Why throw out the buses from KL Sentral?
M Zulkarnain Hamzah | Jan 22, 09 4:10pm
The Association for the Improvement of Mass Transit (Transit) is very dismayed at the recent news that the Kuala Lumpur Sentral bus hub will be closed.
This apparently is due to the commercial development of the only swath of land viable for a bus terminal (which is sandwiched between Jalan Tun Sambanthan and the KL Sentral building).
The KL Sentral’s current design does not even take into account buses as a viable and interchangeable mode of public transport that should be integrated with other types of public transport in the Klang Valley.
Even before the planned closure of the only bus terminal in KL Sentral, bus users have had to endure harsh waiting conditions during evening rush-hours along the clogged Jalan Tun Sambanthan.
With the closing of the stage bus terminal and detour of walking paths between KL Sentral and Jalan Tun Sambanthan, the commuting experience any bus-user has to endure in exchanging modes of public transport will be even worse than before.
Transit has forwarded proposals to various government bodies and agencies on the importance of establishing integrated public transport gateways for KL.
The gateways would have direct and unobstructed access for expressway buses (dubbed as Expressway Rapid Transit or ERT) to the already established rapid travel corridors such as the Maju Expressway, Akleh, Duke and the NKVE/Sprint.
With the planned commercialisation of the only vacant areas left around KL Sentral, there will be no adjacent space left for the extension of the existing bus transit hub that allows for rapid and convenient transfer from express (limited-stop and non-stop), trunk and city buses to other modes of public transport.
Without proper terminal for buses, it will be impossible for this so-called integrated public transport hub to be truly effective in serving the vast commuting population east of KL.
If we can share our resources together to build sidewalks, street lamps and city streets, why it is hard for us to get the same allocation to build public transport infrastructure that can better utilise our scarce urban spaces to solve mobility needs in the most effective manner?
We then won’t have to worry about beating each other for the scarce road space we’ve got left. Private transport guzzles more fuel, eats a bigger road space, emits higher pollution and has higher capital and operational expenditure per passenger mile than public transport.
We must dare to question our present approach in solving urban congestion woes and move our mass transit forwards, not backwards.
The writer represents Transit.