More misery and mystery at Puduraya (update#4)

  • Updated with new information!
  • Updated with a letter from TRANSIT!
  • Updated with new articles!

Important NOTE 1:

UDA Holdings has postponed the March 19 closure of Puduraya Bus Terminal to an unknown date in the future. See this post.

Important NOTE 2:

According to the Managing Director of UDA Holdings, Jaafar Abu Hassan, there will be an RM2 Shuttle Bus service between Puduraya and the temporary bus terminals at Jalan Galloway (for Southbound buses) and Hentian Duta (for Northbound buses).

Unfortunately, no information about the project has been found on the UDA Holdings website.

Original Post

On 23 February TRANSIT posted an article from the Star Newspaper which commented on the congestion around Puduraya during the recent Chinese New Year Holiday:

CNY traffic chaos outside Puduraya – WHY?

It appeared from the article that the government had not provided the same level of attention and enforcement that they did for the Hari Raya balik kampung. However, in the article today in the Star Metro, the CVLB denies the allegations and maintains that the congestion was due to the increase in holiday travel and also the construction work on the terminal.

We also noted from today’s article that there is a very surprising plan for a short-term closing of the Puduraya bus terminal for renovation work!

According to the article Groups given notice to move to temporary bus depots (Star Metro), southbound buses will be moved to the temporary bus depot at Jalan Hang Tuah, while northbound buses will move to the Jalan Duta bus stand during the construction period.

[TRANSIT: What about taxis? And what about public transport connections to the bus stations? Hang Tuah is relatively easy (Ampang LRT) but what about Jalan Duta?]

Our Comments

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Puduraya congestion remains

By BAVANI M and JAYAGANDHI JAYARAJ

Photos by NORAFIFI EHSAN

THE RM6mil bus depot in Jalan Hang Tuah which was built to ease Puduraya’s gridlock is not serving its purpose as it is underused and congestion woes continue to plague folk

THE RM6.1mil bus holding bay in Jalan Hang Tuah which was built recently to ease congestion in Puduraya is underused.

A check at the site during the weekend and yesterday during the morning and evening found that there were fewer than 10 buses parked at the bay – a stark contrast to the scene at Puduraya which showed buses lined up bumper to bumper and causing massive congestion along the road.

Work in progress: The renovation plans include stalls on the rooftop area of the Puduraya Bus Terminal. Image courtesy of The Star

The holding bay was specifically built for express buses to wait at the holding point instead of parking outside the terminal while waiting to pick up or drop off passengers.

The holding bay is built on a 1.9ha piece of land belonging to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). It is managed by UDA Holdings Bhd and regulated by the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board. If fully used, the bay is able to accommodate 135 buses.

Other facilities at the holding bay include a cafeteria, surau, an office, guard post as well as public parking for cars and motorcycles.

During the Chinese New Year celebration, the road in front of the terminal had been reduced from a two-lane road into a single lane, causing massive congestion with traffic stretching almost a kilometre long.

“What is the point of building something and not making use of it,’’ asked a disgruntled taxi driver who only wished to be identified as Siva.

Siva, who had received a booking to pick up a passenger from Puduraya yesterday said he was caught in a 30-minute gridlock in front of the terminal.

Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants located along Jalan Pudu also lament about the massive congestion along the road which they claim is affecting their business.

…“We {Swiss Garden Hotel] have highlighted this matter to the authorities many times and to be fair, the DBKL enforcement officers have made sure that the buses do not park on the yellow boxes. But one cannot expect them to be there all day,’’ she said, adding that long- term solutions were clearly needed to resolve the perennial city problem.

Meanwhile, UDA Holdings Bhd is expected to call for a press conference next month to announce the closing of the 30-year-old terminal to facilitate renovation work.

According to UDA sources who are working at the Puduraya terminal, the south-bound bus services will soon be shifted to the bus holding bay in Jalan Hang Tuah, while northbound services will be based at the Jalan Duta station.

