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Thursday, February 07, 2013

A bit on Ipoh's new Bus Terminal Aman Jaya


I am writing this without proper research, just based on comments heard in coffeeshops. Most people I have asked do not know its name though they know of a new bus terminal.

I passed by this impressive landmark in Meru, Ipoh, whenever I visited my sister-in-law in Bandar Baru Sri Klebang via Chemor. When I was with my daughter at the new Immigration building recently, we were supposed to visit it while waiting for her passport. Instead she chose to go to Ipoh town instead. So I have yet to be in the grand terminal, which from the main road, would put our LCCT in Sepang to shame.

Aman Jaya to Ipoh, is like Putrajaya to KL. A brand new township built from scratch, thanks to our BN planners who were more interested in form rather than substance. Big contracts meant big opportunities for those well connected and big kickbacks to those with the authority to approve.

To me, Aman Jaya is just like our Batu Gajah bus station and railway station, which locations were chosen not for the convenience of the public but for reasons best known to the decision-makers. To the residents and users like myself, it is better described as 'development at the expense of convenience'. It makes no sense at all, for planners to decide on a location without considering the needs of the users. Normally, any business or in this case, a bus or rail station, should grow from where it is most popular. Any redevelopment should be at the same location, with acquisition of properties  adjoining it only if necessary. Again, it is like crying over spilt milk and wondering why the bus companies are not moving into the premises. Bus companies are business-oriented which decisions are based on what their customers need and want. Besides, they are also concerned about profits and new and grand buildings are likely to charge much higher rentals and/or other charges.

So far, my friends (who have never been there) have commented (from what they have read in the papers) that our MB and others have complained about the under-used bus terminal in Aman Jaya. This is not surprising, considering the 'out of the way' location, and my immediate reaction would be 'serves them right' for not having considered the opinions of the public.

Recently, I was surprised at the packed car park of the run-down temporary bus terminal at Medan Gopeng. After moving from Medan Kidd, this temporary site seems to meet the needs of the bus companies and the bus passengers. But because it is supposed to be temporary, nobody bothered about maintaining it up to decent standards.

From what I have gathered about the bus station in BG as an example, only Plusliner uses it to pick and drop off passengers. Transnational used to stop in front of KFC (most convenient to passengers) but would not do so because it is illegal (seems illogical to me). Why can't decision-makers (law enforcement as well as bus management) think for the people?

By the way, Mydin has a hypermarket in Meru, just across the road from Bus Terminal Aman Jaya. According to a friend who has been there, there are so few people that he wonders how long they can continue in that situation. As we all know, Mydin is a beneficiary of Najib's 1Malaysia this and that, so he has lots of public funds to waste before he feels the pinch. Meanwhile, we have to change our way of life just to suit unsuitable locations decided by people who are out of touch with reality. To rub salt into injuries, we are told promises have been honoured; public interests come first; nobody will be left behind; and so on. It is a strange world in our country better known as Malaysia Boleh.

Update on Feb 9:

Trying to find solutions at a place where convenience of the public was not taken into consideration...
NST: Preventing another white elephant
http://www.nst.com.my/streets/northern/preventing-another-white-elephant-1.164754

How about having feeder bus services to a bus terminal? From a practical point, this government chosen location is going to be a place where all bus companies have to be arm-twisted to go to, and the buses will still have to go into Ipoh town, at selected places, for the convenience of their passengers. What a way to solve a self-created problem, with waste of limited resources.

For photos of the impressive bus terminal:
http://cahayakeagungan.blogspot.com/2012/09/foto-ekslusif-terminal-amanjayameru-raya.html
Link

4 comments:

al2 said...

Looks like a white elephant. Better to spend a little more and take the train, at least I'm in the centre of Ipoh

KoSong Cafe said...

Yes, it is, like most grand creations of BN. The only good thing I can think of is that it is close to NSE. But this is only convenient to inter-city bus companies, what about the travelling public? I can see bus companies having to accommodate their passengers, will arrange for transit buses to and from convenient locations in Ipoh. Usually, enterprising ones will even have their drivers fetch or drop off their passengers, regardless of their enforced presence in the new terminal. Really stupid of the planners.

In Batu Gajah, the new train station is close to the new Railway complex (close to Railway College, Railway workshop, etc.) but 2 km from the main road (compared to the old station's 'by the main road'). It was supposed to benefit residents of the area, but the proposed development has yet to show any sign of development, so who benefit from the new location? For a few years since the move, residents who live near the old station were deprived of the convenience of 'walking to the station'. Honestly, I for one, would prefer the dilapidated old station instead of the new, simply because of the location.

Anonymous said...

when the bus station was in medan gopeng, ppl frm menglembu buntong silibin falim jelapang manjoi etc etc had to travel so far to take bus. there we no complaints. but that place is so jammed now...especially with all the express busses...so now at least terminal is in jelapang n a little ok with jam...so now ppl frm city had to travel far a little...so its all give n take...dont simple complaint just bcoz u dont like the rulling party...current mb is doing a great job in developing the state...of coz previous mbs were bn but they were not good enough...but this man is doing his work...dont be the typical citizen who only noe how to complain...especially if ur not a perakian, do no comment k

KoSong Cafe said...

Anonymous, you missed the main point of complaint. Of course, any location will be near some while far from others, and no place can please everybody. Before Amanjaya, bus operators were allowed to provide services convenient to passengers, regardless of where their depots were located. With Amanjaya, operators and passengers are forced to go there. See the difference?

Though I was born in KL, I am now a Perakian since '90s. I am as much affected by what's happening in Perak as everybody else. Even if not a Perakian, any Malaysian should be allowed to comment on any matters.