Public warms up to passenger terminal proposal

National 2 minutes, 28 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE passenger terminal is a good idea to attract more people to take buses but only if they can improve on their services, said members of the public.

During the recently concluded 12th Legislative Council (LegCo), Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat expressed plans to establish passenger terminals in strategic places in a bid to improve public transportation in the sultanate.

He said that under the passenger terminal concept, buses will stop at strategic places such as the airport, government buildings, hospitals, hotels, and places of interest for the public and tourists.

“I think it is a good idea but most Bruneians would prefer to use their vehicles and wouldn’t want to use the bus. It will be a good system for foreigners as they will not have to worry about buses being delayed,” said Felix Lee

The 23-year-old Bruneian said that the current bus system was unsatisfactory and is in need of improvements.

He added that the passenger terminal would appeal to more people if the buses were punctual and kept clean at all times, like those in Singapore and Penang.

“Sometimes the buses are late, sometimes (they are) on time but are really dirty and smelly,” said Lee who used public buses to commute to and from school when he was studying in Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College (Maktab Duli).

Another local, Dalton Lim Ren Taks from ITB, said he liked the idea of a passenger terminal and would start commuting by bus more often to save cost.

“I hope they also implement a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system so we don’t have to carry around too much cash,” he said.

RFID is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data. In this case RFID can be used as a means of tranferring credit for bus rides.

However, Lim who used to commute by bus to school frequently before obtaining his driving licence said bus drivers should be more disciplined as he was unhappy with their services in the past.

“I particularly dislike drivers that send passengers back directly to their homes instead of a bus stop. It prolongs the journey,” said Lim.

Meanwhile, an international student studying in UBD who opted for anonymity said that the buses in Brunei were generally on time when she commutes between Seria and Bandar during the weekends.

“I can’t criticise because I come from a place where the service is bad in terms of cleanliness. Punctuality is good in Brunei probably because I take buses directly from their terminals so the time of departure is already determined,” she added.

The student however said that information regarding bus routes and schedules should be more accessible.

“The time of departure aren’t known until you go to the terminal yourself so it (would be appreciated if) they could either have a fixed time for every day or make it known online,” she said.

The Brunei Times