The suggestion to build a new intercity bus terminal in Ipoh, to replace the existing 60-year-old structure in Medan Kidd, has received the thumbs-up from residents.
Ipoh City councillor Prof Dr Richard Ng said it was timely to construct a new and modern intercity bus station.
Ng, who is also president of Ipoh City Watch, a non-governmental organisation that aims to create a sustainable and liveable city, said this was not the first time such a suggestion was made.
An integrated Ipoh Sentral bus hub was proposed more than 10 years ago, he said.
“It was supposed to serve all intertown buses and taxis.
“The Medan Kidd bus station has not been upgraded and now, it is an eyesore in Ipoh.
“Ipoh residents in particular and Perak folk in general have been deprived of a good public transport system that links with smaller towns, ” he added.
Thus, Ng said, the idea of having a new bus terminal was welcomed, but it should be located outside of Ipoh’s inner ring road and in the area planned for a smart city.
He said the new terminal must also use green technology and equipment and appliances with less carbon emission.
He suggested using solar energy.
“While the focus is on the bus terminal, the government should also look into the routes and frequency of services provided and the cost, ” he said.
He was commenting on a recent statement by state public transport committee chairman Datuk Mohd Zolkafly Harun, who said the existing bus station did not meet the safety, comfort and criteria set by Public Land Transport Agency.
Mohd Zolkafly said efforts were underway to construct an Ipoh Sentral intercity bus station.
He also mentioned that plans on the construction of a new bus terminal were being worked on by the state government and Perak Transit Bhd.
Ipoh Hindu Devasthana Paripalana Sabah president M. Vivekananda agreed that Ipoh needed an intercity central bus station.
He said the Medan Kidd bus station had served people well in the 1950s and 1960s, but the bus station was no longer suitable at its current location.
“Nowadays, it is difficult for buses to go in and out of the station because of the heavy traffic.
“And most of the time, there is a traffic jam around that area.
“A new bus station in the right area will definitely alleviate problems faced by motorists, but the station should not be constructed too far away from the city centre as well, ” he added.
Photographer CF Kheng, 47, had fond memories of the bus station during his school days.
He said that he used to take the bus from Medan Kidd with his mother and brother during school holidays to visit his grandparents in Kuala Kangsar.
“Those are my sweetest memories, and my brother and I would be excited to buy kacang putih from an old uncle there while waiting for our bus to arrive.
“However, with so much progress going on now, it is necessary to relocate the station as it is no longer viable at its current location, ” he added.
Raaj Sandhu, 23, a student, said it was good that the government was finding a new location for the bus station.
He said since the bus station was located right in the heart of Ipoh, traffic tended to build up quickly in the area, especially during peak hours.
“If the bus station remains where it is, then traffic issues there must be sorted out, ” he added.
Sales executive Jasbir Singh Nannuan, 40, said it was time Ipoh had a safer bus station.
He said the current station was too congested and this made boarding and alighting buses there tricky at times.
“There needs to be a better and bigger bus station in Ipoh that will be convenient for all, ” he said.
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