Posted by: Jom Naik Bas! | 16 December 2008

Jom Naik Transtar Express Premium!

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Just last week, I made a trip up north to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur yet again, my fourth such trip this year. I had a companion with me this time round and so I gave him the opportunity to choose his preferred coach. He chose to travel with Transtar Express Premium.

I booked the tickets with Regent Star Travel, an affiliate of Transtar Travel & Tours. Regent Star is conveniently located at Lavender MRT, which is a stone’s throw away from my office. Luckily for me, there wasn’t the usual crowd at the ticketing office so the booking was done in a breeze. I also got a discount off the published price, just by flashing my Transtar Express WorldCard which I signed up during the Travel Malaysia Fair 2008 at the Singapore Expo last October. Like any other Premium trips, the coach was almost fully booked by the time I made the booking, with only 6 seats left. My companion is not a fan of “Gunzel Seats”, unlike me, so I chose seats number 5 & 6 on the upper deck, which was the second row from the front.

Transtar Express Terminal at Hock Seng Building, Lavender Street

Transtar Express Terminal at Hock Seng Building, Lavender Street.

AFS6666, a Scania K124EB 6x2 tri-axle rated at 420bhp

AFS6666, a Scania K124EB 6x2 tri-axle rated at 420bhp.

Fast-forward to the day of departure, I arrived to check-in at Transtar Express Terminal at Hock Seng Building some 15 minutes prior to departure. The Premium coach deployed on the 8.30 am trip to Kuala Lumpur was AFS6666, a Scania K124EB 6×2 tri-axle coach with a horsepower rating of 420bhp. AFS6666 is one of the first generation of Premium double-deck coaches assembled by sksBus in Malaysia. At the parking lot, the gleaming gold-liveried AFS6666 was accompanied by AGG555, one of the latest coach in the First Class Solitaire range. AFS6666 departed the Terminal at precisely 8.35 am, and made a 15-minutes stop at Golden Mile Complex in Beach Road to pick-up the rest of the passengers who chose to board there.

Front shot of AFS6666. The 2 men on the left were the drivers.

Front shot of AFS6666. The 2 men on the left were the drivers.

Premium AFS6666 parked beside First Class Solitaire AGG555

Premium AFS6666 parked beside First Class Solitaire AGG555.

Some of the facilities onboard the Premium coach

Some of the facilities onboard the Premium coach.

Breakfast was served not long after clearing the immigration clearance at the Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ Complex in Johor. Hainanese Chicken Chop Rice was the menu for the trip. Served hot and steaming, it was just the perfect meal for breakfast. I had a good laugh watching a Thai comedy feature while having breakfast, thanks to the personal TV with multi-channel entertainment. Audio/Video-On-Demand was not available onboard Premium coaches. However, I was surprised when I found out that the automatic reclining function of my seat was faulty. Even some of the massaging functions were not in order. I had to force the seat back manually. That was certainly a downside to the otherwise a comfortable seat.

The upper-deck seating arrangement

The upper-deck seating arrangement.

Breakfast for the day

Breakfast for the day.

AGB7222 departed Singapore at 9.30 am

AGB7222 departed Singapore at 9.30 am.

The bus made a 35-minute toilet break stop at Machap Rest Stop Area (RSA). In actual fact, the coach attendant announced that the stop will only last for 15 minutes. Looking at the delay, I had expected that the bus might actually take longer than usual to reach KL. Shortly after leaving Machap, hot beverages were served. Another toilet break at Kampung Bemban RSA was made at around 1.00 pm. By this time, I realised that the bus had travelled quite slow because shortly after we reached Machap, a First Class 3G coach which departed Singapore at 9.30 am had already caught up with us. My companion was bemused by this fact and started to ponder if the bus could reach KL on time or otherwise. My estimated time of arrival in KL was 2.30pm, an hour later than the scheduled time of 1.30pm (based on a 5-hour trip from Singapore usually taken on average).

2.30 pm arrival at Pasarakyat Terminal in KL

2.30 pm arrival at Hentian Pasarakyat in KL.

