By Regina Lee (The Star)
Hanging out at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC), formerly known as Puduraya, is cool.
A far cry from the grimy and dingy interior that used to greet travellers at the bus terminal here, the UTC now even has a gym, futsal court and a rock climbing wall for youths looking for some clean and healthy fun.
The make-over got the Prime Minster’s nod, and at Saturday’s launch, Najib Tun Razak said the UTC was in line with the urbanisation of the country and its needs, but with the core business retained.
“We renovated the car parks to place the government service centres and recreational facilities,” he told reporters.
“Everything else is still the same. The buses will still run from here.”
The UTC will house 31 government agencies, scores of private businesses, a Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia, a Kedai Kain 1Malaysia and the country’s first Kedai Buku 1Malaysia.
Puduraya was renamed Pudu Sentral last year after a massive facelift by developer UDA Holdings Berhad.
It has now been further made over to house a one-stop centre for dealings with government agencies and private businesses.
This is the nation’s second UTC, following the other in Malacca that was launched in June.
They are part of the blue ocean strategy employed by the Government to improve services by private and public agencies.
“We want to set up a UTC in every major city,” Najib added.
“So, we are now looking for the right building and we will keep the expenses to a minimum when renovating it.”
He said the transformation took a mere six weeks and RM24mil, and was spearheaded by the Finance Ministry.
UDA Holdings chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the transformation meant that there would be more buses at the terminal, especially with its additional facilities.
Pudu Sentral lost half of the bus volume to the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan at Bandar Tasik Selatan of late.