The Bayan Lepas LRT is the proposed Penang light rail transit system that will connect Georgetown in the north of the island to the airport at Bayan Lepas in the south. The LRT is part of the overall Penang Transport Masterplan that would build new LRT, monorail, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), and tram systems across the state of Penang.
The LRT was publicly proposed in 2014, and in 2015 it was announced that work would begin in 2018. The railway was initially a 17.5km elevated line from Komtar to the Penang International Airport. Since then the proposed line has been extended south to include the Penang South Islands project, making the line 29.9 km in length with 27 stations.
After the inevitable delays that happen with first city transit lines, work was expected to begin in 2020. Then 2020 happened. A combination of factors has delayed and confused the status of the project, including the effect of the coronavirus on the economy. The LRT has been controversial enough, with doubts about projected passenger numbers being raised. To add to the controversy, the fortunes of the line have been tied to the fate of the even more controversial South Islands development. The sale of land on the artificial islands is expected to pay for the line.
To add to the drama, the Malaysian government collapsed in 2020, and by the end of the year the new government had withdrawn the loan guarantee for the project. The MP for Bukit Mertajam in Penang called this a political vendetta, though the government denies this is the case.
The map below shows the stations and locations, though so far there are few details of what the stations will look like. The northern terminus at Komtar is on the edge of the UNESCO World Heritage Site buffer zone (an elevated railway is not allowed in the historic area). The Komtar area has already begun rejuvenation, such as the nearby Seven Streets Precinct. Property developers have pre-empted the LRT by building near proposed stations. Read more about other property developments on the Future Penang page.
Bayan Lepas LRT Map
[Bayan Lepas LRT – Official map by Penang State Government.]
Links and resources
Penang Transport Masterplan – Official government website featuring the LRT and other proposed transport projects.
“SRS Consortium – a joint venture between Gamuda Berhad, Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn. Bhd. and Ideal Property Development Sdn. Bhd. – is the Project Delivery Partner for the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), and the South Reclamation Scheme (SRS).”
T.Y. Lin International (TYLI Malaysia) is providing alignment scheme and pre-detailed design services for the Penang Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in Penang, Malaysia.
Zairil Khir Johari – Penang: Charting a sustainable future – [27/11/19]
“An integrated and holistic plan to solve the main threats to Penang’s sustainable growth. Penang: Charting a Sustainable Future By Zairil Khir Johari 31 October 2019.”
PENANG LRT LINE | Bayan Lepas – Komtar – News and discussion at skyscrapercity.com.
Penang prefers LRT but is open to other rail types – [13/09/22]
EIA nod key to Penang LRT line’s green light – [13/08/22]
“The federal government’s nod for Penang’s first LRT line hinges on the environment department’s approval for reclamation of an island, according to the transport ministry.”
Bus rapid transit better for Penang – [16/07/22]
MCA: Penang should choose BRT instead of LRT – [13/07/22]
Penang to roll out the LRT – [04/06/22]
Penang to open LRT project for proposals in Q3 2022 – [03/06/22]
“The Penang state government will issue a request for proposal (RFP) by the third quarter of this year for implementation of its Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) scheme.”
Penang to study RFP on building LRT next year – [01/12/21]
Transport Ministry denies cancelling Penang govt infrastructure projects – [09/01/21]
“Regarding the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project from Bayan Lepas to Komtar, the ministry said it did not cancel the project as claimed, but the Penang government had yet to hand over the final approved Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) from the Department of Environment and the Rural and Urban Planning Department (PLAN Malaysia) to the Land Public Transport Department (APAD).”
Penang DAP launches petition campaign to reinstate infrastructure projects cancelled by Putrajaya – [07/01/21]
“Penang DAP today launched a mass signature campaign to demand four major infrastructure projects in the state be reinstated by the federal government.”
Why Penang needs LRT – [02/12/20]
By Joshua Woo, a former councillor with Seberang Perai City Council.
Penang to push ahead with LRT project, says Chow – [01/12/20]
Penang LRT project to go on with other financing options, says Chow – [01/12/20]
“Penang will not give up on its proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) project despite Putrajaya withdrawing its guarantee, said Chow Kon Yeow.”
Cancelling RM2bil Penang LRT loan guarantee despicable: MP Steven Sim – [28/11/20]
Media statement by Steven Sim, MP for Bukit Mertajam.
