Ipoh bus terminal

A Terminal Too Far

By Fathol Zaman Bukhari 

The newly-opened Ipoh bus terminal in Meru Jaya has many distinctions balanced on both ends of the social spectrum. Without doubt it is spacious, modern and pleasant, as most would want it to be. Chic and comfort alone will not endear it to the public when accessibility is problematic. That seems to be the case with this multi-million-ringgit facility located next to the Mydin Hypermarket in Meru.

Ipoh bus terminal

Terminal Bas Amanjaya

Most Ipohites are unsure of its usefulness believing it to be another monstrous white elephant in the same league as Medan Kidd and Medan Gopeng. Ipoh’s dalliances with transport terminals or hubs, especially the ones that cater to the needs of the suffering public, never seem to work. The closest it ever came to concocting the right formula was Medan Kidd. In spite of its negativities, Medan Kidd still ranks the best in the city’s attempts at establishing something close to being a transport hub, in the true sense of the word.

Medan Kidd was ideally located. It had within its confines the city bus station, the inter-state bus terminal and the railway station. Commuters from outside of Ipoh could hop into a feeder bus for a short trip home or jump into a coach or a train for a connecting journey elsewhere. There was even a bus to take them to the airport although this entailed a much longer wait, as planes were infrequent.

Few complained as the services and facilities provided were good though they might not have been the best. We had what it took to make Ipohites proud, for a moment at least. Things changed when the inter-state bus terminal was relocated to Medan Gopeng in the late 1990s. Medan Gopeng was built for a reason – to satisfy the needs of a growing Bumiputra business class. But the design and layout of Medan Gopeng are flawed. Traffic congestion caused by human greed and insensitivity turned Medan Gopeng into what it is today, a grotesque facility for the physically and mentally challenged.

Ipoh bus terminalOn Thursday, October 18, members from ten non-governmental organisations, led by the President of the Perak Tourism Association (PTA), Haji Odzman Abd Kadir, visited the Amanjaya Bus Terminal in Meru Raya. The visit was to appraise the suitability of the facility vis-à-vis tourist arrivals. Being bona fide Ipohites, they were equally concerned with the role it plays in the overall scheme of things.

The entourage was briefed on site by the Executive Chairman of the Combined Bus Services Sdn Bhd, Mohammad Mat Isa. He stressed the benefits of the terminal, as was expected. “Since its opening on October 1, we have encountered several problems relating to both commuters and bus operators,” he said.

One major hitch which will affect commuters in a big way is the shuttle service. Shuttle service to the city is available from 6am to 9pm and may be extended to 12 midnight, if necessary. What is required, however, is a 24-hour service, one which is hassle-free.

“We’re working hard on it. However, taxi service is available at all hours,” he remarked. The one problem which commuters find hard to stomach is the atrocious fare these taxis charge. A 10-kilometre one-way trip from the terminal costs anything between RM12 to RM15, depending on the time of the day.

The introduction of coupon-ed taxis, like they do at KLIA and KL Sentral, is the only way out but it requires the blessing of the federal agency, SPAD (Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat). “We’ll resolve this in due time,” said Mohammed.

Exorbitant taxi fares aside, the terminal’s accessibility will definitely have a dampening effect on commuters. If someone has to change buses three times and burn a hole in his pocket to get to his house in Buntong, he will think twice about stopping at Ipoh’s gleaming Terminal Bas Amanjaya. That is the truth of the matter.

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15 thoughts on “A Terminal Too Far

  1. TERMINAL AMAN JAYA adalah terminal yang serba lengkap dengan kemudahan orang ramai, tempat yang selesa tetapi jangan cemari dengan perkara-perkara yang melibatkan pelanggan sebab ini akan memberi kesan kepada perkhidmatan anda sekarang

    1. Sila letakkan pegawai yang mesra pelanggan dan tahu serba sedikit tentang Terminal AMANJAYA di KAUNTER INFORMASI.
    2. Sila gunakan kemudahan CCTV untuk membantu orang ramai bukannya untuk membuat perhiasan Dan memberi kerjasama yang baik terhadap pelanggan anda.

  2. SELAMAT DATANG ke TERMINAL AMANJAYA IPOH.berdekatan highway/berhawa dingin lengkap dgn cctv. kemudahan bank/ medan selera/ hotel/pelbagai kedai makanan dan runcit/ ketibaan di aras 1 dan pelepasan di aras bawah. jadual perjalanan digital screen/ tempat menunggu yg selesa/ cafeteria dan tempat rehat pemandu yg dikhaskan/shuttle bus ke pusat bandar/ teksi 24 jam/kawalan keselamatan 24 jam/ Balai Polis/JPJ/SPAD disediakan/ tempat mainan kanak/ surau lelaki dan perempuan/ dll. Terminal Bas Ekspres yg moden,sistematik dan uptodate serta diiktiraf boleh SPAD. Tk diatas sokongan anda.