[TRANSIT: As we said above, how will passengers get to the Jalan Duta bus terminal?]

A whopping RM52mil was allocated to turn the terminal into a modern and comprehensive transportation hub, with the first phase of work costing RM4.2mil completed last September. The second phase will start next month.

Although some feel the area might be less congested when the terminal is closed for renovation work, there are those who feel that other problems may crop up.

Bus driver Hanapiah Ismail, 45, is one who thinks that matters will become a lot worse than before.

“South-bound drivers will have a tough time getting into the Hang Tuah holding bay as Jalan Hang Tuah is usually congested and it will take an hour or more to enter and pick up passengers,” he said.

[TRANSIT: To make matters worse, the FT Ministry is looking into a flyover/flyunder project at the intersection of Jalan Hang Tuah & Jalan Pudu.]

Bukit Bintang MP Fung Kui Lun anticipates that the traffic situation will become worse in the future.

“A traffic impact assessment and a feasibility study should have been carried out in the first place before deciding to open a bus holding bay in Jalan Hang Tuah,’’ he said.

“It is going to create congestion in surrounding areas like Jalan Imbi and Jalan Bukit Bintang,’’ he added.

When contacted a source from the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) denied that the Jalan Hang Tuah hold bay was underused.

“Although the place may look empty in the late mornings and afternoons, the area is fully used during peak hours, particularly between 7am and 9am and from 4pm onwards.

“It does help to ease out peak hour traffic madness,” said the source.

Meanwhile, a spokesman from UDA Holdings Bhd said traffic congestion around Jalan Pudu only occurred during festive seasons when the bus operators increased their number of buses to cater to the high demand.

She said the traffic situation had been made worse due to the ongoing work at Puduraya whereby few of the bus platforms could not be used because of the upgrading work.

Under control: Mahpoz Adam Shah, 57, checking the docking slips before letting the buses enter Puduraya. Image courtesy of The Star.

“We are going to widen the platform area by demolishing part of the staircase and relook the express bus schedule,” she said, adding that there were also cases where the buses arrived later than scheduled and headed straight to the Puduraya Terminal for their next trip, disrupting the schedule of other buses waiting to pick up passengers.

She added that UDA was also coordinating with the authorities to issue traffic summonses to buses parked illegally in Jalan Pudu and Jalan Hang Tuah.

“We hope that once the upgrading work is completed, it will ease the traffic congestion along Jalan Pudu,” she added.

TRANSIT Says:

When it comes to planning and attention to detail, there is a lot that is left to be desired in the Puduraya area. The main problem that we see here is a lack of proper information being given to the parties involved.

Imagine that the public is going to have to learn from the media that Puduraya will be closed next month for the 2nd phase of the repairs and renovation.

How is it that this was not known/not disclosed earlier when the project was announced?!?!

The situation would be made a lot easier if UDA and the Federal Territories Minister, the CVLB and the DBKL would make a greater effort to inform the public and provide the support that they need.

TRANSIT is really going to question how passengers will be expected to get to the Jalan Duta bus terminal which really has no public transport access whatsover. Will there be a shuttle bus from, say, Titiwangsa or perhaps the Hentian Putra – which is accessible to the KTM Komuter line (Putra Station) and Ampang LRT (PWTC station).

As always your comments are welcome in the space below.

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7 thoughts on “More misery and mystery at Puduraya (update#4)”

  1. As a regular bus traveler between Ipoh and KL, I am very dismayed over the move of North-bound buses to the Duta Terminal. Puduraya being in the center of KL is most convenient to transfer to public transport for the journey onwards. Local buses and LRT services are within walking distance.

    As it was pointed out, there is absolutely no public transport available to and from Duta Terminal. During the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and Chinese New Year periods when this was also done, RapidKL provided an express shuttle service between Puduraya and Duta Terminal. Fare was RM2 and costly for the short trip.

