Penang Sentral Exploration: The Latest Integrated Transport Hub in Northern Malaysia

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Penang Sentral is the newest Integrated Transport Hub in Northern Malaysia, linking train, bus and ferry services through an integrated complex. While announced in 2007, the project was delayed repeatedly until it finally began construction in 2015, 4 years after the Butterworth Railway Station was rebuilt. Penang Sentral finally opened on 22 November 2018 which eases the transfer (sort of) between the KTM Komuter, ETS, bus and ferry services.

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On approach to Penang Sentral from the linkbridge from the ferry terminal, signs for the KTM trains point towards the Penang Sentral building.

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However, there is a bridge right beside it which is closed off, with a sign saying that this is a temporary linkway and you should seek staff’s assistance.

With that conflicting information in a single notice, I headed into the terminal.

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On first look, the colours of Penang Sentral looks similar to the ones in Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) in Kuala Lumpur.

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However, there are a lot more shops around with well-known brands.

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An integrated ticketing system is also in place for long-distance buses.

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Kiosk purchase is also available.

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Local buses have their own dedicated air-conditioned bus platform now.

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Heading down the escalator to the local bus platform.

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Local buses including Rapid Penang’s 11 Seberang Perai local routes and 2 intercity routes depart from this new platform.

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Seats are available while you wait for your bus.

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I was walking around the terminal and I still couldn’t find the linkway to the KTM station, until I asked a security guard and he pointed me to the bus counters.

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I was a bit puzzled by what he meant, but I went back to the counters, and true enough, the first signs towards the KTM station are finally found.

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Heading to the Butterworth Railway Station by some back alley in Penang Sentral.

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The sign leads to this emergency exit staircase. Err…

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Heading down the emergency staircase to Butterworth Railway Station.

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Heading out of the emergency staircase to Butterworth Railway Station.

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The staircase leads to this outdoor area where buses are turning into the terminal.

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Cross this traffic light to continue on to Butterworth Railway Station.

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The traffic light crossing leads to this covered walkway. Hmm.

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The walkway leads to this now-covered walkway which looks a bit familiar now.

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And finally, the trek gets you to Butterworth Railway Station. Not sure which way from the ferry terminal is more tiring to walk – the old way across two long overhead bridges or this new route through Penang Sentral.

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Heading up to the station to check on my tickets.

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The waiting hall of Butterworth Railway Station.

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The ticket counter of Butterworth Railway Station where I printed my tickets.

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Heading back to Penang Sentral to grab lunch after settling my tickets.

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The route back to Penang Sentral is the same as the previous shelter to the Penang Sentral Temporary Bus Terminal.

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Heading on to Penang Sentral.

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Back in this covered linkway.

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Seems like the permanent link to the station is still under construction. Hopefully it will be ready in less than 13 years time.

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At the pedestrian crossing to Penang Sentral.

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Look out for approaching buses.

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Lifts or the emergency staircase are available to get up to Penang Sentral.

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Referring to the locations as pasted on the lift buttons, I pressed Level 3 to get to the Main Lobby.

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Heading out to Level 3.

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Oops, wrong floor. This isn’t the main lobby?

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I got the lift back down to Level 2 since there are no direct escalators on this side of the building to Level 2.

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Ah, this corridor looks a bit more familiar.

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Coming out from behind the main ticketing hall counters.

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To get to the ferry terminal, continue straight and turn left at the KFC.

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The exit to the ferry terminal is after the KFC.

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The exit to the ferry terminal.

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Here, the linkway leads to the usual Rapid Ferry ticket counters to buy a ticket to cross over to Penang Island.

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From the lookout point on Level 3, you can also see the supposed temporary linkway to the Butterworth KTM Station, though it looks a lot like the old two-bridges route. Not sure if this will be a permanent or temporary linkway.

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