Posted by: Jom Naik Bas! | 12 July 2009

Jom Naik Transnasional Skyview!

Malaysia’s largest interstate coach operator, Transnasional, has launched a new high-capacity double-decker coach, dubbed the Skyview in 2008. The Skyviews are deployed on daily services between the capital Kuala Lumpur with Johor Bahru, Malacca and Kuala Terengganu. These economy class coaches can accommodate up to a maximum of 69 passengers, a record for an interstate express bus. This record however, has been overwritten by the newer Plusliner Xtreme operated by sister company Plusliner. The Xtreme series can carry more than 70 passengers at any given time. Being an economy class coach, they are arranged in the ‘2+2’ seating configuration.

photo courtesy of Razi

Photo courtesy of Razi.

From Johor Bahru, the service is operated 4 times daily. It departs from the Larkin Terminal in Johor Bahru and arrives at Puduraya Bus Station in KL. Since there is no online ticketing available, I tried my luck on the first trip which departs at ten in the morning. I was lucky as there are still seats available for the trip. I paid RM31.10 (SGD13.00) for a ticket, including a compulsory 30% surcharge of RM7.20. On the ticket, it was written that the bus deployed bears the registration number of WRH6708.

Ticket stub

The Skyviews are manufactured by Bee Hing Coachworks, and is exclusive to Transnasional. Two chassis types were selected for the Skyviews – MAN 24.460 and Scania K124EB. The former is deployed on the East Coast routes with the latter operating on the other routes. WRH6708 with the fleet tag of T301S is a Scania K124EB, with a horsepower rating of 420bhp and runs on a Euro-3 engine. There are several unique features of the bus. These includes a middle door for boarding and alighting activities, a centre staircase to the upper deck, inconsistent seat numbers as well as a pair of seats just beside the driver on the lower deck.

WRH6708 T301S

WRH6708 T301S

Passengers enter the bus through the centre door. The staircase to the upper deck is located to the right of the door.

Passengers enter the bus through the centre door. The staircase to the upper deck is located to the right of the door.

Almost all seats have been snapped up for the trip. I was given a seat on row 1. You must have guessed that row 1 will be the front-most row or gunzel seats as I usually call it. I thought the same until I found out that it was actually on row 3! Not really disappointed but I’m still puzzled by the strange seat numbers. For your information, the first row was tagged as row F, followed by row S and row 1. The seats near the staircase had rows U and P. I also noticed another interesting feature of the seat numbers. As opposed to conventional ‘AB+CD’ arrangement for a typical economy class buses, the Skyviews had a rather strange arrangement; ‘AD+BC’. My ticket stub showed seat number ‘1D’ so I thought I got a window seat. It was actually an aisle seat!

The LCD monitor in an upclosed position.

The LCD monitor in an upclosed position. Note the CCTV at the bottom left of the monitor.

The gunzel seats. The smaller monitor which was not switched on for the journey.

The 'gunzel seats'. The smaller monitor which was not switched on for the journey.

The bus departed Larkin ten minutes behind scheduled. The standard of cleanliness was satisfactory. However, I’m quite uncomfortable with the presence of flies around. Not surprising since many of the local folks brought a plethora of things onboard. I was also told that the Skyview is uncomfortable, which I agree to a certain extent. The leather Vogelsitze seats were quite comfy for me. It can be manually-reclined to a certain angle. But this reclining feature is a setback to those seated at the back. Because of the high passenger capacity, there is a minimal legroom provision for passengers. As such, if the passenger seated in front chose to recline his seat, there goes your space. I would also like to note that the seats are not recommended for plus-sized passengers, so unless you’re on a budget, you might want to give the Skyview a miss.

The seats

The seats, with the armrest in the 'down' position.

The seats were manufactured by Vogelsitze of Germany.

The seats were manufactured by Vogelsitze of Germany.

The air-conditioning system cools the saloon at a very comfortable temperature, not too warm and not too cold. The air-con blower is hidden away from view, and is almost exclusive to those on the window seat. The air-con is generated independently at the rear of the upper saloon. A 17-inch LCD screen is placed in front of the bus, and can be folded up when not in use. A smaller 9-inch screen is placed just below but I have no idea what purpose it served. The front-most row on the upper deck has its seats lowered than the other seats due to the low headroom.

View of the upper deck rear seats. The independent air-conditioning system can be clearly seen.

View of the upper deck rear seats. The independent air-conditioning system can be clearly seen.

View of the forward upper deck seats. Here, the cleaner is seen cleaning the interiors.

