THE Sungai Nibong Express Bus Terminal in Penang is not ‘like a bus station in a cowboy town’.
Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Financial Management Committee alternate chairman Joseph Ng said since the council took over the terminal’s management in May 2013, it had carried out many repairs and upgrading works.
He refuted claims by commuters quoted in a Malay daily on Jan 16 that the terminal was unkempt and had not been upgraded since it was built over 10 years ago.
“They must be fair in their reporting. You have seen what we have done,” said Ng in a press conference at the terminal on Friday.
An allocation of RM500,000 is set aside this year for the installation of either a lift or an escalator, new fences, walls and a mini garden at the bus station.
Ng said the first choice was an escalator but if the engineers would not permit it, the council would go for a lift.
“Work on the other components is expected to be completed around July,” he said, adding that he hoped the lift or escalator would be installed early next year.
He also shared a long list of the council’s past projects on the terminal.
“Among them are a local information system facility where all express bus trips at ticket counters are displayed on four TV screens on the first floor and one on the ground floor.
“There are also 40 CCTV cameras, an autopay system for buses and, four intercoms and panic buttons.
“We upgraded the air conditioning, provided special lanes and platforms for Rapid Penang buses, taxis and public cars, built roofs at the motorcycle park, changed all old staircase rails to stainless steel, installed new signboards at each express bus platform, repaired and replaced seats at the waiting area, put up ‘Lost and Found’ signboards and repainted the whole terminal,” he pointed out.
This terminal even has free WiFi, a wheelchair ramp and ground floor toilet for the disabled, he added.
Ng said the bus terminal was built in 2004 with 41 ticket counters, seven shops, restaurant, 12 bus platform lines and two passenger lifts.
Also present was MBPP councillor Mohamed Yusoff Mohamed Noor, who described the report as inaccurate and slanderous.
“We feel disappointed with the report. We spent nearly RM580,000 to upgrade this terminal since taking over in 2013,” Mohamed Yusoff said.