By Jerry Francis
The relocation of any facility will always be beset with problems. There will be those against the idea and those in favour of it.
The main issue is location. It may be convenient to those living close-by, but not to others further away who may be faced with having to get to the new location. However, such movement may be necessary in the name of progress.
Thus, the relocation of the centralized out-station bus terminal from Medan Gopeng in Ipoh to the Amanjaya integrated bus terminal in Bandar Meru Raya, just north of the city, is no exception.
A huge amount of funds has been spent on the construction of the new bus terminal. Unlike the one in Medan Gopeng, which was not built for a bus terminal, the Amanjaya integrated bus terminal had been painstakingly planned to provide all the facilities and comforts of long distance bus passengers.
It is an impressive complex beside the North-South Expressway and in the midst of the commercial areas of the new township. Located in the complex are ticketing booths, a comfortable waiting area with TV screens displaying information on arrival and departure, food outlets, shops, a budget hotel, taxi-station and ample car parks. The passengers’ arrival area is located on the higher level, which is connected by two lifts and escalators. There are 19 platforms for buses with space for 30 more on stand-by.
“We have discussed with those running the bus terminal at Medan Gopeng and they agreed that all the express bus companies operating there would move to the new terminal within a month,” said executive chairman of the Combined Bus Service Sdn Bhd, Encik Mohamad Hj. Mat Isa. His company is managing the Amanjaya Bus Terminal.
“This matter has been dragging on for the last six months. Currently, about 23 bus operators have moved to Amanjaya bus terminal. ”
Mohamad said that the rest will have to move into the new complex soon as the Perak Development Corporation, which owns Medan Gopeng, has other plans to turn the building into another state tourism icon.
Meanwhile, the Combined Bus Services is encouraging travellers to use the new bus terminal. “We have launched a promotion. Those who book their outstation bus tickets and disembark at the Amanjaya terminal are entitled to a RM5 voucher to be spent at the terminal,” he said.
The company is also planning to introduce more shuttle buses to connect Amanjaya bus terminal with the various residential areas around the city.