Tuesday, July 8, 2014

First Bus Station in Bintulu

MARA buses stationed infront of the old fish market, in the late 60's -70's
Behind is the row of wooden shophouses along the Main Bazaar road
Note: Picture shows the station in the early 70's.
 In the pre-boom period, Bintulu was a sleepy town which got its first bus service in the late 60's.   The Majlis Amanah Rakyat Malaysia, in short MARA, owned these buses.  The buses provided much needed public transportation for Bintulu to link it to Miri, some 200 kilometers away north of Bintulu, which was the capital of the Fourth Division.  In the early 1970's,  Bintulu was a sub-district in the division  and all government affairs were headquartered at Miri for final decision making.  This arrangement made very slow progress to the far away town of Bintulu.  In the 60's Bintulu was in the backwaters of development.  The picture above shows the bus station site located just in front of the old fish market.  At the picture below is seen the previous bus station site turned into a public car parking space.  The wooden shophouses were demolished to give way to concrete shophouses.  When not many people were able to buy cars in the  60's and 70's, the bus service was a real boon for the general public of Bintulu.  After a series of four economic booms, Bintulu population grew larger and many were well-off to afford their own cars.  Thus with more cars additional parking spaces were constructed within  the Bintulu town.  The car parking area as shown below is charged using the coupon system.  As at 9th July'14, the current rate is 50 sen per one hour of parking time.  
Note the Tanjung trees ( Mimusops elengi) planted for  shade and beautification of the town.
Photo taken : 7 July'14