UDA bids for RM200 million Gombak bus terminal project

KUALA LUMPUR: UDA Holdings Bhd, a wholly-owned entity of state investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd, is among 10 bidders seeking to revive the once-shelved  Gombak bus terminal in Selangor.

According to UDA managing director Datuk Jaafar Abu Hassan, the company has placed a bid to undertake the estimated RM200 million project on a 33 acre site  near the Gombak Putra Light Rail Transit station.

"It is a business opportunity," Jaafar told the in a recent  interview.

The government project, formerly known as the Integrated Transportation Terminal (ITT) Gombak, will be renamed as the Eastern Integrated Transport Terminal. learned that the tender was close on Monday, April 12 after being opened for about three months.

Besides UDA, other bidders for the bus terminal include Lembaga Tabung Haji and Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd. The private finance initiative (PFI) is expected  to be awarded by the end of this month.

The PFI method is a manner in which government infrastructure projects are financed using private companies' money.

The terminal, intended for east-bound public transport providers, was recently revived by the government. Work is scheduled to start in June for completion  within two years.

News reports have quoted Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat as saying the Gombak bus station would be built in two phases which include arrival and departure terminals. The first phase is expected to be completed next year.

Ong said the project was a part of the National Key Result Areas involving urban public transport to ease traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur.

Construction of the Gombak bus terminal was initially scheduled to start in 2001 but was shelved due to financial and land constraints.

Upon completion, the transport hub is expected to divert about 780 express buses from the north and east out of the city to ease traffic congestion  in the city.

The Gombak entity will replace the Puduraya bus terminal as the hub for southbound buses.

UDA is redeveloping the Puduraya bus station. Jaafar said the progress was on track with 35% of the job done.. He is confident that the terminal would be completed before the Hari Raya holiday season in September.

Asked about the changes at the terminal upon completion of the redevelopment, Jaafar said the number of ticket counters would be halved  from the previous 109 entities.

“Buses under the same management would be given one counter to reduce clutter and for UDA to be able to do better monitoring,” he said, adding that the  number of food stalls and tidbits counters would be maintained.

Jaafar said UDA had undertaken a huge investment in the redevelopment of the Puduraya terminal and is seeking returns from its capital outlay, hence, a possible  increase in rentals for commercial space within the terminal.

“We are looking at a step-up rate, which would be reasonable and affordable…but of course it would not be a 100% increase,” he said.

UDA, formerly known as the Urban Development Authority was established by the government in November 1971 to undertake urban development in the country.  Following its incorporation in September 1996, the government entity was renamed as UDA Holdings Sdn Bhd.

It had adopted its present name UDA Holdings Bhd in conjunction with its listing in November 1999 on the main board of the then Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. UDA was delisted from the local bourse in May 2007 after Khazanah took the company private.  

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