Lim Guan Eng's claims on PLUS Expressways Bhd is refuted, again.
"Why would anyone want to pay for the 2nd Penang Bridge and the Underground Tunnel you just announced ?
Supported by its monopolistic nature as the sole road link between Penang island and the mainland, the Bridge has been charting stable traffic-volume growth, with a compounded annual growth rate of 2.75% between 2001 and 2009.
In 2010, traffic volume increased 10.22% to 25.44 million passenger-car units (PCU) (2009: 23.08 million PCU). The trend carried through the first 5 months of 2011, with a 5.78% year-on-year rise to 10.85 million PCU.
The impressive performance is attributable to Penang’s rejuvenated economy and also traffic migration from the Penang ferry service to the Bridge following the opening of its third lane in August 2009, thereby expanding its capacity and easing congestion.
Meanwhile, the management expects the opening of the Second Penang Bridge (Second Bridge) - expected by 4Q 2013 - to reduce the Bridge’s traffic volume by about 16%. Nonetheless, it is difficult to gauge the exact traffic patterns.
We, however, opine that the existing bridge is likely to remain the principal road link between the mainland and the island of Penang given its more strategic alignment."
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