Rapid Penang!
The NEW Rapid Service in Penang
Rapid Penang

Just few days after the launch of the 2nd Penang Bridge, Penangites have another
major overhaul in their public transportation.

Right now, Penang bus service.

With this, Penangites (and tourists) can now breathe a sigh of relief. Launched on
31 July 2007 by the Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Rapid Penang was a definite improvement. The first 2 days of the service is free of charge. Many people took this opportunity to try out the new service that now covers almost every parts of the island.

Said one of the passenger, Madam Ong, if the service is good and very efficient, I think I'll just leave my car at home and take the bus. After
all, the bus stop is only minutes away from my house and with the affordable fare; I can save more on petrol.

For those who do not have a watch, there is a big digital clock near the driver seat to tell time. The clean and cool bus is very comfortable and you won't see any tinted window or curtain like the old bus company has. It makes the bus looks brighter and cleaner. Another good point about the new bus service is that the company takes cares of the elderly and disable passenger. There are no steps when getting on the bus and there are three seats (which are slightly bigger) is reserved for them. The claim by the bus company that their driver is friendly is indeed founded.

Here, when I hopped on one of the bus and ask the bus driver whether the bus go to my place or not, he smile to me and ask me politely to take another bus which covering the route. At the old bus, I actually got this reply; You want sit or not? Don't want please get off. So... rude.

In the olden days, much has been said about Penang's ailing bus services. What was once a workable and rather efficient system became dysfunctional when mini-buses started operating in Penang. To make the situation worse, the mini buses which were supposed to ease the burden of the larger coaches turned into traffic chaos and started competing with the established bus operators. Things came to a standstill when one of Penang's largest and best known bus companies, the Yellow Bus Company Berhad, which had been operating for 58 years, suddenly stopped running on 1 January 2004, leaving thousands of southbound commuters stranded.

An attempt by the local government at revamping the bus system, on 1 April 2006, sounded promising-bigger buses serviced "trunk" routes while minibuses ran "feeder" routes, but the reality proved otherwise. Chaos reigned from day 1. There were no legible schedules and no helpdesks at the main bus interchange. Most bus companies adopted a laissez faire system, raising the rates, doing away with the ticketing system and not following timetables and planned routes. And these problems were just the tip of the iceberg! and a ticking bomb!

But... All this is already a history. As for Rapid Penang, there were some teething problems when the bus service began operations but according to the Penang chief minister who also took one of the rides, said that he was confident that they could be overcome it quickly. The company expects to serve about 60,000 passengers per day using over 135 buses.

The Penang office is located at Lorong Kulit, next to the famous flea market.

Rapid Penang Sdn Bhd:
Superbox 4 Stadium Bandaraya,
Lorong Kulit, 10460 Penang.
Tel: 604-228 8991
Email: rapidpg@streamyx.com

click to enlarge!

click to enlarge!

Source: www.rapidpg.com.my