Kualanamu Airport Bus and Amplas Terminal which is Getting Old

Even a week before flying, I made a choice. Not “The fast train from Woojin“, let alone the “blue bird” that often passed in Kualanamu International Airport. My choice was on cheap transportation which is friendly to my wallet. It is none other than DAMRI Bus.

Sitting sleepily in waiting room of airport train station then observing executives people who dragging their suitcase, chasing train’s departure time. Or conversely, quick steps of dapper passengers who had just gotten off the airport train to catch up on their flight times. I became a relaxed man that morning at Kualanamu International Airport. Yes….I was on backpacking, not on business trip.

They who were busy.

15 minutes watching the “The Blue Sky train” which passing by, I exited the train station and carrying my blue backpack which I got through a famous e-commerce a year ago.

Chief Sergeant’s smile welcomed when he helped to crossing me across airport car lane and then I directed my steps towards airport bus platform.

DAMRI Bus hide at the side of red minibus.

Turning to right end of airport exit gate, DAMRI ticket sales counter is very easily seen and found. Can be clearly read “Amplas, Siantar or Binjai“, as several public transportation destinations at outer of Kualanamu. I have studied it well and clearly stated in my itinerary, Amplas is my next destination.

Redeeming a ticket for USD 1.1, I was accessing to taste government-owned transportation which is already legendary in all people heart.

Very cheap.

Brother, just look at destination direction board!. Over there”, ticket staff in uniform said, with his forefinger and his eyes headed in the same direction.

Ok, Sir” I curtly replied.

24 passenger bus in medium size which was never full.

Entering its single door, I sat right next to the door, less than a minute I was in back seat, even a moment later I was in middle seat. AC ventilator was uncovered, rear window was dull so that my camera also lost its clarity, in the middle, reclining seats didn’t function properly.

Air conditioner was super cold which made me shiver along journey.

 “Where’s your ticket?“, The conductor loudly said that surprised me.

Ah, this is Medan, apparently“, I thought that finally made me naturally behave and not be surprised.

Amplas Terminal, Sir“, I handed him the ticket. It turned out that behind the ferocious conductor’s face, there was a faint smile which automatically released on his lips. I began to fall in love with Medan.

Drive and stay away from Kualanamu.

I was very busy in moving to other seats in order to create the best shots (though failed ultimately….Haha), because this DAMRI bus carried 5 passengers only. I knew that the driver keep watching me through rearview mirror. In order to made it natural, I gave him a thumbs up and, uniquely, he also raised his thumbs high. All passengers laughed at me.

Alley situation of a village.
Wide gardens owned by residents.

DAMRI bus had already been quickly speeding on Medan-Kualanamu-Tebing Tinggi toll road.

Preparing to enter the fast lane.

In thirty minutes, DAMRI run towards west until it finally arrived at Amplas Integrated Terminal which is very famous in Sumatera. The terminal isn’t as frightening as I imagined. Nobody bothered me when I spent 20 minutes to exploring entire terminal.

Amplas Terminal which is 29 years old.

Even I took time to talk to Department of Transportation officer about how to go to Toba Lake from this terminal. Also conversing with a “Sejahtera” bus conductor to asked about bus first departure to the world’s largest volcanic lake.

Blue stall where I talk with local residents.

Very happy to hear that Amplas Terminal will be revitalized by Minister of Transportation, and will become an terminal which is integrated with malls and hotels. So cool.

Come on, didn’t stay long at terminal !. Let me show you about Medan.

See the way towards Amplas Terminal here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iv6lQjoYmQ&t=15s

Let’s explore Medan!

DAMRI Kualanamu: Mengejar Amplas yang Semakin Menua

Bahkan seminggu sebelum terbang, pilihan telah kutetapkan. Bukan “Si cepat dari Woojin”, apalagi “si burung biru”yang biasa berlalu lalang di Kualanamu. Pilihanku tetap pada transportasi ala rakyat yang bersahabat dengan kantong. Tak lain lagi, itu DAMRI.

Terduduk kantuk di ruang tunggu stasiun kereta bandara lalu mengamati para eksekutif menggeret kopernya, berkejaran dengan waktu keberangkatan kereta. Atau sebaliknya, langkah cepat para penumpang necis yang baru saja keluar dari kereta untuk mengejar waktu penerbangan mereka masing-masing. Aku menjadi manusia tersantai pagi itu di Kualanamu. Ya iya lah…Aku kan lagi ngelayap, bukan sedang dalam perjalanan dinas.

