Social distancing rules ignored at bus terminal


Commuters were seen sitting close to each other at the Inanam Bus Terminal yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: Although express bus operators have put in place standard operating procedures (SOP), compliance among travellers with in terms of social distancing has been quite poor.

More than 20 express bus operators in the state resumed their operations yesterday following the go-ahead given by the government.

A survey conducted by The Borneo Post at the Inanam Bus Terminal yesterday revealed that almost all of the passengers wore face masks.

However, some of the passengers who were waiting for buses to depart were seen sitting quite close to each other at the terminal’s waiting area.

Fortunately, each bus would only carry half load of passengers, meaning that a 41-seater bus would only allow 20 passengers on board as social distancing inside the bus would be mandatory.

Suchi Abdul Samad, a representative from one of the bus operators said that each passenger would be required to disclose their identification card details, undergo temperature checks and sign their respective declaration forms.

She explained that City Hall has issued orders on social distancing rules in the terminal.

“The passengers have been reminded to practice social distancing,” she said, adding that the police have been carrying out inspections in the terminal.

She opined that the passengers have been cooperating well to these requirements but she admitted that things could be a bit hectic when there are too many people.

She also pointed out that that the bus fares have been increased by 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, Marijah Abdullah, who was about to depart to Tawau with her six-year-old child, said that she was quite scared to travel but had no choice as she had to settle her immigration issues back in her hometown.

“I did take precautionary steps such as bringing hand santisers and what not. My child and I have also worn masks,” she said.

Sisal Jaidi, a construction worker from Semporna who was stuck in Kota Kinabalu for nearly two months, would finally be able to return home to his wife.

“My bus for Semporna is due at 7 pm. My wife is there,” he said.

He was only supposed to be in the state capital for eight days for a job but could not return home due to the previous Movement Control Order (MCO) restrictions.