STEPPING into Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS), one would feel that it is no ordinary bus terminal.
Operational since January 2011, the terminal caters to 52,000 commuters per day, heading to northern, southern and eastern regions, as well as across the borders to Singapore and Hat Yai, Thailand.
TBS operator, Maju TMAS Sdn Bhd managing director Roslan Shariff said the success of TBS relied on the “airport experience” model adapted in its daily operations.
“The environment is clean, quiet and cool to give commuters a comfortable and safe journey, which is our priority,” he said.
StarMetro went on a tour of TBS to see its features and operations.
Apart from taxis, shuttle and Rapid KL buses, the terminal is linked to KLIA Transit, KTM Komuter and Rapid KL rail lines. The terminal has 41 Centralised Ticketing System(CTS) counters and seven vending machines to buy tickets from.
Roslan said all staff manning the counters were from Maju TMS.
“This is to ensure that there are no touts. However, there are 13 counters that have yet to migrate into their system,” he said.
At the CTS counters, every commuter is given a choice to choose their preferred bus operator via a screen displayed, where details such as time, fee and seats are available.
The commuter will also have to produce their identification card at the point of purchase as their information will be recorded in the ticket. Those who bought their ticket online can exchange their codes with a boarding pass here.
“All ticket holders are advised to wait at the departure hall, which can accommodate up to 2,000 people, at least 30 minutes before the bus pick-up time. They will have to go through an auxiliary police checkpoint and only ticket holders are allowed into the departure hall,” he said.
He added that the people must be attuned to the fact that buses do not wait for passengers.
“There are 19 gates and 21 bays at the departure hall. Once a bus arrives at the bay, our staff will check the tickets, against the passenger list and allow them to board. In case any passenger goes missing, an announcement will be made.
“An electronic display screen at the bay indicates when the bus driver should leave. On average, a bus will only wait for 10 minutes,” he said.
To reduce air pollution in the area, they also have smoke exhaust fans to suck in the exhaust fumes at the bay area.
Meanwhile, the bus arrival area has 18 bays that are closely located to elevators which connects commuters to the arrival hall. Roslan said for disabled passengers, the bus driver would inform the terminal staff to provide assistance upon arrival.
After the drop-off, buses must leave the arrival bay to the holding area which is well equipped with a huge parking lot, diesel station, canteen, rest area, prayer room and bathrooms to ensure that drivers can rest and freshen up for their next trip.
“We also collaborate with authorities like Road Transport Department and Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to conduct checks on the buses at least three times a year. Apart from that, we work together with Klinik 1Malaysia to give the drivers basic health screening too,” he said.
Roslan added they had to raise the bar on bus terminal standards to encourage more people to use public transport.
“We also hold talks during registration at public universities and residential schools nationwide to explain to the students and parents about our services. We want them to feel secure about taking buses at our terminal.”
TBS also has a variety of eateries and convenience stores. The food court uses cashless transaction, where cash cards can be purchased at the food court itself to regulate pricing. The balance can be refunded, too.
“All our staff are also trained to respond during emergencies such as fire and first aid,” he said.
Due to all of the features, it was no surprise that TBS was awarded The Best Land Transport Terminal by SPAD during its symposium recently.