TRANSIT has been following the development of public transport in Perak, with the recent launching of PerakTransit.
We also note the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ipoh City Bus Terminal Cum Commercial And Business Centre Complex which took place earlier this week.
The interesting thing about this (aside for the horrible name) is that the state government is now expressing an interest in redeveloping the Medan Kidd bus terminal, located 200m from the Ipoh railway station, as the “Ipoh Sentral” station.
Those that are familiar with Ipoh public transport know how bus services have been moved about from terminal to terminal. The new terminal to be constructed in Bandar Meru Raya was introduced to us as “Ipoh Sentral”
Now it seems that the mood has changed. Perhaps the government was paying attention to TRANSIT’s proposal for the Kinta Valley?
From an NST article:
….He [Dr. Zambry Abd Kadir] said the [Perak] state government was also seeking assistance from the Federal Government to develop the Medan Kidd bus station and turn it into an Ipoh Sentral, similar to KL Sentral, as efforts to upgrade the public transport system in the state.
“We are looking at an integrated transportation hub which will include taxi stands, bus stations and the Ipoh railway station.
[TRANSIT: And how well has KL Sentral worked out? At least this version of Ipoh Sentral will be more integrated that KL Sentral.]
The Medan Kidd bus station is located about 200m from the railway station.
The land parcel between the bus station and the railway station belongs to several parties including bus operators, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad, Perak Malay Chamber of Commerce and Perak State Development Corporation.
“We have initiated discussions with all the parties and will need to have further talks before a final blueprint is made public,” he said, adding that KTMB had agreed to the idea.
On the Ipoh City Integrated Bus Terminal and Commercial Complex, he said the operators would provide inter-state and inter-city services, pointing out that the terminal would later be linked with the proposed Ipoh Sentral.
[TRANSIT: Again, we wonder if they have looked at our proposal]
Zambry said the state government was willing to provide subsidies to bus companies which were willing to ply routes to small towns which may have low passenger load.
[TRANSIT: You can do better than that. Use gross-cost contracts and packages that involve mainline and feeder routes. Don’t do all this ‘willing to provide if you are willing to provide’ nonsense. Issue expectations and take control!]
Meanwhile, The Combined Bus Services Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Hiew Yew Can said the company would acquire 250 new buses for RM112 million to ply the routes in the state.
Another interesting source of information about the proposals to improve public transport comes in this latest edition of KOSMO!
Memodenkan bas henti-henti talks about some of the existing problems with the bus service in Ipoh and compares the existing buses with the more modern buses offered by Perak Transit.
Our comments above are pretty clear.
The main point that we wish to get across here is that it improving public transport is not just about buying new buses and building new terminals.
Yes, we appreciate the investments and the can-do attitude. But that same investment and can-do attitude brought us RapidKL and the bus graveyards and RM7bn in LRT extensions that may not really be necessary.
The minimal investment that was put into new buses for RapidPenang has paid off in far greater ways than the billions of RM pumped into Intrakota, Prasarana, and RapidKL because unlike the other companies, RapidPenang has the right attitude. It is small, creative, energetic, customer focused, and above all, it does not have any existing baggage!
We are continuously trying to find out more information about PerakTransit and the proposals for Ipoh – and hopefully, we will have the opportunity to present our thoughts and views to the government of Perak.
If you have more information about PerakTransit, the Combined Bus Services Sdn. Bhd., or the proposed Ipoh Sentral and Ipoh City terminals, please share this information by posting below or sending an email to TRANSIT at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.