I got my driving license three years ago but since I got it, I’ve been discourage of driving sometimes for the most peculiar reasons. I do drive occasionally but only for short distance trips and I put aside the thought of driving and chose public transportation instead.
What I like about public transportation is I can get a close up of the real life of people, how they live and you sort of know their stories. Aside from that, it is a form of car pooling that can lessen the impact of green house emissions to the environment.
But unfortunately, in KK, the public transportation, the buses especially (what else do we have aside from taxis?) doesn’t cater the needs of the citizens thoroughly.
I saw on Twitter that some KK citizens wish that there would be an LRT or MRT service and such. While it’s not wrong to wish something better for your city, we all do know that an LRT service in KK is far cry, if you know what I mean.
So what we all can now hope for is, especially those who frequently travel via public transportation, that to have at least a better, systematic and professional bus service. My view on the current bus service is that it has many flaws.
I remembered a long time ago while I was riding a bus home to Putatan, this student wanted to drop down at Maktab Perguruan Gaya. When she asked the driver, the driver said yes, he’ll take her there. But the driver misunderstood her and dropped her down at the bus stop in front of the Federal House assuming that she wanted to go to Maktab Sabah and scolded the student as well. Just imagine how far she had to walk.
Situation number two. I was on the way to Tuaran from KK. The road was jammed due to the recent Tour of Borneo. At the left side of the road, there’s a family of four with many things to carry. The mother was carrying a new born baby. They were waiting for the bus, until one came. But to their dismay, the bus was full and there aren’t any other busses available. Standing under the hot sun (because there were no bus stops) just imagine how hot it is. Luckily a good citizen came down from the bus to make space for the family.
The buses that are available now are ‘old’ and need to be changed. I think it’s time to ditch those ‘mini buses’ and have bigger buses, bigger that the one’s that goes to Donggongon, like those Rapid buses in KL.
Why? Well, a bigger bus will cater more passengers, which give comfort to them as well. The passengers don’t have to wait for another bus when the current bus is full. Plus, bigger bus, more passengers, more income.
The bus operators should add new routes as well. The bus operators now only go through ‘commercial routes’. Buses don’t travel through the Penampang bypass road. The buses to Beverly Hills only stop at Beverly Hills. What about the rest of Jalan Budusan towards Donggongon? And countless other routes as well. By extending their (bus operators) routes, they can reach more passengers and would be such a convenience to them, passengers doesn’t have to walk many miles just to ride a bus. Having these new routes also allows certain places to be recognized and provide traffic to that place and thus, businesses can expand.
Operation hours should also be extended. The other day, my friend and I were spending our last day in KK before going back to KL the next day, we wanted to take the bus home but when we reached the bus terminal around 9.00 pm, all the buses we gone! There were no buses left. We took the taxi which cost RM25 for a trip to Putatan which should only cost RM 4 for the both of us if we managed to take the bus. I suggest that last bus should be at 12.00 am. Business can operate long hours and those who are going home late still can catch the bus home.
Information! Bus operators should have information for the passengers like, where a certain bus travels, operation hours and bus fares. General information like these could build trust to more citizens to use the bus. And bus operators should take the advantage of using the internet. Website is a must while reaching the people through social networking like Twitter is perhaps an effective way because information spread like diseases on Twitter.
And the bus terminal! Should I even touch on that? We all do know that it needs to be repaired/renovated. And I suggest as well for there would be a proper bus terminal that travels long distance to the east cost for instance.
It is clear that the revamp of the buses which are the commonest mode of public transportation in Sabah would prove to be beneficial not only to the bus operators but also to the people who can’t afford to get a car or even a motorcycle.
Car loans are approved every month and that means, there will be more cars on the road. Are the roads in KK alone enough to occupy all these cars? No. Massive traffic jam would occur especially during rush hours and wouldn’t please those KK people who aren’t used to heavy traffic jams (believe me, there are these kind of people. Just look at those tweets). If the factors discussed are to be realized then, more people would chose to ride a bus. I know I would.
On March 19th this year, Free Malaysia Today reported that federal government has been urged to subsidise public transportation in Sabah or face the reality of several stage bus companies winding up in the very near future. Read the rest of the article here.
Will the hopes of a better public transportation come true? Let’s just keep our fingers crossed.