The PPC-Penang Port Commission will open an RFP-Request for Proposal application to the public who are interested in renovating the existing ferries to be turned into tourism products.
Its chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said to maintain the iconic elements and historical value of the state, 2 existing ferries would be renovated as floating museums, restaurants, or for tourist cruises.
"It is to mark the contribution of these ferries to Penang’s cultural identity and heritage. Therefore, PPC will make an RFP offer to the public who are interested in the initiatives."
Tan assured the ferry service would not be interrupted and the existing fares would be maintained although, from January 1, the new passenger speedboat service would commence operations.
He added the public would enjoy the new passenger speedboats for free for a period of 2 weeks.
Earlier, the Ministry of Transport announced the modernization phase of the ferry service would start with the introduction of 3 water buses (for foot passengers) starting January 1, 2021, followed by 2 carriers for 2-wheeled motor vehicles only (bicycles and motorcycles) which would operate from 2022.
On December 17, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz revealed that RM 30 million had been allocated for the modernization of the ferry service, that would be channelled via a couple of payments in 2021 and 2022.
As a temporary measure, the ministry said that PPSB-Penang Port Sdn Bhd would provide 2 speedboats to transport travellers, as well as obtain a ferry service owned by Prasarana in order to transport 2-wheeled vehicles, in an effort to assist in the transition process.