Friday, January 23, 2009

Change of venue upsets bus company

View: CVLB should have announced plans to change departure locations at least a month before the festive season, the Jan 12th order came very late.

Friday January 23, 2009 By LESTER KONG - THESTAR

PETALING JAYA: The Chinese New Year rush home is about to start. However, a bus company which has sold millions of tickets is upset with a transport authority for issuing a last-minute directive that can potentially disrupt the smooth travel of the masses.

The Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board, in a Jan 12 directive, ordered all north-bound buses to depart from the Duta Terminal instead of the Puduraya Terminal in Kuala Lumpur.

Konsortium Transnasional Bhd executive director Tengku Hasmadi Tengku Hashim said the board should have informed bus companies of the venue change early.

He said his company started selling the tickets for the festive season two months ago with instructions for north-bound passengers to depart and arrive via the Puduraya Terminal.

Packed: Crowds gathering at the Puduraya Terminal in Kuala Lumpur Thursday to buy tickets or to begin their journey back to their hometowns.

In an immediate response, board chairman Datuk Markiman Kobiran said the directive had been in force for several years.

“Bus companies should know. Why kick up a fuss now?” he said.

He said the Duta Terminal was the designated one for north-bound destinations, the Putra Terminal (near the Putra World Trade Centre) for east-bound destinations and Puduraya for south-bound buses.

“There are even shuttles to ferry passengers among the three terminals,” he said.

Markiman added that he had ordered his officers to issue summonses to bus operators defying the directive.

Tengku Hasmadi said there was a slight confusion at Puduraya Terminal yesterday, when north-bound passengers were re-directed to Duta Terminal.

“Many were really upset. One was so angry, he kicked the counter and the clerk ran away. Tomorrow (Friday), I expect the situation to worsen,” Tengku Hasmadi told The Star.

He said tickets to the northern regions, the east coast and from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur were being sold out fast.

The company would be adding more tickets for the Singapore-KL route depending on demand; while there were still tickets available for the KL-Singapore journey.

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