TRANSIT took note of this commentary from Star Reporter Lim Chia Ying, discussing traffic congestion outside the Puduraya Bus terminal this past week as part of the Chinese New Year travel activities.
Chaos outside Puduraya (The Star)
Monday February 22, 2010
By LIM CHIA YING firstname.lastname@example.org
THE temporary bus depot at the junction of Jalan Pudu and Jalan Galloway was opened to express buses last September after phase one of the project was completed in time to cater for those heading home for Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.
With a capacity for 135 buses once it is fully completed, the depot is meant to ease congestion around the Pudu area as the Puduraya bus terminal undergoes a major facelift.
Recently my family and I were in the Pudu area for a reunion dinner and it was an eysore to see a long stretch of express buses parked by the roadside along Jalan Hang Tuah, starting just before the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.
Some of the bus drivers were nowhere to be seen, and their buses had blocked the left turning at the traffic lights in front of Pudu Jail where motorists needed to turn left to get into Jalan Pudu.
Along Jalan Hang Tuah, many motorists had to slowly ease out from the lane that the buses had been parked at after realising that these vehicles were not moving.
As the left turning has been blocked, vehicles had to turn left immediately at the traffic lights and the 20 parked buses stretched all the way till the Puduraya bus terminal.
Half of the two-lane Jalan Pudu was occupied by these parked buses, leaving only one lane for traffic.
Even as we approached the restaurant, turning in to park at the jockey area was difficult as the buses also blocked the outlet’s entrance.
A restaurant staff said their management had complained about the chaotic situation but no action has been taken.
The outlet’s customers also had to be careful when leaving the restaurant as the buses blocked their view.
It started to rain heavily at about 9pm, and soon after, the stretch of Jalan Pudu heading towards the Puduraya terminal was flooded. The sudden downpour was probably too much for the drainage system to cope with and it is time the authorities sorted out the problem since the place is an important area for those travelling to different parts of the country.
It does not make sense to transform the Puduraya terminal into a world-class transport hub but ignore the problems faced by motorists and commuters just outside the terminal.
Also, are the long stretch of buses parked by the roadside a result of the temporary depot near Jalan Hang Tuah being packed to the brim that it could not accommodate these additional express buses.
Perhaps some of the express bus companies are not aware that they are supposed to park at the temporary depot.
Deputy Minister for Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Datuk M. Saravanan said that once the depot was ready, the authorities would be able to ensure that only registered buses used the bays to curb congestion.
Does this mean that some of the parked express buses parked along Jalan Pudu are illegal?
If that is so, it is time the relevant authorities pull up their socks and take action not only against those involved in haphazard parking but also on unregistered transport providers.
There is no two ways about it, enforcement must be beefed up around the Puduraya area to deter buses from parking illegally at the busy Jalan Pudu. Hopefully with strict enforcement and better awareness, the RM6.2mil spent on the new depot at Jalan Hang Tuah is money well spent and becomes a useful facility for the people.
As you can imagine, back in September during the Hari Raya Balik Kampung, the government made it very clear that they were going to keep a close watch on the Puduraya terminal and make sure that the touts & the buses were under control.
Have things changed for the Chinese New Year holiday? We will contact the office of the Federal Territories Minister for comments, and also hope to see what is being done to improve traffic flow and public transport service in the Puduraya area.