Team to look into Sandakan bus terminal issues

Chong (seated, second right) with those who attended the meeting recently.

SANDAKAN: Elopura assemblyman Calvin Chong will set up a team of engineers, contractors and Sandakan Municipal Council (SMC) personnel to investigate and study issues faced at the Sandakan Integrated Bus Terminal here.

Chong said this team would be set up within two weeks and it would look into problems at the terminal and come up with a solution.

He announced this during a meeting with SMC personnel, related engineers, consultants and contractors at the terminal here, recently.

“I am still very concerned with the inclined land position of the terminal which was caused by the absence of a fort. After discussion with the engineers, they said the most economical and effective way to solve this was to continuously fill the soil to prevent further soil erosion. The cost of the project is still to be calculated by SMC and consultants.

“Therefore, we have all agreed that a detailed report should be presented so that a solution could be reached as soon as possible. In presenting this report, I also urge the engineers and consultants to retake the soil tests for confirmation for the next meeting,” he said.

Chong also said the lack of parking space was another problem faced at the terminal. The terminal currently has a total of 64 parking spaces, including 12 spaces for buses, 10 for taxis, and 46 for other vehicles, with a one way in and out.

“Parking spaces for the public are already insufficient, with 17 shops taking 34 spaces out of the 46 available spaces. That leaves only 12 parking spaces for the public. With 11.7 acres in size, the parking spaces will not be enough to sustain the vehicles that park here when the terminal starts operating. This issue will also be looked into by the team later,” he said.

Chong also said the ventilation system on the first floor was already installed.

According to SMC, there are three electronic departments involved at the terminal, namely (Terminal Operating System (TOS), Centralised Ticketing System (CTS) and Centralised Information Bus System (CIBS), and installation of the three systems are completed.

The bus terminal was expected to be launched before the general election in May 2018. However, after an inspection by the people’s representatives under the new government, the terminal was found to be built with cheap materials and there were already a lot of problems even before it was utilised.

The leaders then postponed the launching of the terminal until the problems are solved.

The leaders include Chong and Sandakan parliament member cum Minister of Health and People’s Wellbeing, Stephen Wong Tien Fatt.

The terminal was funded by the previous federal government (RM16.2 million) and state government (RM9 million).

Once launched, it will cater to express buses to and from Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Semporna, and Lahad Datu, which are the main transportation mode linking the main towns in the east coast to Kota Kinabalu and Ranau.

Currently, the bus terminal in Sandakan is being operated temporarily at Bandar Letat, Mile 3 here.

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