Mereka yang pada sibuk

15 menit mengamati lalu lalang “Si Biru Langit”, Aku keluar stasiun dengan memanggul backpack biru cetakan Tiongkok yang kudapat lewat salah satu e-commerce ternama setahun lalu.

Senyum Sersan Kepala menyambut sembari membantu menyeberangkanku melewati jalur mobil untuk kemudian aku mengarahkan langkah menuju platform airport bus.

Tuh doi ngumpet di samping “si merah”

Berbelok ke ujung kanan pintu keluar bandara maka konter penjualan tiket DAMRI sangat mudah terlihat dan ditemukan. Terbaca dengan jelas “Amplas, Siantar atau Binjai”, sebagai beberapa tujuan transportasi umum keluar Kualanamu. Sudah kupelajari dengan baik dan tertuang jelas di itinerary, Amplas adalah tolakanku berikutnya.

Menebus selembar tiket seharga Rp. 15.000 saja, aku kini berakses untuk mencicipi transportasi milik pemerintah yang sudah terlanjur melegenda di hati masyarakat.

Murah bingit.

Abang lihat papan petunjuk daerah tujuan aja ya, bang! Disana bang”, seloroh petugas tiket berseragam sembari telunjuk dan matanya menuju ke arah yang sama.

Ok, bang”, aku menjawab singkat.

DAMRI medium berpenumpang 24 yang tak kunjung penuh.

Memasuki pintu tunggalnya aku duduk tepat disebelah pintu, tak sampai semenit aku sudah di bangku belakang, bahkan sejurus kemudian sudah di bangku tengah. AC ventilator itu sudah tak berpenutup, kaca bagian belakang itu sudah sangat kusam sehingga kameraku pun kehilangan kejernihannya, di tengah pun sama reclining seat tak berfungsi selayaknya. Aku selalu memaklumi dengan kondisi ini, ini DAMRI kannnn.

AC super dingin yang membuatku menggigil sepanjang perjalanan.

 “Mana tiket Kau?”, sapa kondektur dengan kerasnya yang membuatku terperanjat. Kalau di Kampung Rambutan itu seperti hentakan preman.

Ah, ini mah Medan ternyata”, batinku yang akhirnya membuatku bersikap wajar dan tak perlu kaget.

Amplas, Bang”, kusodorkan tiket kepadanya. Ternyata dibalik wajah garang sang kondektur ada senyum tipis terlepas otomatis di bibirnya. Aku mulai jatuh cinta dengan Medan.

Melaju menjauhi Kualanamu

Aku sangat sibuk berpindah di bangku manapun demi menciptakan jepretan terbaik (walau akhirnya gagal….Hahaha), karena DAMRI ini hanya mengangkut 5 penumpang. Aku tahu pak sopir terus mengawasiku lewat kaca spion. Demi membuatnya wajar, aku mengacungkan jempol kepadanya dan uniknya dia juga mengacungkan jempolnya tinggi-tinggi. Semua penumpang tertawa melihatku….Kacau.

Suasana gang sebuah perkampungan

Kebun yang luas milik warga

Tak berasa DAMRI pun sudah melaju di jalan tol Medan-Kualanamu-Tebing Tinggi dengan cepatnya.

Bersiap masuk jalur cepat.

Tiga puluh menit DAMRI merangsek ke barat hingga akhirnya tiba di Terminal Terpadu Amplas yang sangat tersohor di Medan itu. Terminal yang tak sesangar seperti yang kubayangkan. Tak seorangpun menggangguku ketika selama 20 menit mengekplore seisi terminal itu.

Terminal Amplas yang telah berusia 29 tahun

Bahkan aku sempatkan bercakap dengan petugas Dishub perihal cara menuju Toba dari terminal ini. Juga bercakap dengan seorang kondektur bus PO Sejahtera untuk menanyakan keberangkatan pertama armadanya menuju danau vulkanik terbesar di dunia itu.

Warung biru tempat aku bercakap dengan warga lokal.

Senang mendengar kabar bahwa Terminal Amplas akan direvitalisasi oleh Mister Menteri dan akan menjadi terminal yang terintegrasi dengan mall dan hotel. Keren yaaaa.

Yuk, jangan lama-lama di terminal. Mari kutunjukkan Medan seperti apa.

Panggil ojek online! Explore Medan!