SEVERAL bus and taxi operators who will be relocated to a new site adjacent to the previous Temporary Transport Terminal of Penang Sentral (TTTPS) in Butterworth, are disappointed with the move.
Taxi services company Koperasi Kenderaan Maju Jaya Bhd secretary Nordin Salleh said he had not received any notice about the relocation.
“The first notice we received was in the middle of last month but the move did not happen as the new temporary site was still not ready at the time,” he said.
Another taxi driver Mohamad Nasir Mohamad Akhir, 68, said that the new site was too small to accommodate all the taxis.
“We have over 200 taxis operating here, but the new site only has 64 parking lots.
“Most of us will have to remain at the old site, but our business will be affected because passengers coming out of ferry will now walk to the new terminal.
“A side wall of the flyover connecting from the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) to the ferry terminal is separating the TTTPS from the new site.
“When customers cannot see us, they will walk directly to the buses because they think there is no other choice for them,” he said.
Bus driver J. Kumar, 30, also voiced his concern, saying that the new temporary terminal was too narrow and had inadequate roofing for buses and passengers.
“The new temporary terminal is also very near the flyover, and it can be dangerous for the public as there could be stones flying from the flyover,” he added.
Ferry passenger Josephine Fong Keok Yeng, 60, claimed the new temporary terminal was too far.
“The disabled and the elderly like me will have to walk very far after getting out of the ferry.
“But if the plan has already been approved, then there is nothing much I can do about it,” she said.
Fong said she had also not seen any notices about the relocation of the old temporary transport terminal to the new site.
University student Ong Wei Quan, 22, said she had also not seen any notices about the relocation from the time she got out of the ferry until she reached the terminal.
Hawker Chow Teik Sung, 45, who operates a stall in the food complex beside the old TTTPS, said business for the 61 stall operators would be affected once passengers get down at the new terminal.
Penang Sentral is an urban development with mixed components built around the largest integrated transportation hub in Malaysia’s northern region.
Penang Sentral Sendirian Berhad, which was specially established to manage and administer the Penang Sentral project, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB).
In a statement dated Jan 9, MRCB said bus and taxi operators would shift to the new temporary site and commence services today.
It said there would be a total of 28 bus platforms and 33 ticket counters together with a taxi stand, a surau, an information counter and toilets.
MRCB also stated that those using vehicles via the Butterworth Outer Ring Road should use Exit 1703 to get to the bus terminal located about 30 meters after the exit, while the taxi is accessible by immediately turning into Jalan Pantai after coming out of Exit 1703.
The new temporary bus and taxi terminal will also be easily accessible to ferry and train passengers via the current covered walkway to the KTMB Butterworth Station.
Bus passengers who want to access the ferry terminal and train station, can also use the same walkway.
A MRCB spokesperson when contacted yesterday, said the relocation was to make way for the construction of the permanent integrated Transport Hub Terminal, which is the first phase of the Penang Sentral project.
The terminal will have access to the Butterworth Railway Station, Ferry Terminal and retail outlets.
The spokesman also said that terminal operator had notified all the taxi operators about the relocation.
“As of to date, they have agreed to moving to the new temporary terminal,” he said.
He added that work on the permanent Transport Hub Terminal, had started since early this month which involved test pile, piling works and relocation of existing underground utilities to pave way for the actual development at the site.
“The completion of the transport terminal is targeted for the first quarter of 2017,” the spokesman said.