RESIDENTS of Putra Perdana in Sepang are unhappy over the long wait for bus number 601 to Kota Raya in Kuala Lumpur – which is delayed by an hour or sometimes even longer.
Nor Azmah Ishak, 38, is fed up with the situation as she is now forced to drive from her home in Siantan Apartment to Puchong Utama, where she parks her car before boarding Rapid KL’s bus number 600 to her workplace in Taman Kinrara.
She said the RM50sen per hour parking rate eats into her budget but she cannot afford to be late for work.
“After 10 years, the public transport service should have improved but it remains the same,” she said.
Those who cannot afford to own a vehicle, such as SMK Puchong student Faisal Hadi, 17, can only wait in frustration.
Faisal, who lives in Taman Meranti Jaya, Puchong, said he once waited an hour-and-a-half for the bus after school.
“Operators should consider keeping the route within the residential areas,” said Surinder Kaur, 60.
She suggested that a certain number of buses from Putra Perdana have last stops at IOI Mall in Jalan Puchong to cut return trip times by half.
Causeway Link (CL), the sole bus operator serving the Putra Perdana area, said the 601 route was about 80km one way with travel times taking up to three hours for a return trip, plus a 20-minute break for drivers between each trip.
Twelve buses have been assigned to service this route at 15 to 20-minute intervals.
During peak hours, return trips can take as long as four hours.
CL route supervisor Sadam Faizal SM Abdul Majid, 27, refuted claims that its bus drivers were playing truant.
“Our biggest problem is the heavy traffic along Jalan Puchong and Jalan Kelang Lama.
“There are days when as many as six of our buses at a time are caught in rush hour jam,” he said.
As a solution, Sadam said the company was in discussions with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to allow a number of its buses to ply a shorter route, especially since many new housing developments were coming up in the area.
Sadam said he hoped negotiations could be concluded by the middle of this month because the long hours on the road were taking a toll on the drivers, who currently have to clock in 16 to 18-hour shifts to fulfil their trip quotas.
Sadam added that an alternative route, one that is shorter in distance, would enable a number of CL buses to make more trips within the Putra Perdana area.
This way, more passengers can be picked up and dropped off in Jalan Puchong, where they can ride the LRT to the heart of the city.
Asking that residents be patient, Sadam said there were other factors, such as accidents, that could contribute to the delays.
On the waiting time between journeys, CL bus driver Khairul Hazani said it was unrealistic for passengers to expect drivers to forego breaks as it would affect their safety on the road.
Khairul said the waiting period was also necessary to allow passengers to fill a bus, as the drivers’ salaries were commission-based.
Sadam said passengers who wished to report on delays in service could message him via WhatsApp at 017-779 2462, stating the time and location.