If you are looking how to move around in Penang for FREE, let me show how you can do this. There is FREE CAT Bus or in a simple word its a free shuttle bus. Central Area Transit (or called as CAT) is a free shuttle service that picks you up from the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, travels along major streets in George Town and drops you off at designated bus stops that are walking distance to major attractions.
Let’s check out this shuttle bus adventure in George Town:
Station 1: Pengkalan Weld
This is where the George Town’s main bus terminal is located and this marks the first stop of the CAT route. For a view of Swettenham Pier and Chulia Street Pier, try to get a seat on the left side of the bus.
Station 2: Feri
The journey to Station 2 is a quick one and if you’re interested to snap photographs of Wisma Yeap Chor Ee and Wisma Kastam. These buildings are located 7 to 10-minutes’ walk from Station 1.
Station 3: Little India*
Little India becomes a lot more vibrant when it hits noon. Hop off if you’re planning to shop for spices and sarees. Other nearby attractions include Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Chung Keng Kwee Ancestral Temple and a vintage-looking OCBC building.
*No stops made at bus stop no.3 every Sunday from 7.00am – 1.00pm.
Station 4: Imigresen
Banks, commercial buildings and administrative offices reside within the British colonial buildings. Station 4 is located at the end of Lebuh Pantai, where the police station is, so hop off and admire these buildings up close. There’s also a good lunch spot at the nearby Sri Weld Food Court.
Station 5: Bank Negara
If you’re in a hurry to visit the City Hall, Town Hall, Fort Cornwallis and War Memorial, hop off here. Or wait for the bus to complete its round till Station 17 where these attractions are situated nearby.
Station 6: Muzium*
History lovers, here’s your stop. Within walking distance from Station 6 are St. George’s Church (closer at Station 16), Church of Assumption, Convent Light Street, Court Buildings and St. Xavier’s Institution.
*Penang State Museum is closed for 3 years from 2017.
Station 7: Lebuh Muntri
If you enjoy a great amount of strolling, stop by at Station 7 for attractions like St. Francis Xavier’s Church and Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion. You could visit an age-old Christian Cemetery nearby too.
Station 8: Lebuh Campbell
If your main incentive in Penang is to cover the religious and shopping aspects of this town, this station is within walking distance from Benggali Mosque and Chowrasta Market (closer at Station 12).
Station 9: KOMTAR
photo credit : asiamarvel.com
KOMTAR also provides buses to off-route journeys such as Batu Ferringhi, Bayan Lepas, Balik Pulau and more. KOMTAR currently serves as an administrative office for the Penang State Government and houses an ICT Digital Mall where affordable gadgets and tech goods are sold. For more shopping, take KOMTAR’s link bridge to Prangin Mall and 1st Avenue Mall.
Station 11: Jalan Kedah*
Durian and cheesecake lovers must hop-off here! As you get off, carry-on walking straight down the road and make a stop at Moody Cow Café. Famous for cheesecakes with a smorgasbord of quirky flavours, their durian cheesecake is a definite must-try; and for the adventurous, their salted egg and century egg cheesecakes are perfect choices!
*No stops made at bus stop no.10.
Station 12: Jalan Chowrasta
For nutmegs, tau sar peah and fresh pickles, Station 12 is located right at the entrance of Chowrasta Market. There are also a couple of second-hand bookshops located on the first floor of the market that is filled with biographies, paperback novels and even, old comics. Don’t forget to set aside 15 minutes for a bowl of cendol at Penang Famous Teochew Chendul on Lebuh Keng Kwee, off Jalan Penang.
Station 13: Komtar Timur
If you change your mind, here’s your last chance to hop off at Prangin Mall. The nearby attraction includes Masjid Pintal Tali.
Station 14: Lebuh Carnarvon
While Penang Islamic Museum is under renovation, trace the history of Sun Yat Sen at his Penang base and then, take a stroll down to the Campbell Street Market.
Station 15: Kampung Kolam
The station is surrounded by Acheen Street Mosque, Masjid Kapitan Keling, Yap Kongsi, Khoo Kongsi, Cheah Kongsi and Lim Kongsi, collectively known as ‘Street of Harmony’. If you’re up for a hefty dinner, Nasi Kandar Beratur, situated next to Masjid Kapitan Keling, promises a feast for the senses.
Station 16: Mahkamah
The shuttle stops in front of St. George’s Church and close to other places of worship such as the Goddess of Mercy Temple and Sri Maha Mariamman Temple.
Station 17: Dewan Sri Pinang
If you prefer to be dropped off at the entrance of Dewan Sri Pinang, alight here. You can also catch up on earlier attractions (reachable from Station 6) such as City Hall, Town Hall, Court Buildings, War Memorial and Logan Memorial.
Station 18: Kota Cornwallis
For a peek at our historical fort, the Fort Cornwallis, here is where you should be. You can also catch a glimpse of Queen Victoria’s Memorial Clock Tower from your current stop.
Station 19: Lebuh Downing
This is your last stop before the bus heads back to the Weld Quay Bus Terminal. Do a final catch-up of the colonial architecture of the old Standard Chartered Building, Islamic Council Building and HSBC Building.
The frequency of buses at Weld Quay Bus Terminal and other bus stops are within 15-20 minutes.
For more information, visit www.rapidpg.com.my
This shuttle service operates from 6.00am – 11.40pm.