Onward from Seremban, I have planned to continue my trip to Melaka. I have heard, and seen for myself that Transnasional occasionally operates their new Daewoo CNG buses on the Seremban-Melaka route. So this could be a good time to catch a ride on one of these environmentally-friendly buses.
Transnasional is only sole company that operates regular services between Seremban and Melaka. Each trip departs from either terminals at an hourly interval, with the last departing at around 7.30pm. Both trips will call at Alor Gajah Bus Station before proceeding to the final destination. A variety of buses serves this route, operated by Kenderaan Labu Sendayan, one of the many bus companies under the Transnasional brand. Tickets cost RM6.90 for adults and can be purchased for the next available trip only. It terminates at Terminal One in Seremban and at Melaka Sentral in Melaka. The journey will take approximately one and a half hours.
Although I reached Seremban earlier, I only managed to get a ticket for the 6.30pm trip. While waiting for the bus to arrive, I went for a short walk around the vicinity. I returned to the bus terminal at 6pm. However, the bus did not come until 6.15pm. 5 minutes to go before the scheduled departure and the bus was still not ready for boarding. At last, the driver arrived just before 6.30pm. NBH1915 finally opened its doors for passengers to board. Seating as many as 44 passengers, NBH1915 is a Hino RM2KSKA with the popular ‘Montana’ bodywork assembled by MTrans (now known as Scomi). The bus made a short stop at Terminal Two bus station to pick up more passengers, before heading straight to the North-South Highway.
Age and lack of proper maintenance was obvious. Seats were in bad shape, water leaking from the air-conditioning ducts and the body rattled at the slight bump or even when the gear changed. The power of the engine was only felt when the bus entered the highway. With time not on our side, the driver stepped on the accelerator and sped along the busy highway. Although the bus performance is somewhat commendable, the lack of maintenance and deterioration of the engine was clear.
The time was 7.30pm when the bus reached Alor Gajah bus station. After passengers disembarked, the bus weaved along the town’s main roads towards the City Centre. It’s been quite sometime since I travelled along the Malaysian heartlands. It will take another half an hour before reaching Melaka Sentral. It was a trip unlike any other and memorable in more ways than one. It could be my first and last ride ever on the Hino RM’s Montana bus, as I was told that they will be sold off in the near future. And of course, the speedy ride weaving through the narrow village roads during sunset.