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Mixed response to new bus terminal


INCONVENIENCE: Regular express bus users claim that the Meru Raya Terminal in Jelapang is too far from Ipoh city centre

IPOH: THE RM38 million Integrated Bus Terminal and Complex in Bandar Meru Raya near Jelapang here, which was supposed to begin operations in June, is creating quite a stir among the people.

While some are singing praises of the three-storey terminal and complex by Combined Bus Services Sdn Bhd (CBSB), others are not too excited.

Some commuters have claimed that the terminal, which will serve as an inter-city bus station and terminal, will inconvenience residents living in Ipoh city centre.

A college student from Kuala Lumpur, Alice Heng, 20, is not receptive to the relocation of the Medan Gopeng express bus station to the new terminal as it is not within the city centre.

"Jelapang is far and it will be a hassle for people who are living in areas like Simpang Pulai, Kampar, Taman Cempaka, Ipoh Garden, Gopeng, and Ampang.

"They will need to have their family members drive all the way to the new terminal to pick them up," said Heng who is a frequent express bus user.

College student, S. Shantini 19, expressed her concerns over how much the taxi fare from the new terminal to Ipoh city centre would cost.

"I travel daily by bus from Taiping to go to my college, which is in Jalan Kampar. Upon arrival in Medan Kidd, I then  take a taxi to the college.

"Even though the distance is less than two kilometres, taxi drivers will ask for RM12. Imagine how much more I would have to pay from the new terminal."

Shantini said she had taken the shuttle bus service to Jalan Kampar but always ended up late for classes.

"The shuttle service is never on time and the bus drivers and conductors are extremely rude. I hope the authorities can improve the service," said Shantini.

Meanwhile commuter Awang Ali, 35, said the new terminal in Bandar Meru Raya would ease traffic congestion along Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, where the existing Medan Gopeng express bus station is located.

Awang, who travels frequently by bus between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur, said with fewer buses using Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, motorists would have a smoother journey.

"The traffic jam along the road is bad, especially between 5pm and 6pm. I often return home late because of the traffic but it will take longer to travel from Bercham to Jelapang to just board a bus to Kuala Lumpur. Jelapang is just too far.

"Not all of us can afford to travel all the way to Bandar Meru Raya just to board a bus to Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Malacca or Johor Baru," he said.

Awang suggested that the authorities allow south-bound express buses to remain in Medan Gopeng.

Work on the Bandar Meru Raya station started in 2010. It is located on a 3.4ha land and will have a business centre, food court, basement car park and petrol kiosk.

The soon-to-open integrated bus terminal and complex in Bandar Meru Raya near Jelapang. Pic by Farhan Najib

Medan Gopeng express bus station is located nearer to the city centre and is easily accessible to commuters. Pic by L. Manimaran

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