Public takes a ride on Penang Ferry for one final time

Public takes a ride on Penang Ferry for one final time

GEORGE TOWN: Following the announcement of the termination of Penang ferry service that connects passengers between the island and the mainland on Jan 1, the number of ferry users, especially four-wheel vehicles seemed to have increased significantly yesterday.

A check found that the high number of such vehicles using the ferry service, even outside the peak hours.

One of the ferry users, Mohd Rizikam Milan Md Hasbullah, 35, said he wanted to give his children the opportunity to experience of ferry ride which is synonymous with Penang after knowing that the service would no longer be available by next year.

“We live in Selangor, but both my wife and I are Penangites, so since childhood I have always used the ferry. When you know it will cease operation, you feel a little bit sad and disappointed. That is why today I chose to take the ferry to return to Selangor even though prior to this we used the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge.”

The Penang ferry service will cease operations from Jan 1 and will be replaced by speedboats carrying only pedestrians as well as cyclists and motorcyclists.

A lorry driver, Tan Kean Meng, 70, said he used the ferry service almost daily to and fro to deliver goods between mainland and the island for the past 10 years and the termination of the service would increase the cost between RM8 and RM10 for each trip.

“It is sad to hear people telling me that the ferry will no longer carrying vehicles next year. This transport (ferry) is easier and economical for me to travel back and forth from the mainland to the island. But what can we do. We have to adhere to the decision,” he said.

An employee of a hotel in Batu Feringghi who lives in Teluk Bahang, Norida Rosli, 33, said she took a leave today to take her family on a ferry ride to Butterworth because she did not want to miss the opportunity to board the service for the last time.

“Feeling lost when I learned that the ferry service will no longer available. We will miss it for sure. So, today I take the opportunity to take my family on a ferry ride,” she said, adding that she had to wait more than an hour to board the ferry.

Another user, Ani Wahab, 67, said that she has been using the service for the past 30 years to commute to work at the Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda.

Ani, who lives in Sungai Petani, Kedah, said that boarding the ferry is fun and hopes it will be equally exciting experience using the service of speedboat next year.-Bernama