The Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT), under the Penang Transport Master Plan, is a planned 22 kilometre-LRT line connecting George Town with the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone and the Penang International Airport at the southeastern part of Penang Island.
This LRT line is given the most priority in the Penang Transport Master Plan, due to the greater importance of connecting the city of George Town with the 'Silicon Valley of the East' and one of the most important airports in Malaysia to the south. Therefore, as of April 2016, it was the first component of the plan to be submitted to the Malaysian federal government for approval.
A total of 19 stations have been planned for the line, which will link the heart of George Town with its southern suburbs of Jelutong and Gelugor. With land reclamation also being planned south of Penang Island to fund the Penang Transport Master Plan, the line is expected to be extended further south into the proposed reclaimed southern islands, adding another eight stations to the eventual 30 kilometre-LRT line.
Construction will begin by 2018 and is slated for completion by 2024.
The Bayan Lepas LRT Line is the most vital component of the Penang Transport Master Plan, the reasons being as follows.
- An LRT line to link the Penang International Airport with the heart of George Town will improve connectivity for tourists flying into and out of Penang Island.
- The Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone employs a significant chunk of Penang's skilled workforce. As a result, daily traffic congestions have been worsening along the coastal Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu Expressway, Green Lane and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah.
- The line is expected to link with the cross-strait George Town - Butterworth LRT Line and the Penang Sky Cab, giving Penangites more options to travel between Penang Island and mainland Malay Peninsula.
As of April 2016, 19 stations have been proposed for the 22 kilometre Bayan Lepas LRT Line, which stretches from the heart of George Town, through the suburbs of Jelutong and Gelugor and towards the southeastern part of Penang Island, where the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone and the Penang International Airport are located. The line will also connect important places along the way, such as Universiti Sains Malaysia and the SPICE Arena.
In addition, three islands are to be reclaimed off the southern coast of Penang Island to fund the Penang Transport Master Plan. Once the islands have been reclaimed, the LRT Line will be extended south to traverse these islands, adding another eight kilometres and eight more stations to the line.
From north to south :
- Maccalum Street Ghaut (George Town)
- Bandar Sri Pinang (Jelutong)
- Jelutong Sky Cab Terminal
- East Jelutong
- The Light (Gelugor)
- Universiti Sains Malaysia (Gelugor)
- Batu Uban
- Pesta Sungai Nibong
- Sungai Nibong
- Bukit Jambul
- SPICE Arena
- Jalan Tengah
- Free Industrial Zone North
- Free Industrial Zone South
- Sungai Tiram
- Penang International Airport
- Permatang Damar Laut
The proposed KOMTAR Interchange will be built at the former Sia Boey market east of KOMTAR. This is the most important interchange that will connect the LRT line with the other planned rail lines on Penang Island - the Air Itam Monorail, Tanjung Tokong Monorail and the George Town Tram Line.
Meanwhile, the Jelutong Sky Cab Terminal, one of the 19 stops of the LRT line, will also act as an interchange for commuters switching between the LRT and Sky Cab services. This will allow Sky Cab commuters from the mainland to easily switch to the Bayan Lepas LRT to travel elsewhere on Penang Island.
Similarly, The Light LRT Station at Gelugor has been selected as the Penang Island terminus of the George Town - Butterworth LRT service, and will serve as the interchange for both the Bayan Lepas LRT and George Town - Butterworth LRT lines. This will enable commuters from Penang Island and mainland Malay Peninsula to seamlessly switch between the lines to travel across the Penang Channel.
Construction of the Bayan Lepas LRT Line is expected to commence by 2018 and will take six years to complete.
As of April 2016, the Penang state government has submitted plans for the Bayan Lepas LRT Line to the Malaysian Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), the Malaysian federal government agency in charge of the provision of public transportation, for approval.
Meanwhile, the Penang state govenrment has been organising free public briefings across Penang to explain to the citizens of Penang about the Penang Transport Master Plan and to obtain public feedback.