View of the forward upper deck seats. Here, the cleaner is seen cleaning the interiors. A second TV monitor can also be seen.

On the lower deck, you can be seated right next to the driver. This feature is unique to high-capacity double-decker coaches. 18 passengers can be seated on both sides of the bus. It is rather cramp on the lower deck and some might even feel a little bit claustrophobic.

Forward of the lower deck.

Forward of the lower deck.

The unique seats beside the driver. Note also that these are the only seats on the bus with seatbelts.

The unique seats beside the driver. Note also that these are the only seats on the bus with seatbelts. Skyviews operated by SKMK (Kelantan) and Kenderaan Labu Sendayan (Melaka) has doors exclusive for these seats.

The rear of the lower deck saloon. A curtain covers the second driver rest area and the staircase on the right.

The rear of the lower deck saloon. A curtain covers the second driver rest area, whereas the staircase to the upper deck is on the right.

Back to the trip itself, the bus made its way directly to the North-South Highway. It made a 30-minute break at Restoran Jaya in Simpang Renggam. There were also several other Transnasional buses at the restaurant. After continuing its journey along the highway, it made another 20-minutes break at the Kampung Bemban Lay-by. It continued its journey at around 1.05pm. There were to be no further stops or breaks from then on. As expected, no programmes were shown on the screen during the journey.

Apart from the loss of my space due to the reclined seat in front of me, I actually felt comfortable for most of the journey. In fact, I fell asleep at some points. The traffic flow was rather smooth for most of the journey from Johor Bahru to Melaka, but it started to get heavy once we entered the KL-Seremban Expressway.

The bus reached Sungai Besi Toll Plaza on the fringe of Kuala Lumpur at around 2.25pm. The traffic got really congested soon after we left the toll plaza. By the time we reached Jalan Imbi, the traffic came to a standstill. Usually, it will take no more than 5 minutes for the bus to pass this road and reach Puduraya Bus Station. After a frustrating 15 minutes, the bus finally reached its destination – Puduraya Bus Station.

Skyview T301S soon after arriving at Puduraya, KL.

Skyview T301S soon after arriving at Puduraya, KL.

Disembarked passengers retrieving their luggage from the common luggage compartment.

Disembarked passengers retrieving their luggage from the common luggage compartment.

This has been my first trip on an economy class express coach in as many years. I did not put too much expectation on the trip since I have no experience riding on one. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the trip on the Skyview. The rather claustrophobic feeling of the bus was compensated by the smooth and meticulous driving skills of the driver. The lack of air-con blower was negligible, as I felt cool throughout the journey. However, I felt annoyed by the presence of flies right from the start of the journey. For a bus which serves the common folks regularly, it was pretty clean. I also noticed a cleaner who went around the bus immediately after the last passenger disembarked.

The bus permit info box, a compulsory feature of all commercial vehicles in Malaysia. This will provide information of the owner to the permit of the vehicle.

The bus' permit info box, a compulsory feature of all commercial vehicles in Malaysia. This will provide information of the owner to the permit of the vehicle.

I am pleased to award the Transnasional Skyview 2.5 stars.

For more information, please log on to http://www.transnasional.com.my.

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Responses

  1. Hi…. This bus actually is not IB… but is EB….. If not mistaken is K124EB 6×2 420hp……

    The Skyview which serve KL-Malacca-KL only use K114IB 6×2 380hp…. front passenger next to driver’s partition have to go in to the bus from the door next to the seats. ;)

  2. I would like to enquire bas fare from KL to Singapore. Also how many hours is the journey?

    Thanks

  3. Hi Annie.

    Bus fares from KL to Singapore ranges from the lower RM40 on a Super VIP-class coach, to a high of around RM100 for an executive/first class coach. Typical journey time should take between 5-6 hours, depending on traffic situation.

  4. This Bus is 6×2 SCANIA 310HP.

  5. HI. how much is the bus fare FROM singapore to kl? and whats the schedule? the transnasional bus is at the lavender bus station right? thanks!!!

  6. Hi Jenny.

    Transnasional operates the Business Class coach to KL from the Lavender Bus Station. The Skyview double-decker is not being operated into Singapore.

    Time: 8.30am, 10am, 12noon, 5pm, 8pm, 10pm
    Price: RM57.40 (approximately S$25)

    You can call Transnasional at Tel: +65 6294 7034 for more details.