Putrajaya withdraws guarantee to finance Penang LRT – [28/11/20]
“The Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government is not going to provide a guarantee for a RM2.04 billion loan application by the Penang state government for its light rail transit (LRT) project.”
Project delivery partner master agreement for PTMP inked – [01/07/20]
“The project delivery partner for the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), SRS Consortium, will have to prepare and present the financial architecture plan for the PTMP to the Penang government within a month.”
Mega projects in Penang to go ahead – [20/06/20]
“For the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, the model has always been to pay for the infrastructure project via a land reclamation.”
PTMP: Construction work on LRT, PIL, PSR to begin by Q4 2020, says Chow – [13/02/20]
“The Penang government expects the construction work on the light rail transit (LRT), Pan Island Link (PIL) and Penang South Reclamation (PSR) projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) to begin by the fourth quarter of this year.”
Penang Bayan Lepas LRT – moving people or moving goalposts? – [12/01/20]
“Flawed thinking by government decision-makers will lead to white elephant projects, a ruined environment and a massive debt burden to future generations, says Khoo Salma Nasution.”
Gamuda expects first Bayan Lepas LRT package award by mid-2020 – [05/12/19]
“Gamuda Bhd, which is building the proposed Komtar-Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in Penang, expects the first package to be awarded by the middle of 2020.”
Public inspection of Penang LRT plan from Aug 19 – [27/07/19]
“A three-month public inspection of plans for the state’s Light-Rail Transit project will be held from Aug 19.”
Green light given – [18/07/19]
“Waves of excitement swept through Penang when the Transport Minister announced that the Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT) has received conditional approval.”
Penang to apply federal funding for LRT project – [26/07/19]
Penang LRT project to start next year – [16/04/19]
“Construction of the proposed Komtar-Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, part of Penang’s multi-billion ringgit Transport Master Plan (PTMP), is expected to begin next year.”
Penang CM denies report LRT, highway projects to start June 2020 – [08/04/19]
“Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has denied a report that construction of the island’s light rail transit (LRT) and Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) will begin in June next year.”
Penang to consider trackless alternative to LRT – [30/09/18]
“Penang will study a proposal to build a trackless Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) as an alternative to the proposed light rail transit (LRT) in its mega multi-billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) project.”
Go-ahead likely for Penang LRT – [11/08/18]
“The approvals from the federal authorities for the RM8.4bil Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT) and the massive Penang South Reclamation (PSR) scheme on the southern coast of the island are expected to be obtained before the end of the year.”
Why Penang’s expensive LRT plan must be reviewed – [03/08/18]
Preparing Penang for the LRT – [06/08/17]
“To give the Bayan Lepas LRT a higher chance of success, AnakPinang encourages the local authority to implement steps that will help avoid initial low ridership.”
Penang starts display on EIA report for Bayan Lepas LRT project – [21/07/17]
“The public can now view and give their feedback on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (Second Schedule) for the proposed Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT), which is currently on public display.”
LRT vs tram in Penang – [12/08/16]
Penang rolls out LRT scheme – [02/04/16]
“The state government has submitted plans for the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) to the Land Public Transport Com-mission (SPAD) for approval.”
Penang to submit LRT plans – Komtar to Bayan Lepas – [24/03/16]
Penang LRT construction work to start in 2018 – [02/12/15]
“Construction work on the Penang light railway transit (LRT) project, which is part of the first phase of the island’s Transport Master Plan (TMP), will start in 2018.
According to SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd, the Gamuda Bhd-led project delivery partner (PDP) for the TMP, it will be finalising the cost and alignment of the entire project by year end.”
A rail answer to Penang traffic woes – [30/10/15]
The LRT connection – [07/09/15]
“The old Prangin market or popularly known as Sia Boey (Town’s End) in Penang will be transformed into a premier art district in the country with a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line cutting through the 2.2ha site for easy access for the public.”
First LRT project in Penang next year – [16/04/15]
“Penang is set to get its maiden LRT project – a 17.5km elevated stretch linking Komtar with the Penang International Airport.”
Alleviating traffic congestion in Penang – [18/07/14]
“Penangites voice their opinions on the recently announced proposal to build a light rail transit system on the island…The two main public transport infrastructure projects of the integrated plan would involve the construction of an LRT system – estimated at RM4.5bil, and a link from Bayan Lepas to Tanjung Bungah.”