It has been quite a long time that I had not travel to Lumut using public transport because I usually drive to this little Navy Town. Lumut is famous for its sea products and a transit point for those going to Pangkor Island for leisure or business.
This time around I travel by bus and I made a good choice of taking the Transnasional service. I bought the ticket at the ticket counter located at Plaza Rakyat LRT station. The ticket price is RM 26.60 ad plus another 20 cents for its insurance scheme.
It was the 8.30 trip so I still have time to go for the Maghrib prayer at the Surau on Level 4 of Puduraya.
Around platform 10, where the bus waits before departure, it seems deserted. Then there's an Indian lady join me on the platform and followed by four men whom I know will be travelling to Kuala Kangsar. I was wondering will this bus go to Lumut and then Kuala Kangsar or to Kuala Kangsar them to Lumut. Well, when the bus make a brief stop at Hentian Duta in Jalan Duta, another makcik boarded the the guys going to Kuala Kangsar transfered.
Only 3 passengers on a S Class Express bus. In terms of profit, definitely the trip do not make any profit and maybe a loss. They still have to pay the driver allowances and the petrol and toll and just make only RM 80.40 from three of us.
The bus departed on time and was expected to arrive Lumut at 1.00 am, according to the driver. Despite making stops at two Petronas station in Telok Intan and one in Manjung searching for diesel but to no avail, the bus still arrive 1/2 an hour early.
Three days before I tried to buy Express bus ticket for my wife and son from KL to Jitra and Matahari Express bus company sells the ticket at RM50.00 a pax. When I asked why so expensive, I received the answer, its the weekend and they have to increase the price. Then I went to Puduraya and buy from Cosmic and it is only RM43 per pax, the normal price.
I sent a message through Twitter to SPAD (Note: SPAD has no Twitter Account but just a #) requesting whether bus company can increase fare at their will. However till I post this entry, there is no response from SPAD. This is typical of Government Agencies. There is no urgency in responding to the Rakyat.
I am NOT advertising or promoting any particular public transport service but as an advice when choosing the right service based on my experience using public transport.
If you travel to a remote or small town, opt for Transnasional because they will depart on time as long as there's passenger. I still remember, years back, I took an Express bus to Lumut (not Transnasional) and the bus make a few stops at small towns along the way to take or to drop passengers. Then departure will usually be delayed to wait for the Ulat Tiket to bring more passengers so the bus is nearly full before departing. This can take up to hours after the ETD.
NEVER buy tickets from the Ulats because they can ruin your journey. These ulat tiket at Puduraya, are runners for bus companies who might have no permit to take passengers at Puduraya or they do not have the permit to operate the route. These buses will wail for passengers outside the Puduraya Terminal either in front of Maybank Building or along the side leading into Puduraya.