Bus routes in KL diverted due to BERSIH confusion… Ouch! (Update #2)

Update: Prasarana says there is no disruption of LRT or monorail services planned! [TRANSIT: We say planned because during the previous march LRT services were shut down when problems occurred at Dataran Merdeka. So the disruptions could happen.]

Click to enlarge. (Image courtesy of The Star)

Due to continuous scaremongering over the BERSIH 2.0 march, SPAD has issued an official announcement on the temporary change in final destinations of express and stage buses in Kuala Lumpur.

Date        :     Saturday, 9 July 2011
Sanctioned Hours:      0001 to 2200 Hrs

Express buses will shift to these stations:

  • Puduraya and Pekeliling bound express buses (except KL-Seremban route) will shift temporarily to Hentian Duta.
  • Hentian Putra (PWTC) and KL-Seremban express buses will shift temporarily to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (Bandar Tasik Selatan)

Stage buses will stop at these rail stations:

  • Titiwangsa – Buses from Jalan Semarak, Jalan Setapak/Genting Kelang, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Kuching and Jalan Duta
  • Dato Keramat – Buses from Jalan Ampang
  • Maluri – Buses from Jalan Kg. Pandan, Jalan Cheras
  • KL Sentral Monorail – Buses from Federal Highway (to use Jalan Bangsar – Jalan Travers – Jalan Tun Sambanthan) and buses from Jalan Damansara

More information here about the closure of Puduraya, Pekeliling and Putra bus stations.

TRANSIT Says:

The announcement says that the road closure to the city center is a directive from PDRM, but TRANSIT believes that SPAD could take the extra effort to work with every stage bus operators to determine the exact routes that are affected, and display the temporary adjustments on its website, rather than lumping the route detours according to the names of roads that the buses use to access downtown KL.

It is ironic that in order to ‘protect’ the KL town from the business damaging effects of the Bersih 2.0 rally, it appears that the government is going to allow business to be damaged by creating traffic congestion.

TRANSIT is very unhappy with the road closure decision. The last time we had excessive roadblocks TRANSIT recommended that PDRM allow buses to proceed faster by creating special bus lanes – and it would be far easier and faster for PDRM to inspect 60 passengers on a bus than it would be to inspect 40 cars (each carrying their average 1.28 persons/car) one by one.

It is probably wishful thinking, but we would like to see PDRM just issue a ban for private motor vehicles and create a ‘green transport’ day for Kuala Lumpur. After all, if the government can use its iron fist to clamp down on the constitutional right for peaceful assembly (or perhaps work with marching organizer on participation limit, road closure and marching paths), why can’t it use some common sense to spare one lane for each road for public transport vehicles going into the downtown area so that people can get in and out of the city center quickly (knowing that the road closures will create traffic havoc)?

And why not take the opportunity to see what would happen if stage buses and intra-city buses were diverted to the terminals at the outside of the city? TRANSIT has already said that this  needs to happen in the future in order to preserve some of our older bus terminals. Let’s make it happen then.

City police chief Datuk Amar Singh was reported to say that the public are “strongly discouraged” from going into the city on Saturday. TRANSIT is puzzled, as the media had been sensationalising the news that the livelihoods of shopkeepers will be terribly affected by the ‘illegal march’, and the marching organizer had already agreed to conduct the assembly inside a stadium. Surely, the police should have already consulted with business owners before taking such one-handed decision.

The government will do what the government does – but surely there must be some people within the government who realize that with every crisis there is both danger and potential opportunity for good.

Or maybe we are the only ones who see this?

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7 thoughts on “Bus routes in KL diverted due to BERSIH confusion… Ouch! (Update #2)”

    1. And yet other countries can find ways to accommodate protests instead of causing inconvenience for everyone.

      We would have much preferred to see the government promote 9 July as a “Car(e)free” day instead of shutting down KL.

      You do not “fight fire with fire”, you fight fire with water or sand or special chemicals … and you find ways to exhaust its resources.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  1. Not to say i don’t like the idea of car-free city, but taking out cars & motorbikes can cause undue hardship to the poor&lower middle income, b/cos they are also most likely to be travelling around working in routes not covered by public transport.

    eg your pizza hut boys, courier boys, technician, plumbers, handy man. they don’t just go to the city center and clock in at office from 9-5. this group of invisible ppl travel around from 1 building to another building doing their work & is unlikely to use just LRT or bus. if we want to stop cars / bikes going in, we also need to factor in this group of ppl

    1. William

      Those people also need to factor in other people. For example, dispatch boys & delivery drivers/riders often block the pedestrian walkways with their motorcycles. That is an issue that also needs to be resolved.

      Again, we are not talking about an outright ban of cars from KL inside the MRRI (although that is what is happening on July 9) but rather, efforts to discourage privately owned, single occupant cars from entering the city centre.

      We want to and need to provide alternatives such as better pedestrian walkways, affordable parking on the periphery of the city, affordable and fast city shuttle bus services, more frequent KL Monorail, MRT and LRT and KTM Komuter improvements, etc.

      All of these factors will be part of the solution.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  2. hi folks

    allow me to clarify on the car free day proposal.

    Just once a month on a specific Sunday starting from say 6am to 12 noon only.

    There’s not much traffic anyway early am Sundays but must take into account Church goers so maybe Saturday better kut…

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