KUALA LUMPUR: After 26 years and over 100 million travellers, the Puduraya terminal will begin to see its last days as a public transport terminal from today.
Services from the citys main bus transport hub will start to be phased out from now with the planned diversion of over 500 north-bound bus services to Hentian Duta.
First officiated by the late Tun Hussein Onn in 1976, the once proud bus terminal now is often described by travellers passing through its 23 platforms as old, dirty and outdated.
There are some however, who remember more enlightened times.
Ahmad Baba who has run a food outlet at Puduraya food court since it was opened fondly recalls the scenes he has witnessed at the station.
I remember Hari Raya and Chinese New Year celebrations back then, he said.
The whole terminal would be full of happy, smiling people on their way home. They would come here and tell stories about their kampung.
In the early days, families would greet smart, young graduates at the terminal.
The mothers would always cry, he smiled.
His cheery mood is shortlived however as he stares at the bare tables of his shop - a scene that is becoming increasingly common at the once bustling food court.
Ahmad, like Puduraya, has grown old, and the wrinkles on his face are mirrored by the blackened walls, stained floors and rusty steps leading down to the platforms below.
Celine Lee, a traveller, is sad to see the twilight of the terminal.
She agrees that almost everyone in the country is familiar with the bus terminal and that it is a shame to see such a well-known landmark fall into decline.
But I think it is about time that this facility is used for something else, she said.
It can no longer cope with all this, she said, gesturing to the buses and people lining up to buy their tickets.
The future of Puduraya is uncertain although there are plans outlining its future use as a commercial centre.
Surprisingly, despite announcements to the contrary, visits to Puduraya yesterday found vendors of northbound bus services still operating at the site.
Hentian Duta was deserted with the newly built ticket counters empty.
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