  7. Hi morning i would like to know is there any service from johor to malacca .what time is the last bus departure from jb

    tks dev

  8. Hi Dev.

    The last bus to Melaka from Larkin-JB departs at 9pm daily. However, the Skyviews are not operated on this route. Instead, the Economy ClubClass are deployed.

  9. Did this bus go to terengganu from Singapore

  10. Hi Ridzwan.

    Transnasional is not operating the Skyviews to Singapore, and there are no immediate plans to do so.

  11. u know dat,i came back to my hometown on 5 sept 2010 using dis bus from kajang,selngor to alor star,kedah. but, i with my friend n my 3 nephews wanna stop at gurun,kedah.. gurun is a location b4 we arrived to alor star..my friend n i told the second driver(occur the changes of driver at…..i dont remember which R&R we stop) dat we wanna stop at gurun.. n the most important thing to know here is GURUN is a place where the people at sik,baling,jeniang n somewhere else stop bcoz gurun is near with these place.. but, THE SECOND DRIVER didn’t stop at gurun.. his reason is “bas transnasional x akan stop kat tmpat lain selain kat hentian”.. n i told him “saya pernah naek bus transnasional dari gopeng,perak n turun kat gurun.. boleh jer”.. he replied me, “x ada bas transnasional dari gopeng”.. he lied me..! if there is no trans bus from gopeng,how come i’m the one the pasenger of dat bus..?? i still remember, at dat time i took trans bus from gopeng to go back to my hometown cause of independent day.. my lecturer can be my witness.. I FEEL SO DISSATISFIED WITH TRANSNASIONAL BUS COMPANY ESPECIALLY TO DAT DRIVER..!! He didnt sopeak to me very well n looks so cruel..

  12. now is RAMADHAN.. he should considered us.. n i wanna tell here………that……. “saya sepatutnya dapat hak saya sebagai pengguna n penumpang.saya bayar untuk naik bas tu,bukannya saya naik free..setiap orang kat dunia ni ada hak masing2..n INGAT….!! apa yang saya x dapat kat dunia ni, saya akan tuntut kat akhirat nanti depan ALLAH. ingat tu “driver”.. kita jmpa kat sana..
    i hope tansnasional bus company can do smething to provide better service to CUSTOMERS.. here is the information about my trip from kajang to alor star…
    masa naik: 5/9/2010 -12.00pm
    seat: 7A,7B,7C,7D

  13. bas skyview ade pergi alor star tak???

  14. I’ll have a trip to Terengganu this Thursday and will come back to klang this saturday. I always choose to have a trip at night becoz “tak panas” and ” senang nak tdo” haha. I bought return ticket, senang, x payah nak beli banyak kali. Actually my 1st choice is Sani express but there’s no more seat at the front side, then i asked for express mutiara, but ” ticket dah abis la dik”. lol. so then i went to transnasional ticket counter and i said ” sya nk 2 tiket pergi balik ke terengganu khamis malam ni dan balik sabtu malam, kalau boleh nak seat depan” and guess what, i got seat sebelah driver utk pergi dan baliknye i dapat seat depan skali tingkat atas… ske ati saye..n Actually lg, my father also bus driver tp Maraliner pon bawak dr KL ke terengganu but Maraliner x masuk klang, so i have to go to Putra, jauh plak. ( saje kongsi citer, padahal dah pernah naik bus skyview trans ni pon dr klantan ke KL, x dinafikan seat agak sempit, sebab tu sy ske naik Sani.)

  15. Do you have any buses going to Johore Bahru from Bukit Jalil station ?
    and what time available from the morning on the 8th April 2011 ?
    How much will be the bus fare ?
    Looking fwd to hear fr you soon. thanks!

  16. Hi Rachel.

    Buses to Johor Bahru will only depart from TBS-BTS.

  17. Will u give me some advise for our group (21 persons) will visiting singapore, johor baru and kul on 6 th december 2011 until 8th dec 2011, rental bus or any other idea. if u give me a charter bus, how much the fare for our group. pick up from harbour front and out Kul Airport.

  18. hi
    can I please enquire about the executive coach or business class service from kuala lumpur to Johor Bahru. my sister lives near USJ. can i buy ticket online or if my sister needs to buy ticket, where is the nearest ticket outlet? i would like to travel to jb on sunday 1/4 evening or monday 2/4 first thing in the morning. how much is it? one adult and one twelve year old. we are arriving from london so we have two suitacases and one hand luggage.

    appreciate your reply. thank you
    Badariah

  19. double deck bus will it not stable as single deck ?

  20. i would like to know whether the seat is comfortable for a long journey at night. thanks!


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