bayan Baru - Queensbay Mall - Bukit Jambul - Relau - Paya Terubong - Air Itam (Farlim) - George Town (Penang General Hospital)
307 George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar - Queensbay Mall - Bukit Jambul (SPICE Arena) - Bayan Baru - Bukit Gedung - Batu Maung
308 Sungai Nibong - Queensbay Mall - Bukit Jambul (SPICE Arena) - Bayan Baru - Sungai Ara - Bayan Lepas - Teluk Kumbar - Gertak Sanggul
401 George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar - Brick Kiln Road) - Jelutong - Gelugor - Sungai Nibong - Bayan Baru - Penang International Airport - Bayan Lepas - Teluk Kumbar - Balik Pulau
401E George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar) - Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway - Queensbay Mall - Bukit Jambul (SPICE Arena) - Bayan Baru - Penang International Airport - Bayan Lepas - Teluk Kumbar - Balik Pulau
403 Balik Pulau - Sungai Nipah - Pulau Betong Balik Pulau Loop
404 Balik Pulau - Pantai Acheh
501 Balik Pulau - Teluk Bahang (Tropical Fruit Farm - Teluk Bahang Dam - Penang Butterfly Farm - Penang National Park)
502 George Town (Weld Quay - Light Street - Farquhar Street - Penang Road - Komtar - Dato Keramat Road) - Air Itam - Paya Terubong - Balik Pulau
Airport Transit (AT) George Town (Weld Quay - Komtar - Brick Kiln Road - Macallum) - Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway - Gelugor - Sungai Nibong - Bayan Baru - Penang International Airport

Seberang Perai[edit]

Bus Code Route Destination
601 Butterworth (Penang Sentral - Bagan Luar - Bagan Ajam - Teluk Air Tawar - RMAF Butterworth) - Kepala Batas
602 Butterworth (Penang Sentral - Bagan Luar) - Sungai Dua - Tasek Gelugor
603 Butterworth (Penang Sentral - RMAF Butterworth - Teluk Air Tawar - Bagan Ajam - Bagan Luar) - Kuala Muda
604 Butterworth (Penang Sentral - Bagan Luar) - Sungai Dua
604A Sungai Dua - Kepala Batas
605 Butterworth (Penang Sentral) - Mak Mandin - Teluk Air Tawar
606 Penaga - Kepala Batas - Penanti - Bukit Mertajam
608 Butterworth (Penang Sentral - Bagan Luar - Bagan Ajam - RMAF Butterworth) - Teluk Air Tawar - Penaga
610 Kepala Batas - Tasek Gelugor
701 Butterworth (Penang Sentral) - Perai - Bukit Mertajam
702 Butterworth (Penang Sentral - Bagan Luar) - Permatang Pauh - Bukit Mertajam
703 Butterworth (Penang Sentral) - Perai - Seberang Jaya
707 Juru - Bukit Mertajam
709 Butterworth (Penang Sentral) - Seberang Jaya - Bukit Mertajam - Machang Bubok
801 Butterworth (Penang Sentral) - Perai - Bukit Minyak - Simpang Ampat - Jawi - Nibong Tebal - Transkerian
802 Bukit Mertajam - Bukit Tengah - Bukit Minyak - Simpang Ampat - Valdor - Nibong Tebal - Transkerian
803 Nibong Tebal
BEST Perda Feeder Bukit Mertajam - Seberang Jaya
BEST Juru Feeder Juru - Seberang Jaya

Cross-strait BEST routes[edit]

Bus Code Route Destination
Seberang Perai Penang Island
BEST A Seberang Jaya Bukit Jambul - Bayan Baru - Bayan Lepas Free industrial Zone - Queensbay Mall
BEST B Bukit Jambul - SPICE Arena - Bayan Baru - Bayan Lepas Free industrial Zone - Queensbay Mall
BEST C Bukit Jambul - Bayan Lepas Free industrial Zone - Queensbay Mall

Interstate routes[edit]

Bus Code Route Destination
Seberang Perai, Penang Kedah Perak
612 Kepala Batas Sungai Petani -
708 Bukit Mertajam - Simpang Ampat Junjong -
Intercity Sungai Petani Butterworth (Penang Sentral) - Perai - Seberang Jaya Sungai Petani -
Intercity Parit Buntar Butterworth (Penang Sentral) - Nibong Tebal - Parit Buntar

Fares[edit]

A new fare structure took place beginning August 2009 in line with the government's announcement to improve the delivery system of public transportation services.[19] However, it was heavily criticised by Penang DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) secretary Ng Wei Aik who hit out at Rapid Penang for insisting on a price hike when the service provided was not up to mark.[20]

Fare changes
  • RM0.94 for the first two kilometres (km) and RM0.094 for each subsequent km (the current rates are RM0.72 for the first two km and RM0.072 for each subsequent km[19]
Distance (km) Normal Concession
0.1 - 7 RM1.40 RM0.70
7.1 - 14 RM2.00 RM1.00
14.1 - 21 RM2.70 RM1.40
21.1 - 28 RM3.40 RM1.70
Over 28 RM4.00 RM2.00

Note fares: Certain Malaysian nationals like senior citizen, OKU (physically disabled) and school children wearing uniform are eligible for concession fare.

