The elevated Light Rail Transit (LRT) was chosen after a further study on soil investigation showed that an ‘at-grade’ (ground level) and ‘underground’ transit system was not suitable for the Bayan Lepas LRT line.
State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow (DAP-Padang Kota) said the ‘underground’ transit system would cost three times more compared to the elevated system.
“In the event that the ‘at-grade’ system is carried out, an existing traffic lane needs to be fully closed.
“Construction at ground level would also cause severe traffic congestion.
“Besides, the acquisition of land or buildings can result in escalating construction costs far many times.
“There is also the high cost of utility transfer along the alignment.
“On the contrary, if the ‘elevated’ system is used, no lanes will be closed,” he said in his winding-up speech at the state assembly sitting yesterday.
Chow also referred to the transport safety statistics of the Australian government which showed the accident rate involving people and vehicles was high for its ‘at-grade’ light rail vehicles.
“For example, in year 2015, the average accident rate of vehicles and trams for every quarterly year was an average of 200 accidents in Australia.
“In my opinion, based on the attitude of drivers in our country, especially in Penang, the accident rate of vehicles and trams will be very high if the construction of the ‘at-grade’ tram line is carried out,” he said. - The Star