express bus experience

last sunday night i returned to penang from KL at 11.30pm via the ‘gunung raya’ bus. the bus left puduraya at 7.00pm (but the ticket schedule time was 6.30pm). after getting back home and settled down and all that, what else did i do except surfing the net! surfing to read blogs more like it. one day i had been without internet so the minute i got back must quickly get online!

when i went to adam’s blog, i suddenly read about his complaint on the same bus company that i took the bus from – gunung raya. what a co-incidence! so i wrote my complaint too under his comments box. this was what i wrote:

hey adam, do you mean gunung raya instead of gung raya?

many years back i used to take gunung raya all the time and they were ok but from 3 or 4 years back i started taking konsortium bus express (supercoach). so haven’t taken gunung raya for a long long time… but just yesterday i took it. what a co-incidence i just came back from kl taking gunung raya a few hours ago and then read about your complaints on gunung raya. let me share my experience.

actually we wanted to take konsortium bus back (kl to pg) but all tickets sold out and we went round a few other bus companies (like sri maju) also no tickets so we finally settled on gunung raya… and ahh yes indeed… lousy.

first of all instead of leaving at 6.30, it left at 7.00 and the bus did not stop where it should too and the bus no. they gave us was different.

on the road, they stop twice too… once i think the driver buy something too. then once at juru, i think they want to stop for another bus to come to send those from butterworth over but after waiting some time, no bus so they had to go to butterworth (ferry terminal) then detour to pg bridge to go to the island. this bus we took was suppose to go straight to the island, not detour to butterworth. as a result of it stopping once and detour to butterworth we were delayed in our journey.

now with your story, i think i’m not ever going to take gunung raya!

my sister, who were with me on the bus said that at the 1st stop, it looks like the driver went to a surau to pray. the 2nd stop was near the juru toll, which i suspect the driver was waiting for another bus to ‘chase’ passengers going to either penang or butterworth to the other bus.

this happened to me a number of times when i was taking the express bus. if the bus carries both penang and butterworth passengers, they have to go a long way… to butterworth ferry terminal then back to the bridge, so they thought they might as well ‘interchange’ passengers so that they don’t have to go the extra distance. many times i had to get down and move over to the other bus, or sometimes when i was lucky, it was other passengers who had to get down to move to the other bus.

all this happened because the bus has lack of penang or butterworth passengers so the one same bus has to take both penang and butterworth passengers, then when they are lazy to made detour, they will try to ‘interchange’ the passengers at the juru toll. sickening, isn’t it? it will bo so troublesome for us passengers to move to another bus esp. when we have heavy luggage… also when we have to wait quite long!

back to me taking the gunung raya bus in puduraya, the bus was suppose to leave at 6.30pm and the bus no. given was 4311 but the bus only came at 7.00pm and it was another bus – no. 4211 instead. that’s not all… the bus did not stop at the designated place because it was filled up by another two buses. we had to run to the other side to catch it when a man announced ‘penang, penang, penang! penang, pi sana!’.

this is what i hate about taking the bus at puduraya, esp. when i’m alone. instead of the bus appearing at the designated platform/lane, it would be at somewhere else. if i’m alone, it’ll be quite scary that i might missed the bus!

the whole bus system in puduraya is such a mess!! how come i thought puduraya is going to be closed and moved to kl sentral??

ok now back to bus talk. adam experienced his worst journey last thursday. i experienced my worst bus journey more than 10 years ago. it was a trip from singapore to penang. i had forgotten which bus company but we bought the bus ticket in singapore.

i was on the bus with my mum and sis on the way back to penang after visiting my brother in singapore. somewhere along the journey, we notice something strange about the bus route. the bus was passing through some place that look so deserted… and like a jungle! we wonder why but we did not asked the driver. then suddenly when the bus was on the main road… it was somewhere in slim river, perak, it was stopped by some policemen… and guess what, the bus had to drive to the police station! must be the bus did not have a license to ferry passengers or what and the police had to detained the whole bus… including us passengers! then it dawned on us that the bus was trying to avoid police block, that’s why the driver used the deserted road that looks like a jungle!
so there we were all 30 of us in the police staton. the police said they had to take down our name but luckily there was one passenger who ‘fight’ with the police that we were not in the wrong, why need our details, so the police then let us go. go? but our bus had been detained, how? we asked the bus driver to arrange another bus to come fetch us but he didn’t want to. in the end, the police advised us to take a train home. he said the railiway station is nearby the police station and within walking distance.

we had no choice but to lug our heavy luggage along to the railway station… and the train that we got into was the mail train at the 3rd class, where they allowed passengers to stand! and we all had to stand! (luckily not for the entire journey).

the worst part of it was that i remmeber during that time, i was sick. before boarding the bus i already threw up twice and i felt giddy and stomach growling but no choice as tickets already bought must go. i was so sick i nearly have no strength to walk from the police station to the railway station! then at the railway station must wait for the train again, and at that time i threw up again! of course to top it all, when boarding the train, i had to stand again! argh! i felt like dying!

after our misadventure at the police station, we were delayed for more than 5 hrs! when we got home, i informed my brother what happened and he said he will try to get a compensation from the bus company. the bus company only compensated us for the train fare!

that was my worst express bus journey experience. imagine! landing at the police station! i wonder anyone of you have a terrible bus experience to share?

i understand from heresay that the best bus company is plusliner/nice (picture left -not the same one that i took before. the one i took was green in colour, like the plusliner), as they leave on time and no problems along the route. well i had try plusliner once boarding at the old railway station. true they were in time and no problem but plusliner has no super VIP coach. thier super VIP is the nice bus which is very expensive! i try it once too and i found it was not so nice as i thought it should be. i mean like not worth the price of the ticket (it was double the price of the normal express bus… but the service/benefits not double!!). the difference was they gave us a pack of mee and drinks and there was a bus hostess around. i understand that if you want blanket or pilliow, you can request from the bus hostess.

i think i’ll stick back to the ‘supercoach’ (the whole bus is all red in colour!) from the konsortium bas ekspress company.

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