  3. We hv to be far sighted look forward in long term. Even KLIA in the early stage was negatively commented. the time has come for Ipoh to have a proper systematic and conducive bas terminal…. thanks Perak Amanjaya

  4. Let the Shuttle bus service to be well connected.The service can also drive along the highway.The feeder bus to all the Taman and let the rakyat from the taman to reach the station or to their destination from their home and back.

  5. I would like to comment on STEVEN LEE, that the railway station should be ? Well, why can’t you see the track that run along near the Gunung Lang to have stop over ? A bridge to cross the river and the railway track,next to the gunung Lang . It will be well connected to the center, as you said, next to the Anderson school and the hospital ? Let the rakyat learn to walk, it will keep them healthy.
    Actually, the management should get to visionary leader to come out with the facility for the rakyat friendly.Look at the HEAVEN ? What a visionary leadership quality, they have.Before comment on it , please make a visit to these place.There is nothing wrong with the new bus terminal,BRAINSTORM.

  6. I don’t know why the public always wants to comment and complain about the new bus terminal in Ipoh(Terminal Aman Jaya at Meru Raya).Just think of the Maidin? Does the boss said,please get me a place in the center of the town,so that I will built a hyper market to make bussiness. If you give me a place like in Meru Raya, it will be difficult to do bussiness? Is it so, in his vision. NEVER. Look, the best place for my family to shop around, ample place n so on.
    Iam sure,if you hand this to THE GREAT MAIDIN , he will definitely tranforms it to rakyat friendly service.The management should consult this type of leadership and not the NGO ? Think and introduce the basic, that rakyat wants ?
    All the hustle created by the so called JOKERS will never looked the possibility.

  7. Amanjaya terminal is built for the Rich? then the government is not caring for the public.Built in a place of nowhere can only accessible by people owing car. Also just look at the food stalls there: hisap darah betul, nasi briyani RM 10, one bowl of mee soup RM 6. Rubbish terminal GAGAL!

  8. The planning system in Malaysia is shocking with power as the prime mover and arbiter and projects as the economic driver. Until we admit to the flaw of this system, white elephants like the bus station will continue to be built with scant regard of the public it is meant to serve.

  9. It can be improved with better planning and free shuttle bus to various part of the city such as Ipoh Railway station, Ipoh Parade, Jaya Jusco, Aeon Station 18, food haven in the city and tourist attractions like Perak Tong and Sam Poh Tong. A good move to centralize it.

  10. I fully agreed that the New Bus terminal was built without proper planning for the poor rakyat like me. It should be a place whereby one can access to the stage bus transport easily. Here only have public transport to Medan Kidd for the last trip at 6.30pm. After that one had to be a victim for the taxi drivers charing RM 15 to RM 20 to go to Ipoh town. Why cannot the authority plan like the Bus terminals in Alor Star or Melaka Sentral?. Definetly I still prefer the Medan Gopeng or Medan Kidd Terminal.If nothing ius done it will become another white elephant.

  11. The location is wrong. There is no connection to train services. A transport hub must integrate all forms of land transport, as well as provide a link to the airport. The new terminal is in the middle of nowhere. If the LRT is built in Ipoh, this terminal would be at the end of the line instead of in the middle. The best place for a transport terminal is on the land vacated by the police opposite the district police headquarters. It is just beside the train station and near to Medan Kidd. The piece of land is large enough and with proper road planning, traffic jams can be avoided, eg changing the roundabout to overhead bridge.

    Regarding the shuttle service, what is the point of getting to city center when local bus services stop after 7.00 pm? People would be stranded in the city bus terminal. There is no choice but to take the taxi, no matter how costly it is. Just look at Medan Gopeng, after 7.00 pm, unless a family member, relative or friend can go there to fetch in a car, there is only the taxi.

  12. Not at a distinct disadvantage, Ken. It’s subjective. Visitors coming to Ipoh by inter-state buses will be off-loaded at the new terminal in Meru Jaya, about 10 km away from downtown Ipoh. Getting to city centre requires a connecting trip by shuttle bus or taxi. The continuation of the shuttle service is dependent upon demand. Coupon-ed taxis is one way to prevent taxi drivers from fleecing passengers. Whether this will be introduced is a million-ringgit question.

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