Kota Kinabalu to revamp bus system

KOTA KINABALU: To improve public transport, city administrators are focusing only on revamping the state capital's bus system as there are not enough people to make the building of a monorail viable.

Known as the City Rapid Transit (BRT) system, the initiative would among others see the setting up of three main bus terminals in Kota Kinabalu's outskirts.

The terminals would serve buses operating to areas north, south and east of the the state capital. Once operational by October 2015, only shuttle and city buses would be allowed to enter the city centre.

Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir said the terminal at Kepayan would serve buses heading towards the southern areas such as Putatan, Lok Kawi, Kinarut and Papar.

He said the BRT that was part of City Hall's Public Transport Masterplan would also see the construction of another terminal in Penampang district for buses operating to nearby areas such as Moyog, Tambunan and Keningau while the upgrading of the existing terminal at Inanam would be upgraded for buses operating in northern areas such Tuaran, Kota Belud and Kota Marudu.

The current Wawasan Terminal will be the permanent station for both shuttle and city buses, according to Abidin.

“Our joint-venture partner will start upgrading the Wawasan terminal in the downtown area by September, and the buses will be moved to other temporary locations until the three main terminals are completed,” he added.

He said when responding to a call by Luyang State Assemblyman Dr Hiew King Cheu for the city to build a monorail system to address the city's future public transportation demands.

Abidin said Kota Kinabalu's existing population was insufficient to support a monorail system for now.
Meanwhile, Sabahans heading back to their respective kampung for Hari Raya should expect to pay 10% more their tickets, the Sabah Express Bus Operators Council said.

Council president Datuk Donald Hanafi said the increase was inline with a similar hike nationwide.

''We consider this increase win-win situation. We are expected to keep our buses in tip top condition but many roads in Sabah are narrow and have many potholes road surfaces are deteriorating,'' he said.

''We need to cover the extra costs of repairs. Our members have been working hard to ensure that our vehicles are in the best condition,'' he added.