Monday, April 20, 2009

Public transportation in Penang

Public transportation in Penang now has improved quite a lot since the introduction of RapidPenang bus in middle 2007. It is a local bus service that covers almost the whole island and also part of Seberang Prai.

I am a regular user of this service. Since I live very near to Sungai Nibong bus terminal, I have the advantage of being in the main route from the airport to George Town. I prefer to take 401A (Airport-Jetty-Airport) and 401 (Balik Pulau-Jetty-Balik Pulau).

It is also affordable, only RM1.50 for an adult from the Jetty to Sungai Nibong bus terminal but sometimes they charge RM2.00 for foreigners. Compare that to RM25.00 that a taxi would charge you for the same distance.

The buses are usually in good condition and the drivers are mostly pretty safe drivers (there are some exceptions though). Trust me, since I use these buses on weekdays to fetch my daughter from school daily. I know.

The other alternative for the bus is Milan (also runs in the same routes), the yellow rickety buses. I cannot say that the service is 100% bad because there are some decent drivers here too. Especially the older ones who are more responsible and run the buses more or less on schedule. If RapidPenang is not available, I will take Milan, but only those with open air windows. The closed ones have almost non-existence air-conditioning and you would be cooked raw in our hot Penang air.

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