    The problem that caused congestion at Puduraya is that there is only one lane for the buses to enter. Some buses don’t leave on time and continue to occupy the bus bays. Buses that follow get stuck behind them and a long queue quickly builds up to block other buses.

    The close service times between buses is the main reason the buses queue up in a long line up to the Jalan Hang Tuah traffic lights. If the buses are better coordinated and preference given to the buses that on schedule instead of reaching early, buses could be cleared faster from Puduraya.

    At one time, the bus I took could not leave for 25 minutes because a bus broke down at the exit and blocked all the buses from leaving.

    The design of one-lane in and out of Puduraya is outdated and must be changed to include a passing lane.

  2. It seems stupid to me to even consider trying to turn a pig’s ear into silk purse. That’s what puduraya is and always will be because it’s in the wrong location.

    Why didn’t they incorporate the main bus terminal into the KL sentral terminal?

    While I’m having a rant…

    Why didn’t they extend the KL monorail all the way into the KL sentral main terminal building. you SHOULDN’T have to walk for miles to connect (undercover or not!)

    A tourist arriving by inter-city train shouldn’t have to enter the commuter train system to get to an intercity bus at puduraya!

    Rip the inside of puduraya out and turn it into an indoor market and make it even better than Chatuchak weekend markets in Bangkok because Petaling Street is a crappy disappointment for tourists.

    and where is the city’s true Chinatown?
    There isn’t one like Bangkok and Singapore!
    There’s no consolidated district of good chinese restaurants, culture, and music in chinatown, kl!

    That’s why KL is a bore for tourists like me!

    1. Mike

      Thank you for your comments – the suggestion to turn Puduraya into a market is a very interesting one – and if Plaza Rakyat bus terminal is ever opened (it was 95% complete before being mothballed) then this would be a great to reuse Puduraya.

      As for the separation of the intercity bus and rail terminals – you are generally right. We would have preferred KL Sentral to be a fully-integrated transport terminal but it was built in the wrong location. It would have been far better and more effective if it were built on the site of the current MidValley Megamall (and MidValley could have been built in Brickfields).

      What is worse is that KL Sentral was never designed to have space for buses because buses did not fit the ‘upmarket’ image that KL Sentral was trying to present. For that reason, bus services today are relegated to a service tunnel at the ‘armpit’ of KL Sentral.

      Regarding the gap between the monorail and KL Sentral – that is a holdover from disagreement between the private company that owned the monorail and the developers of KL Sentral. The original plan for the monorail was to extend past Brickfields and MidValley to Kg. Pasir, which was going to be a new administration centre for the KL City Hall. A monorail shuttle would have connected KL Sentral to Tun Sambanthan station.

      Unfortunately, because money ran out in the 1997 Economic Crisis, the monorail was redesigned and truncated at KL Sentral – which is where we are left today.

      We hope this answers your questions.

  3. Thanks for the background info,

    Regarding a central bus terminal:

    Actually there’s plenty of room around KL sentral for an integrated bus terminal.

    A bus terminal could be built in the car park area near the dilapidated old post office. between KL and the monorail station. That lot is an eyesore anyway. It’s not the highest and best use of the land.

    It could incorporate a multistory car park and shopping complex above and buses below.

    if that’s not enough, scrap the conference centre site and use that space, because KL has enough convention space already.

    For that area, A satellite terminal approach with a free airtrain connecting them would be a nice modern approach in keeping with the existing design.

    using either site or both would easily solve the problem.

    Regards,

    Mike

    1. Mike

      Thanks for your comments.

      If only we could convince the government, MRCB and KL Sentral to build that infrastructure – we could have a wonderful integrated terminal.

      Personally, Id put the bus terminal in the triangular plot of land behind the KL Sentral Exhibition area as the exit is signaled and there is potential for another exit along Jalan Tun Sambanthan for buses bound for KL.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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