Lack of parking space for buses

Factory buses parked along a stretch in a residential area in Persiaran Relau, Penang. — Photos: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

FACTORY bus operators have urged the state government to expedite the plan to provide them with sites to park their buses.

They claim that most of their bus drivers have no suitable sites to park their buses after their shift ends, thus forcing them to park illegally by the roadside near residential areas.

Factory bus operator Mahadi Izadi Maharazi said they were tired of getting summonses from the police and local councils.

“Residents also complained that the presence of buses in their residential area is troublesome and dangerous, ” he said.

Mahadi, who has a fleet of 20 buses and vans operating throughout the island and mainland of Penang, said currently, there were no ample spots for his drivers to park their buses.

“I am aware that the state government has identified two plots of land in Bayan Lepas to be turned into parking lots for factory buses.

“However, the plan has not materialised.

“It is better if we have suitable parking sites for our buses. Maybe the state government can do an integrated parking system and through this way, the congestion problem can be solved, ” said Mahadi who has been in the business since 20 years ago in Prai.

Several factory buses parked along with other cars near Persiaran Paya Terubong in Penang.Several factory buses parked along with other cars near Persiaran Paya Terubong in Penang.

Another bus operator, Datuk M. Subramaniam Muniandy said he would prefer if the authorities were able to provide suitable sites for factory buses to park as this would also provide security and safety.

“At the moment, I don’t have much of a problem because the factories that I deal with provide ample parking spaces for our buses.

“However, the problem of parking spaces might occur in the future if more factories need buses to ferry their employees, ” he said.

Subramaniam, who has been in the business since 1990, said the state government should also look into providing parking sites for factory buses on the mainland as many factories have relocated their plant to the mainland.

A check by The Star at several residential areas near Paya Terubong, Relau, Sungai Ara and Bukit Jambul found that there were factory buses parked haphazardly along roadsides.

In a video circulated via WhatsApp, a woman, who claimed to be a Sierra East Condominium resident, said she was traumatised by an incident that happened to her and her children involving a factory bus plying near her home.

In the video, the woman claimed that in the incident that happened on Jan 3 last year, her car was hit by a bus at a junction near her house.

The one minute and 23 seconds-long video also showed how the bus made a turn and hit the car driven by the woman.

State infrastructure and transport committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said Penang Development Corporation (PDC) had agreed to offer the land in Batu Maung as the new parking site for factory buses.

“However, several bus operators in the state refused to accept the offer and the matter is unsolved until today.

“There was one operator who initially accepted the offer by PDC but in the end, the operator also didn’t take up the offer.

“I will gather all the relevant agencies to discuss the matter soon, ” he said.

In 2018, then state local government, traffic management and flood mitigation committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow was reported as saying that the Penang government had identified two plots of land in Bayan Lepas to be turned into parking lots for factory buses.

The first plot, about five acres (2.02ha), is located along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway next to the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge and can be used anytime, Chow said, adding it would be a temporary site before the second 4.5acre (1.82ha) plot in Lebuh Batu Maung Satu is ready.

Meanwhile, Penang Traffic and Public Order Department chief Supt Zafri Zolkapli said residents should lodge police reports if they feel that the presence of buses in their residential area posed a danger to road users.

He said police would take action accordingly as stipulated by the law.

“The owner of the buses can be issued summons if they are parked illegally in the area and if they endanger road users, necessary action according to the law can be taken against them, ” he said.

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