Penang use to have a fairly efficient bus system with bus going in to the housing estates providing public transportation. During my form 5 school holiday (more then 20 years ago). I use to travel down town to take up courses, to the public library, and once even coming back from school (about a month), with the bus right up within 50 meters to my door steps. Now the Penang Library is not even near a bus route.
That change a few years back with the bus companies cutting back where they use to go. Now I have to walk, 1km to the nearest bus stop. And when traveling down to KL, I take the bus to the Ferry, and going over to Prai and take the bus from Butterworth, as there are no public transportation to the Express Bus terminal in Sg Nibong.
One of the People in Power said those that take express bus, have private transportation to take them to the bus station and back home. Well I may have a car, but should i leave my car at the Express Bus Station for a few days or weeks? What about others who do not have their own transport, Take a Taxi? Well it will cost me RM55 to get back to Tg Bungah after Midnight (around 20km). For those who does not take the Express Bus down to KL, it cost less then RM30 for a bus ticket down to KL (one way). So in other words it will cost you a return trip to KL for your Trip back home from the Bus Station.
The Last revamp in 2006 help a little bit (for me at least), but the bus companies still refuse to use certain routes. What improve is the timing, at least for the KGN HIN (Blue) line, with bus living without being stuff full, and there is a bus at 6am from the Ferry terminal. (Before that I have to wait till 7.30 or take a bus to Komtar and transfer over.
Let's Hope that Rapid Penang can out things back to what they were before and if possible better in the future At times even with a car, its good to move around in Public Transport. And if we hope to improve our tourism, well public transport have to play their part. Let hope the People in Power enforce what the Rakyat want, and not to give more excuse. I hope to see the People in Power take bus to work daily. Then they may understand the Rakyat want with a public transportation system that work. One that is achieve, put the People in Power in a wheel chair or clutches and see how they can move around and work from there. This can only benefit the state in the long run and keep the rocket, or the moon at bay.