Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Southern Integrated Terminal revisited

********* In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ********** Reflection ***************** The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. ******************* I resigned from a company in KL last February and since then I have not been to the Southern Integrated Terminal or in Malay, ‘Terminal Bersepadu Selatan’ (TBS), a hi-tech transportation hub in Bandar Tasik Selatan which I frequented almost daily during my working years, until recently when I went back to office to attend a friend’s wedding reception. **************** Since on that day I was not in the rush, I took my own sweet time exploring the huge and vast six storey terminal which is situated a few kilometers south of the heart of Kuala Lumpur. This integrated multi-transport hub was opened for use in early January 2011. ***************** Besides catering for express bus services for the Peninsula's southern region namely Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor and Singapore, TBS also houses three train service operators namely Express Rail Link (ERL), Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) and RapidKL. *************** The authorities hoped that TBS would ease traffic congestion in the city centre as it could accommodate the increased number of public transport vehicles; especially inter-city buses and taxis from the southern sector. *************** The station is accessible via a six-lane highway from Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) from the southeast, the Sungai Besi Expressway from the west and the Besraya Highway. ***************** The terminal also features a carefully planned road system and an integrated computer system to monitor traffic flow. Safetly and security will be a priority with CCTV system to record the movement of buses moving in and out of the terminal. *************** In its flyers entitled ‘TBS – Conveniet, Comfortable and Efficient way to commute’, TBS management (TMAS), among others boasts that this transportation hub offers the public the best facility in terms of connectivity. It is connected to various public transport systems including buses, cabs, trains and flights as well as direct links to southbound destinations via buses and cabs. ********************* The six-floor building accommodates 19 bus departures bay, 18 arrivals bays, 31 bays for long haul taxis, 1,269 car park bays and 350 motorcycle parking bays. It also provided fully air-conditioned waiting halls with 1,800 seats which are ample for public needs. ******************* Some other services provided are: · * Food courts, F&B outlets and retail stores located through out the modern terminal, occupying 83,000 square feet. ******************* · * Disability-friendly with specially buit directional tiles, lowered counters, toilets and ramps. **************** · * Fully automated waste collection system so that the terminal is always kept clean. ********************* · * An interactive real-time public information display system for easy access to bus numbers, time, departure and bay numbers. ******************** · * Dedicated arrival dan departure bays for efficient bus management. ***************** · * Centralised customers service facilities and e-ticketing counters for quick, reliable and easy ticket purchase while online ticketing is also available. ********************* · * Pedestrian link-bridge to KLIA Transit, KTM Komuter line and Rapid KL. ***************** · * Dedicated drop-off and pick up areas for city buses, shuttle buses, city taxis, long-haul taxis and airport coaches. ***************** · * Priority parking for lady drivers. ******************* · * More than 1,000 parking spaces available. ***************** · * Safety surveillance through CCTV cameras. ************** Putting aside squabbles between public transport operators and the management of TBS such as the introduction of centralized ticketing operations and various charges and fees imposed to them which were said too high; I would like write about my experienced at the TBS as a user or bus passenger. ****************** As I was approaching my golden age with a weak bladder, toilets are among my first lookouts. Thanks to TMAS for providing ample toilets – if I am not mistaken there are public toilets on every floor. ****************** On the day I revisited TBS (and its toilets), I was pleased that they were very clean and the most important of all, no charges were imposed to patrons! Keep up this service TMAS, thanks a lot for the ‘free thing’ for the sake of the ‘ordinary man’, hopefully no payments would be imposed ‘dulu, kini dan selamanya’ (yesterday, now and forever). **************** Next I checked on the ‘surau’ (praying room) at Level 3. There were separated units for men and women. Of course I went to the men’s section thus I could only mentioned what I witnessed there. It was spacious and could easily accommodate about 50 congregators at one time. *************** The ablution area for congregators to perform their ablution (wuduk) was also spacious; about 10 persons could take their ‘wuduk’ at one time. ‘Syabas’ TMAS for providing such a comfortable place for Muslims to say their thanks (solat or prayers) to God. May Allah the Almighty reward you for you kindness! ******************** I then went to TBS Customer Service Office which is also located at Level Three. Passengers could query information or lodge complaint here. ************** Since I was just ‘wasting my time’, I entered this office and have a good time reading various daily newspapers and then have a look at various travel flyers, leaflets and booklets displayed on one of its desk. Well, they were informative and up to date, and as a keen reader or bookworm who could resist having reading materials, I picked up one copy for each subject that was displayed. ************** After spending my own sweet time at the terminal its time for me to say goodbye. Before leaving, I tried the E-ticketing kiosk to book my return ticket. It was easy to use and the best thing of all, I could compare which bus company offered the cheapest fare. *************** For the TBS-Melaka Sentral route, the cheapest fare was offered by Delima Ekspres at RM8 and the highest was Transnasional at RM12.50. Between the highest and lowest; the Mayang Sari fare is at RM10 while Metro only charges RM9.20. ***************** Since TBS is located in the southern part of KL city, my journey home that night was smooth without any traffic jams, and in one and a half hours time I was already in Melaka Sentral. So, once again, ‘syabas’ TBS! ****************** Lastly, my overall rating of the station; it is a three star, so congratulations to those concerned but please take note that this evaluation is only based on the writer’s experience that excluded going to the shopping lots and food court and shops there. **************** I was not sure whether the prices of goods and services there were on par with ordinary shopping places for the people, so to the management of TBS, please do not burden the ordinary rakyat with unnecessary charges or exorbitant prices of goods and servives available at the station.

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