Passengers boarding the Rapid Penang free shuttle service (14 November, 2012)
MBPP Rapid Penang CAT is a free shuttle bus service that ply the streets of George Town. It was launched on Friday, 23 January, 2009. CAT, which stands for Central Area Transit, is an initiative of the Penang Island Municipal Council (MBPP) and Rapid Penang. It covers a route from Jetty to Penang Road and back. Along the way, it makes 19 stops at strategic points of interest. The service runs from 6:00 am in the morning until 12:00 am midnight. Apart from the route around Komtar, the shuttle service ply roads within the core and buffer zones of the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site.
Rapid Penang has prepared three air-conditioned buses which were specially painted with the CAT livery for easy recognition. In front of the bus as a "Hop On Free" sign. On the sides are the words "City Hop On" and "Central Area Transit". The 19 bus stops along the route have also been properly signaged. The bus stops are numbered to help visitors identify their location vis-a-vis the tourist attractions of the vicinity.
Penang Travel Tips lauds the introduction of this free shuttle service and gladly provide our resources to help make it successful. Through the Rapid Penang CAT Free Shuttle Bus services, visitors to George Town will be able to explore the sights in comfort without even paying a sen to move around.
Updates on CAT
7 March, 2018The Star reports that the Penang State Government is increasing the number of feeder buses for use in CAT from 46 to 52 (29 on Penang Island and 23 on Penang Mainland). A new route in Alma, Bukit Mertajam is also being introduced and is expected to go into operations on 1 April, 2018. According to the report, CAT services is being expanded to six routes on Penang Island and seven on Penang Mainland. They are the George Town, Tanjong Tokong, Sungai Dua, Bayan Baru, Air Itam and Balik Pulau routes on the island, and the Bertam, Bukit Mertajam, Simpang Ampat, Nibong Tebal, Seberang Jaya and Batu Kawan routes on the mainland.
MBPP Rapid Penang CAT Free Shuttle Bus (23 January, 2009)
City Hop On - Livery of the shuttle bus (23 January, 2009)
Central Area Transit (CAT) signage (23 January, 2009)
Sightseeing with Rapid Penang CAT Free Shuttle Bus
Want to see George Town without having to walk? You can take the City Hop On free shuttle bus to all the various sights. Just alight to sightsee, then continue your trip on the next City Hop On bus to complete the route. Here's a detailed itinerary of what you see.
MBPP Rapid Penang CAT Shuttle Bus Map
The Central Area Transit Shuttle Bus starts at the bus stop No.1 at Weld Quay. From there, it goes along Jetty, making one stop at the Ferry Bus Terminal. Then it continues and turns right at Chulia Street Ghaut. At the next junction, it turns right into Victoria Street. At the end of Victoria Street, it turns left into China Street Ghaut. At the next junction, it turns right into Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai). There are two bus stops at Beach Street, in front of OCBC and in front of Standard Chartered.
Ferry Bus Terminal (Stop No. 2) signage (23 January, 2009)
From Magazine Road, the Central Area Transit Shuttle Bus turns right into Penang Road again, where there's a stop in front of Ong Kongsi. From there, it continues along Penang Road and turn turns left into Burmah Road, and then right again at Transfer Road. At the next traffic lights, the bus turns right into Hutton Lane. At the end of Hutton Lane, it turns right into Penang Road once more time, continues along Penang Road and then turns left into Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong (Prangin Road) again.
Next, the bus turns left and enters Carnarvon Street. It goes along Carnarvon Street until the junction with Kampung Kaka, where it turns right. It goes along Kampung Kaka, and into Kampung Kolam, where it makes a stop. From Kampung Kolam, it enters Pitt Street. At St George's Church, it turns left into Farquhar Street again, and then makes a right turn into Light Street. It goes along Light Street until the roundabout, and then turns into Beach Street. Following that, it turns left at the next junction into Downing Street. The bus makes a final stop at Downing Street before reentering Jetty to restart the journey.
Bus Stops and Sights
The following are the numbered bus stops and the sights to see along the way. It will be impossible to visit all the sights listed. My suggestion is you do a bit of homework. Read about each of the sights to select those you wish to visit (click the links for details with maps). Then take the bus to each stop. Visit some sights, walk along the way, and then catch the next bus at a subsequent bus stop.
The free shuttle bus allows you to explore George Town, but now you can explore the entire Penang State for only RM30.00, for a whole week! Get the Rapid Penang Tourist Passport, available at selected outlets. It allows you unlimited travel on the buses for a whole week. For details, click on Rapid Penang Tourist Passport.
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