Fleet[edit]

The Rapid Penang fleet currently consists of 470 buses.[21]

Model Image Year Introduced Bodywork Unit Introduced Notes/Comments
Dong Feng Dongfeng-RapidPenang.JPG 2007 Scomi Coach (Formerly MTrans) 40 Partially Retired. Only serves as training unit for Academy
Higer Higer-RapidPenang.JPG 2007 SKS Bus, BadanBas 40 Partially Retired
King Long KingLong-RapidPenang.JPG 2007 DRB-Hicom Defense Technology 40 Partially retired
Jac 2007 Scomi Coach, Pioneer 30 Fully retired from service
Scania K270UB Accessibility-directory.svg ScaniaK270UB-12m-RapidPenang.JPG 2009 DRB-Hicom Defense Technology 30 (12m)
170 (10.5m)
Scania K250UB Accessibility-directory.svg Rapid Penang Scania K250UB.jpg 2013 DRB-Hicom Defense Technology, Gemilang Coachworks 120[21]

Rapid ICIS[edit]

Rapid Penang Mobile ICIS
Rapidpgmobileicis.jpg
RapidPenangMobileICIS480px.jpg
Developer(s) Apps World Sdn Bhd
Initial release 12 April 2011
Stable release
1.1
Operating system iOS
Platform iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Type Rapid ICIS Travel Planner
License Proprietary
Website Website

The Rapid ICIS, Short for Rapid Penang Intelligent Commuter Information System. Launched in the early 2010, the facilities provides commuters with live information of bus arrival time anywhere via phone call. The ICIS centre also serves as the integrated command centre of bus operation. The current Hi-tech ICIS centre is located at Rapid Penang Headquarters.

The Rapid ICIS also enables commuters to locate their bus arrival time via two other methods:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Firm adds 30 more double-decker buses to its fleet - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  2. ^ kilzacmaster, the. "Press Statement – An accurate portrayal of Penang bus rides". Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Rapid Penang | www.rapidpg.com.my". www.rapidpg.com.my. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  4. ^ "Rapid Penang rolls on under Rapid Bus". 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  5. ^ Singh, Sharanjit (20 February 2007), "Rapid KL to manage Penang buses", New Straits Times, p. 22 
  6. ^ Ng, Su-Ann (2 January 2004), "End of the road for Yellow Bus after 58 years", The Star, p. 19 
  7. ^ "Rapid answer to transport woes - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  8. ^ Dielenberg, Priscilla; Tan, Jeremy. "Bring the bus back to the airport Rapid Penang urged to revive abandoned service - Community | The Star Online". Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  9. ^ Tan, Emmeline; K, Kasturi Dewi (1 April 2004), "New bus system starts today", The Star (Penang final edition), p. 16  Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  10. ^ Yeng, Ai Chun (4 July 2006), "Bus system in a mess", The Star, p. 3 
  11. ^ "KL bus system for Penang", The Star, p. 28, 24 August 2006 
  12. ^ a b "RapidPenang – The First Step Towards Integrated Public Transportation System in Penang" (PDF). Penang Economic Monthly. 
  13. ^ "Rapid Penang Bus Service". Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  14. ^ Singh, Sharanjit (20 February 2007), "RapidKL to manage Penang buses", New Straits Times, p. 22 
  15. ^ "Rapid Penang | www.rapidpg.com.my". www.rapidpg.com.my. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  16. ^ "BEST Bus Penang (Bridge Express Shuttle Transit)". Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  17. ^ "Pulau Tikus Loop Free Shuttle Bus (PTL)". Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  18. ^ a b c "Firm adds 30 more double-decker buses to its fleet - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  19. ^ a b "Rapid Penang To Introduce New Fare Structure From Aug 1". Bernama. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2009. 
  20. ^ "Service 'not up to mark'". The Star. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  21. ^ a b "Additional 120 buses for Rapid Penang - Prasarana". Bernama. Factiva. 11 November 2013. 

External links[edit]