TRANSIT takes note of this article in the Malay Mail that announces the shut down of Terminal B at the controversial Klang Sentral bus station.
Nine months — that’s how long it lasted
Nevash Nair, Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 05:45:00
THE shutters have finally come down at Terminal B of the ill-fated Klang Sentral after nine months. The only shop that was operating within Terminal B closed when the terminal was closed two months ago.
The terminal looks like a ghost town — an apt description as the deserted building has no passengers and no bus operators. No one was around.
It was said that Terminal B had been sold to an inter-State bus company operator and would reopen in October but the Klang Municipal Council brushed this off as “a rumour”.
Malay Mail visited Klang Sentral yesterday and it was a sorry sight. Only Terminal A, the terminal that caters for outstation buses, is operational and buzzing with activity.
However, traders at Terminal A are still finding it hard to make ends meet.
“We are only catering for the inter-State bus passengers. We are barely making money. We can only hope for local buses to move back here like how it was initially planned,” said Akhbar, a newsstand operator.
The controversial Klang Sentral opened its doors for operations last November — and nothing much has changed. The RM12 million terminal along Jalan Meru has been the subject of controversy as many residents in Klang complained of its location which is too far from town.
Until today, all bus operators, including RapidKL, are adamant they will not use Klang Sentral due to its poor location and the lack of passengers.
The Klang Sentral bus terminal also created a rift between Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam and Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim that saw Manikavasagam handing in his resignation letter.
The first-term MP stayed on after Khalid promised to look into the matter personally. But meeting after meeting has not found any solution.
The Klang Municipal Council is also clueless on how to resolve the issue and is seemingly powerless as well. Many bus operators initially expressed their displeasure at the relocation, saying that it added to operational costs and was “a waste of time”.
Bus operators in Klang Sentral are charged RM900 monthly rental compared with just RM150 at the former Klang bus terminal.
Chronology of Klang Sentral
May 13 — Six months since the controversial Klang Sentral opened its doors for operations nothing much has changed. Malay Mail visited Klang Sentral and it was a sorry sight. Only Terminal A that caters to outstation buses was fully operational with lots of people. Terminal B, on the other hand, looked like a ghost town. Within the terminal, there is only one newsstand. At 1.30pm, this reporter was the first customer of the day and the shop had been open since morning.
April 23 — Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim pledged to solve the Klang Sentral fiasco by next month.
April 22 — RapidKL decided to cease its operations at the RM12 million terminal in Meru, moving back to the Bandar Klang terminal in the town centre.
April 20 — The Klang Municipal Council is sticking by the various bus routing changes announced when Klang Sentral was opened to replace the old bus terminal.
April 6 — Traders near the old Klang town bus station expressed frustration after their businesses had gone from bad to worse since the bus station was moved to Klang Sentral. Traders claimed that business plunged by more than half.
Feb 20 — Bus operators were still operating from the old terminal in the middle of Klang town, causing traffic congestion. Many passengers at the old bus terminal said certain bus operators had refused to use the new terminal and continued to pick-up and drop-off passengers at the old terminal.
Feb 13 — Klang MP Charles Santiago offered to mediate between the Klang Sentral management, bus companies, traders and consumer groups to resolve various problems plaguing the new terminal.
Jan 16 — Many bus operators refused to move to the spanking new bus terminal, stating that it would increase cost of operations.
Dec 27, 2008 — Stage and express bus companies and taxi operators start operations from the new bus terminal.
You can read through our postings from the past, letters to the media, and comments on urban transit terminals to get a sense of our view.
Basically, the fact is that urban public transport terminals need to be maintained. The issue is not the location, rather, the problem is with the operations of the privatized bus companies.
Malaysians have too much faith in infrastructure. We believe, unfortunately and to our own loss, that building new infrastructure will solve our problems.
The issue has always been with how the buses operate, not the station where they operate.
Now that the Klang Municipal Council has seen what happens when public transport planning is done in a haphazard manner, will they be willing to listen to what TRANSIT has been saying all along?