Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Express Bus Crisis

A letter I wrote to a member of parliament upon returning from Penang:

Dear YB,

I bought a ticket to board an express bus from Penang to Kuala Lumpur yesterday (18th September). My bus was scheduled to leave at 9am. I paid an additional RM2 for a van to take me from Komtar to Sg Nibong bus terminal.

I reached the terminal at 8.45am. There were less than 30 passengers at the time but the bus which was scheduled to leave at 9am did not have a second driver and could not depart. Apparently, many bus drivers dare not turn up to work fearing that they may be hauled up by JPJ officers who were conducting an 'operasi' at the terminal. I was only able to get on board a bus which embarked at 11 am and from a different operator (Plusliner) who was faced with similar shortage of drivers.

My complaint is two-fold. First, the express bus operator is oblivious to the plights of the passengers who were held back unnecessarily. Some of their agents (especially those from Konsortium Sdn Bhd) acted rudely and asked some passengers to leave the bus if they cannot wait for a later bus when questioned about the delay. As a result, I opted out and went to buy another ticket from Plusliner.

Second, it is obvious that the express bus industry is facing an acute crisis due to a lack of enforcement for far too long. A sudden show of enthusiasm by the law enforcers (JPJ, Police and Puspakom) created another problem for the industry - a lack of good, clean and law abiding drivers and buses which are road worthy.

As a result, I am sure we will face an acute shortage of buses to ferry people across peninsula Malaysia during the upcoming festive period.

Please help to look into this problem.

Khoo Kay Peng

What is the government, especially the Ministry of Transport, going to do about this? We deserve an answer now.

1 comment:

agnos said...

i hope more people will talk about the express bus issue.

i used to take express buses but have not boarded one for a long time - after i owned a car. but my relatives are still using them so i have a right to be indignant about the current state of affairs.

first - the pudu bus stop is a disaster waiting to happen. the waiting area is like an oven and the lining up for buses downstairs is a CO chamber. I am just surprise that there is no news of anyone died from excessive CO inhalation. If i am a regular commuter do you think i can sure the pudu terminal, DBKL, the transport ministry and the state government if I am diagnosed with cancer arising from inhaling all these fumes?

second - the buses are late most of the time and the queue at the road side contributed to long jam, pollution and a hazard to motorist and people on the street.

third - the express buses speed most of the time and especially during rain at the NS Expressway. They are a danger not only to the passengers but to other motorist. Some of the bus have lights so dimmed you would have thought it is a bicycle.

fourth - just take a look at most of the balding tyres and you will freak out!

fifth - once these express bus crosses the checkpoint into Singapore they suddenly slow to 80kph -- why??? maybe our law enforcer can answer if they are not too tied up with non crime busting activities.

express bus is an issue and so is big lorries and containers. most time the back lite of the lorries is so dim - they might as well use a pen-torchlight.

big lorries also have the tendency to overtake at corner, uphill and during rain which create a long jam.

most lorries bellow black smoke, is dirty and have bald tyres with small dim back light and overtake without signal (or is their signal also not working?)

there was a period of time when i use the kesas highway to shah alam and most of the time when there is a terrible jam it must be becos one of the lorries going to port klang has broken down by the side.

why does lorry break down that frequently? did puspakom actually check the condition of lorries?

do JPJ / traffic police / ministry of transport cares if another bus got into an accident? not likely unless their friends or relative are in there.

i may sound cruel to put it this way but year after year unnecessary lives was lost which could be prevented with better enforcement of stopping speeding buses, of making sure the bus is fit to be on the road - so actually the blood is not only on the bus operator no the mclaren bus driver but mostly it is on the enforcement agency who most of the time sleep thru the whole episode.