The reopening of Puduraya has been confirmed for February 2, which is the day after the Federal Territories Day.
February 2 was also the original date proposed for the opening of the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, the Integrated Transport Terminal at Bandar Tasik Selatan.
Although TRANSIT had some advance knowledge of the proposal to refurbish Puduraya, we were never happy with the way that the refurbishment was introduced to the public without information and opportunities for feedback.
And although we are concerned about the delays, we are more disappointed that the opportunity to engage with the public and create excitement about a public transport project was completely ignored.
More information after the jump.
Resolving the issues at Puduraya, even just a little bit, has changed the way that public transport is presented on the streets of KL. Interurban buses to Rawang and Seremban have been shifted to the temporary terminal at Hang Tuah, and may eventually be shifted to Puduraya when the Integrated Transport Terminals at Gombak and Sg. Buloh are completed.
Puduraya may also become a staging area for stage buses, instead of having them squat around the streets of Chinatown and Medan Pasar.
Puduraya to reopen on Feb 2 after upgrading works (The Star)
Friday January 21, 2011
By PRIYA MENON
Photos by CHAN TAK KONG
THE famed Puduraya bus station will reopen its doors on Feb 2, much to the relief of regular bus passengers who like the central location.
The station was closed in April 2010 for upgrading works involving a cost of RM52mil. The task was to have been completed by the end of last year but the project was delayed due to additional work on the base of the building.
The terminal is set to be relaunched with a host of facilities to improve the level of transportation services.
In the past, the terminal grabbed headlines during festive periods due to the number of complaints from passengers on the poor condition of the bus station.
Ventilation was poor and the amenities were in a sorry state due to age. The terminal was over-used as a result of its popularity and the years took a tremendous toll on the building.
[TRANSIT: Not exactly. The terminal was overused because of deregulation of the public transport industry, with too many operators entering the market and (and this is important) no corresponding increase in infrastructure and capacity.]
While facilities were lacking at the bus terminal that first opened in 1976, touts were aplenty. The touts were a major problem in the surrounding areas; they could be found as far as the Tung Shin Hospital. Buses, on the other hand, were recklessly parked along the road, causing massive traffic jams.
The upgrade comes with some main highlights that will undoubtedly ease problems for travellers. There are two escalators heading to the basement where buses are parked and one travellator from a new main entrance to the ground floor.
Heat from the bus engines and smoke will no longer affect the passengers at the ground floor with the new air-conditioned waiting area.
“There are also two passenger lifts from the main entrance and four escalators to the second floor,” said UDA Holdings Bhd senior general manager, corporate services division, Abd Rashid Atan.
Other new features include ticket counters on the first floor, a surau on the second floor while the fourth floor will be dedicated to a food court.
“To-date, close to 95% of upgrading works have been completed. Coaches on the north-bound trips will remain at Puduraya Terminal. Those headed south will need to go to Terminal Bandar Tasik Selatan,” he added.
All the 198 previous tenants including bus operators, food outlets, retail outlets, convenient stores and baggage storage will return to Puduraya. According to sources, there will be 51 ticket counters for 72 bus companies.
Abu Hassan Awang, who used to own the luggage storage centre in Puduraya, said he would have to adapt to the changes which he hoped would be for the better.
“It will take time to adjust to the changes. The Government has spent so much on the renovation, I am sure it will be for the better,” he said, adding that he would return to operating the luggage centre and a bus ticket counter at the upgraded terminal.
Frequent traveller S. Vasugi, 27, said the reopening of Puduraya would be beneficial to passengers. Having to catch the bus to her hometown Taiping from the temporary bus terminal in Jalan Duta while Puduraya is undergoing renovation, Vasugi is convinced that getting to Puduraya will be much easier.
“The upgraded terminal will benefit passengers. In the past, the place was very crowded and we would have to stand for long periods waiting for our buses. With closed-circuit TV cameras installed in the new Puduraya terminal, it will be safer for us too,” she said.
She added that many of her friends had been victims of pickpockets at the old terminal.
Another passenger G. Vinod, 30, said he hoped the new layout of the terminal would be more convenient for passengers and more environmentally friendly.
“Hopefully they will make it easier for passengers to use the facilities and the problem of excessive smoke will be solved. In the past, the place was very stuffy and filled with exhaust fumes from the buses,” he said.
Vinod also hopes that UDA has addressed the traffic congestion in the area.
“They should also look into maintaining the terminal after the facelift and not let it become run down again,” he added.
The temporary bus terminal in Bukit Jalil will be closed upon the opening of Puduraya.
While we are disappointed to note that (as we said above) the opportunity to share information and communicate about public transport was ignored, we are happy that this project is finally reaching its end phase and buses, shopkeepers, patrons (and touts) will be able to move back to Puduraya.
There will be a great deal of pleasure at having the newly-upgraded infrastructure and a better experience for customers.