Update: Check out additional interior photos of Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (Bandar Tasik Selatan South Integrated Terminal) at this link!
Some new sneak photos on the new Bandar Tasik Selatan’s Integrated Transport Terminal! Will it be like the rendition? What new technology does it offer? How does it tie with the neighbouring stations? More review after the jump.
The terminal, which costs more than half a billion Ringgit (built by Maju and owned by Ministry of Transport), was connected to the present pedestrian bridge that links RapidKL LRT (Sri Petaling line), KTM Komuter (Rawang-Seremban line) and ERL KLIA Transit together, via a new pedestrian bridge (duh…) which entrance is one level higher. There are CCTVs monitoring movements within the bridge.
Not far away from the terminal, there is a bus holding area where express buses are supposed to ‘stage’, and wait for entry permission via electronic board that displays the allowed bus numbers. The holding area is connected by entry ramps, which originates from the Besraya and the MRR2 highways.
The main terminal building is consisted of 5 levels. The lobby, which is connected to the pedestrian bridge, is at the third level.
From the floor plan, one can see ramps towards passenger drop off area. We wonder why there is no designated pick up area.
The second floor is the departure lounge, with plenty of seats for disembarking passengers. 1Malaysia lookalike boarding pass kiosks are present at exit gates. In total, there are 21 bus bays.
The fourth floor is where terminal for outstation taxis, food court and retail spaces are located. Most of the lots are empty, with the exception of a few. It is good if the limited parking bays at Level 3 can be reserved for quick pick ups; the bays can be charged, say RM1 for every 10 minutes. Arriving passengers can quickly access the bays from the nearby lift, and drivers do not have to wait long to find parking spaces that are going to be utilized just for a few minutes.
Viewing the surroundings from the glass windows, one can wonder how the station fails to integrate with the nearby residents, especially the Kampung Malaysia Tambahan folks
The first level is at the ground level, and we assume the parking lots available are for staff, and local taxis.
The ground level is where the arrival platforms are located, with 6 island platforms, and 3 bus bays for each platform. Assuming passenger disembarking and luggage unloading will take 5 minutes, the arrival platforms can take in 216 buses per hour, or roughly 15,000 passengers per hour (assuming 70 pax capacity per double deck bus).
Arriving commuters will have to use the elevators to reach the arrival lounge situated on level 3 (where the main lobby is). The platform nearest to the building is equipped with lifts, and bus drivers with physically-challenged passengers will have to inform the control room to seek clearance to disembark passengers using the platform.
There are two wide billboards with warm 1Malaysia welcoming message for the Prime Minister at the receiving end of the elevators, and at the arrival lounge another big billboard is set to greet the arriving travelers, but this time, surprise surprise, it came from local car manufacturer! So the message must be some sort like this: in the spirit of 1Malaysia, the head of the nation thanks you as a public transport user with this spank new gigantic and sparking white integrated bus terminal, but be reminded that a personal cheap nippy city car is still a real handy tool to get you anywhere once you get out of this station!
Sadly, that seems to be the message: although the local bus bays are based on sawtooth design, they do not differ much from that of KL Sentral: no proper platform numbers, waiting chairs, fans, and worse of all – no information!
It is assumed that stage bus users will have to wait for buses at the entrance of Bandar Tasik Selatan LRT station.
Unfortunately, again, there is no adequate waiting area, and no information. The organised traffic flow design that we see in Bandar Tasik Selatan bus terminal is nowhere to be found here – the bus bays can also function as parking, food stall, and pick up and drop off bays.
To conclude, on the plus side, the plush terminal does offer great comfort and convenience to travelers using express buses. It is hoped that the operational cost of the terminal can be managed efficiently, and that the commuters’ ease of movement can be attained, striking a balance between a chaotic ramadhan bazaar and a soulless white elephant. The ticketing counters are well designed, and there are many displays on ticket availability and platform status, and it is hoped that there will be a centralized ticketing agency that can provide such information and purchasing avenue via the web.
On the minus side, integration is still lacking – there is no direct connectivity to the neighbouring residential areas. Even on the present pedestrian walkway, shortcuts to both sides of the KTM and the LRT platforms can improve walkability a lot. The narrow passageway from Bandar Tasik Selatan LRT station to ERL station remains a big minus – physically challenged individuals will still be upset. Integration with stage buses is almost an afterthought – other than the sawtooth platforms, there are no significant difference from the bus bays at KL Sentral.
We have yet to learn more on the proposed similar integrated terminals at Sungai Buloh (for the north) and at Gombak (for the east coast), but we are sure the government could do better by integrating the terminal with the three rail stations, and with special platforms for intercity buses (to satellite cities such as Klang, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Bangi etc). TRANSIT has suggested the Expressway Rapid Transit system utilizing express buses for intra-Greater KL travel during peak hours only (compared to BET which rolling stocks sit idle most of the day). This way, interstate travel needs can be streamlined; there will be no need for too many interstate express buses to stretch and diversify its destinations within Klang Valley.