Published on: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir said, Monday, that DBKK is seeking the co-operation of all bus service operators and public transport associations to disseminate information on the temporary bus routes and terminals to their drivers and commuters to clear any confusion.
Bus service operators and commuters are expected to put up with the current situation for at least two years as the existing Wawasan Bus Terminal would be taken over by a joint venture partner to build the proposed Central Bus Terminal.
According to him, the bus service operators should have no problem as they have informed their drivers but that commuters may not know the directions if they have not seen the notice of the change as advertised in the local papers.
Abidin, who held a dialogue with bus service operators last week, reiterated that the three designated temporary alternative terminals (space in front of Marina Court, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens; space in front of Wisma Bandaraya; and space in front of Hotel Shangri-La at Bandaran Berjaya) are meant for dropping and picking up passengers, and not for parking purposes.
Bus drivers can only park at the specified places for not more than 10 minutes to avoid long queues after dropping and picking up passengers, failing which they risk being compounded by the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (LPKP).
"It would make things easier if the public transport associations could regulate themselves in controlling members' movements.
"For instance, a bus coming from Putatan is required to drop its passengers at the lot in front of Marina Court. From here, the passengers will wait for the city bus to take them to places within the city's limits. The bus has to leave for the next destination after picking up passengers.
"Bus-drivers cannot simply park at their whims and fancies as we have specific lay-bys for them. For instance, the bus-stop for buses going to Sepanggar is located in Bandaran Berjaya.
"Likewise, we have provided rest-stops for bus drivers plying various routes.
Those operating the south-bound service may take rest at the newly-created space in the vicinity of Prince Philip Park while those operating north-bound buses may do so on the vacant space next to the Likas Sports Complex," he said, after officiating at the opening ceremony of MSS Health and Beauty Wholesale Mart of Medical Supplies (Sabah) Sdn Bhd at Taman Makmur, here. Abidin said the present confusing situation, resulting from the relocation exercise, is understandable given that the Wawasan Bus Terminal was closed on Sept. 21 for upgrading.
"There are bound to be glitches. Today is only the third day of its closure, and it will take some time for the people to familiarise themselves with the new routes and terminals.
I call on the public to read the signboards to find out the routes and which buses to take for their next destination as put up at the new sites. And please don't be shy to ask for directions if unsure.
"We have provided shelters and deployed our DBKK enforcement officers at each of the three temporary stations to facilitate and guide commuters until such time when things are more settled. It could be one or two months. What we are doing is for the good of the commuters themselves," he explained.
"It will take two years to complete or maybe earlier than that. When completed, the central bus terminal is for the people and bus operators. They should be happy.
"And like in other cities in other parts of the world, the terminal is for dropping and picking up passengers only. We will not allow buses to park there, and these include city buses," he clarified, adding the position of the three alternative bus terminals will then be reviewed.
Answering a question, the Mayor said it was not possible to provide public toilets in the vicinity of the temporary sites as there are enough public toilets within the precincts of the city. "Furthermore, we don't encourage putting up toilet facilities at the sites in the interest of maintaining public cleanliness." Later in the day, Abidin held a meeting with enforcement agencies like the Police, Road Transport Department (JPJ) and Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (LPKP) to smooth things out.
Asked on the Rat Control Campaign, Abidin said it is an ongoing one and there is no end to it like the cleanliness campaign.
"This, together with other campaigns such as 'Litter Free Zone Certification', 'Anti-Litter Bug', 'Plastic Usage Reduction Campaign', 'Toilet Star Rating' and others, will realise our vision of transforming Kota Kinabalu into a clean, beautiful, safe, orderly and harmonious City.
"However, as in other cities, it is not easy to eradicate the rat population as long as there is left-over food. Which is why we are trying to create awareness among the people, especially restaurant-owners, on the importance of proper disposal of food wastes," he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the Mayor was happy to note that the establishment of MSS Health and Beauty Wholesale Mart was in tandem with DBKK's 5K Formula of Kebersihan (Cleanliness), Keindahan (Beauty), Keselamatan (Safety), Keteraturan (Orderliness) and Kesejahteraan (Harmony).
"We concur with Datuk Nancy that health is wealth, and support what her company is doing.
It is pointless for KK to have a clean and green environment if its population does not enjoy a healthy status," he said.
At the press conference, Ho, who is Managing Director of Medical Supplies (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, said MSS Health and Beauty Wholesale Mart's role would complement DBKK's efforts in making KK not just a clean, green and safe city but also a healthy city from the tourism and health perspectives.
She commended DBKK for its initiatives such as beautification programme, elimination of rats and health inspection to ensure that all eateries are clean and hygienic.
"And thanks to the State Government's concern, we have many sports and leisure facilities built around the State.
This helps to create a conducive environment to promote healthy living," she said.
"At the same time, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating right will help to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) caused mainly by overweight and obesity. Prevention is better than Cure."