On O-Bahns and Penang (Let’s keep government out of the technology business)

adelaide Oi-Bahn vehicle at station

O-Bahn at station in Adelaide

On Thursday my esteemed colleague Mr. Loh Lim Lin Lee posted a note and a question to our WhatsApp Sustainable Penang forum on the topic of an O-Bahn as a possibly attractive transportation option for Penang. He wrote:

I am a huge fan of the O-Bahn in Adelaide. Extra-long buses with concertina type middles to allow turning corners running on dedicated bus lanes on normal city roads. On exiting the inner city, the bus mounts 2′ high narrow tracks that run along river embankments (to save on land purchase) locks on magnetically, runs at 100km an hour. It’s non-intrusive, quiet, totally effective. Adelaide’s population & ours share many similarities. Monorails are not cost effective for us with insufficient payload. Our tree lined roads, heritage buildings and general Penang ambience are totally incompatible with monorails.

Eric, any wise words on the O-Bahn?

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