Back view of AFS6666

Back view of AFS6666.

The bus reached Sungai Besi Toll Plaza on the fringes of Kuala Lumpur just before 2.00 pm. Using the KL-Putrajaya Highway, the bus finally reached Pasarakyat Terminal at 2.30 pm, just as what I had expected. The trip was the slowest I have ever taken to KL. In comparison, my previous trip on Mara Liner Express from Johor Bahru to KL only took around 5 hours whereas the fastest trip was on Suasana Edaran Express, which took 4 and a half hours from Singapore. Another minus factor for this trip was the faulty seats. Apparently, I was not the only one who complained of the faulty seats. The two passengers who were seated on the Gunzel Seats, and my companion also reported that their seats were not in working order. I would be happy if Transtar could address the problems with the older Premium seats, and ensure that the trips adhered to schedule as far as possible.

I will give Transtar Express Premium a 3-star rating.

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Responses

  1. i got this experience too, i was onboard afs6666 too… took about 5 hours plus… the seats were originally not able function except for the leg rest because the controls are meant for the first class seats… check out my blog to read more…

  2. here is the direct link to my transtar post…

    http://ngweitong.blogspot.com/search/label/Review%20of%20Transtar%20Express

  3. And now I know who’s the “Bus King”. Thanks for the informative bits.

    Cheers!
    The Malaysian Explorer

  4. Hopefully Transtar’s personnels will constantly check on their coach seats to avoid complaints from passengers.

  5. maybe they should refurbish afs6666 and agj777 to first class and bring in more new premiums like pc6d pc7b and pc8z…

  6. hi there ya transtar is number one,,, had a horrible experience with suasana edaran,bad counter gal, bad crew omg… was my first n last time taking it… i love the way transtar staff treated me…

  7. look out for mr mohammed…

  8. saya nak naik bas ini di mana?saye mahu pergi ke kedah macam mana saya nak order tiket??di mana tempatnyer?!1

  9. Hi apiz.

    Perkhidmatan Transtar Premium hanya beroperasi antara Singapura-Kuala Lumpur dan Singapura-Genting Highlands. Setakat ini, tiada perkhidmatan Premium ke Kedah. Harap maklum.

  10. takkan tak de kot saya punye anak ingin naiki bas ini macam mana

  11. Seperti yang telah saya maklumkan, jika anda ingin menaiki bas ini, hanya untuk khidmat ke Singapura dari Kuala Lumpur dan Genting Highlands.

  12. saya ingin meminta syarikat transtar ekspres premium beroperasi di temerloh kerana pada musim perayaan tiket tidak mencukupi untuk perjalanan ke utara dan selatan .saya harap syarikat tuan dapat beroperasi di temerloh sekian dari saya loqman jerantut pahang

  13. Saya berharap pihak bas perlu lebih telus dlm penjualan tiket kerana adik saya telah membeli tiket bas Transtar (di kaunter tiket bukan melalui ulat)berharga rm55 utk perjalanan dari JB ke Ipoh (7/11/2010) jam 10.00 pagi. Setibanya di Bukit Jalil, adik saya diminta turun kerana bas hanya berhenti setakat itu sahaja, dan adik saya serta beberapa penumpang ke Ipoh dan Penang terpaksa turun disitu dan terpaksa membeli tiket lain menuju ke Ipoh. Alasan yang diberikan pemandu bas, pihak pengurusan tidak memaklumkan yang beliau perlu menghantar penumpang ke utara. Diharapkan pihak pengurusan bas dapat memantau perkhidmatan bas tambahan yang tidak bertanggungjawab ini untuk menjamin nama baik syarikat tidak terjejas.Sekian, terima kasih.

  14. somehow AFS6666 sucks to my opinion. very luckily that when i came back from malaysia and i took this bus, the bus wasn’t full so that i could change seats. or else i am in for a very unpleasant ride. the remote controls on this bus wasnt working for my original seat also :(

  15. tumpang tanye ada bas dari ipoh ke negeri sembilan(seremban)?boleh order online?


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