Penang Fast Ferry from Butterworth Penang Sentral to Penang Island Swettenham Pier by Ferry

Penang Fast Ferry from Butterworth Penang Sentral to Penang Island Swettenham Pier

The Penang Fast Ferry is the main transport link between Butterworth Penang Sentral and Georgetown Penang Island. The Penang Ferry service was supposed to transition into a water bus and vehicle transporter service to be launched in mid-2022, however, no signs of the new services can be seen yet. Nevertheless, new water bus service or not, I needed to make the crossing on the Penang Channel to catch my AirAsia AK1729 flight back to Singapore.

Butterworth Penang Sentral

Taking the temporary walkway from Butterworth Railway Station to Penang Sentral. I wonder if this temporary walkway has become permanent.

Crossing the bus road to Penang Sentral.

Taking the lift up to Penang Sentral.

Walking through the back corridor which is the main link for train passengers to Penang Sentral.

Exiting out to the bus ticketing area.

Continuing straight to the Penang Fast Ferry Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH) pier.

Heading outside to the Penang Fast Ferry Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH) pier.

Penang Fast Ferry Butterworth Penang Sentral Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH) Ticket Counter

The queue for Penang Fast Ferry tickets now start right outside Penang Sentral as the Penang Fast Ferry ticket counter has been moved forward due to ongoing upgrading works at Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH).

Penang Fast Ferry tickets are free of charge for Malaysians until 31 December 2022. Present your MyKad, MyKid, or Kad OKU to register for the free ticket.

Penang Fast Ferry tickets cost RM1.20 for non-Malaysian adults and RM0.60 for non-Malaysian children. Children 5 years old and below travel free of charge.

Heading to the ticket counter to purchase my ticket in cash.

My ticket for the Penang Fast Ferry from Butterworth Penang Sentral to Penang Island Swettenham Pier.

Following the path to the waiting area.

Old Penang Ferries are docked at the pier beside Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH).

Looks like lifts will soon be ready, providing an alternative to staircases.

Shop lots are being added to Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH).

The former walkway and driveway on to the upper deck of the Penang Ferry are no longer in use.

Penang Fast Ferry Butterworth Penang Sentral Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH) Waiting Area

The new waiting area at Butterworth Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH) for the Penang Fast Ferry.

The Roro Jaya Dua operates on the vehicle service for motorcycles and bicycles only.

Penang Fast Ferry Butterworth Penang Sentral Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH) Boarding

The queue to board the Penang Fast Ferry is back where you came from on the next lane.

Passengers disembarking from the incoming Penang Fast Ferry, which means it’s time to board soon.

Heading down the staircase to the Penang Fast Ferry boarding level on the ground floor.

Heading to the floating pontoon.

Hopefully this is the future waiting area with aircon.

Heading on the former vehicle lane to the old Penang Ferry lower deck.

Heading onto the Penang Fast Ferry floating pontoon.

A closer look at Roro Jaya Dua operating on the vehicle service.

The same vessel as this afternoon, Kenangan 6 is operating on my Penang Fast Ferry passenger service from Butterworth Penang Sentral to Penang Island Swettenham Pier.

Boarding Kenangan 6.

The interior of Kenangan 6 with a 5+5 seating configuration.

I picked a window seat again for this Penang Fast Ferry journey.

The view of the seating area from my seat.

The legroom available on board Kenangan 6.

There is a bit of space by the side of the window seats which can be used for small bags.

A pleasant touch to the service provided, Langkawi Ferry Services staff are on hand to help Penang Fast Ferry passengers with bulky luggage to store them in the luggage area in front of the seating area. Excellent service by Langkawi Ferry Services for a free or RM1.20 ferry ride.

My Penang Fast Ferry departed from from Butterworth Penang Sentral Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH) on time at 4pm.

Reversing out with a view of North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT).

Heading on to Penang Island.

The view of Penang Bridge from the Penang Channel.

Passing by Kenangan 3 with the opposing Penang Fast Ferry service on reciprocal course. At the peak hour frequency of 30 minutes, 2 ferries are used.

Approaching Penang Island Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) with a view of Church Street Pier and Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda.

Docking at the Penang Fast Ferry floating pontoon of Penang Island Swettenham Pier.

Penang Island Swettenham Pier

My Penang Fast Ferry arrived at Penang Island Swettenham Pier at 4.11pm, making this a journey time of 11 minutes.

Passengers are all ready to disembark.

The luggage area on board Kenangan 6.

Disembarking from Kenangan 6.

Heading up to Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) from the floating pontoon.

Looking back at Kenangan 6.

Entering Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT).

There is a separate lane beside the waiting area for disembarking passengers to head out.

On the other side, lots of passengers are all ready to board the peak hour departure to Butterworth Penang Sentral Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH).

Looking back at the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) floating pontoon.

Roro Jaya Dua is also on her way to Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda with passengers on motorcycles and bicycles.

Heading out to Penang Island.

The bus stop for the Rapid Penang FERI Bus Service and other buses to Jetty is on the left.

However, I headed right for the nearby bus stop to catch the Rapid Penang CAT Bus Service to KOMTAR.

Conclusion

The Penang Fast Ferry‘s low hourly frequency defeats the purpose of upgrading the fleet to faster ferries operated temporarily by Langkawi Ferry Services as despite the faster travel time of 10 minutes, the frequency is now 60 minutes. This is very infrequent and unacceptable as the ferry is the only public transport link between Georgetown and Penang Sentral at most hours of the day.

With foot passengers at the mercy of Penang Fast Ferry‘s low frequency to cross the Penang Channel, coupled with the reduced frequency on the Rapid Penang bus network as well, the passenger experience for getting around Penang, island and mainland, by public transport is in dire straits.

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