Unknown to many, there is actually a network of public buses in Kota Bharu, though minor routes may not be very efficient especially since some of them were actually retired due to low demand and then put back again. Very little information is also available online on the local routes. I knew that there was a bus service from Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport to the city, but I just didn’t know of the frequency. Nevertheless, as I had some time to spare on this trip, I opted to wait at the bus stop for an allowance of about half an hour to see if I can catch the bus.
The bus stop from Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport bound for the city is conveniently located outside the Arrival Hall, just outside a small side gate.
Some seats available at the bus stop to wait at. However, these were taken up by private car drivers.
Surprisingly, just about 15 minutes of waiting later, the bus showed up.
The Cityliner Bus Service 9 slowing down near the airport as I flagged for the bus. For reference, the bus arrived at 2.44pm.
Boarding the Cityliner Bus Service 9.
Tickets are purchased from the driver directly. A ticket from Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport to Kota Bharu city costs RM1.80 (~S$0.59).
The interior of the Cityliner bus.
Aside from the local kid, there was no one else on board the bus.
My ticket from Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport to Kota Bharu Bus Station for 2 adults.
Passing by another bus stop around the airport perimeter with no passengers to pick up.
Skirting around Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport.
I was expecting an old midibus but it turns out to be a newer Nanjing King Long bus.
Making a small loop to Pantai Timur Hypermarket and SMK Pengkalan Chepa.
Turning into Jalan Kasturi.
Here, the Cityliner Bus Service 9 serves Taman Uda Murni, Kampung Kubang Tuman, Taman Tengku Ahmad Panglima and Kampung Wakaf Mek Zainab rather than running only on the main road.
Passing by another Cityliner Bus Service 9 in the opposing direction. I did not see another Cityliner Service 9 bus after this, and with this being the middle point of the route, I guess that the Cityliner Bus Service 9 route operates with 2 buses.
Many roundabouts along this estate route.
Heading into the city with the jam.
Passing through Dataran Cheng Ho.
Turning right towards the Kota Bharu Bus Station.
Approaching Kota Bharu Bus Station with the familiar sight of Parkson.
Turning into Kota Bharu Bus Station.
The 11.3km journey from Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport to Kota Bharu Bus Station took about 25 minutes.
Disembarking at Kota Bharu Bus Station from the Cityliner Bus Service 9.
Overall, a cheap and good bus ride from Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport to Kota Bharu Bus Station for just RM1.80 and 25 minutes of journey time. However, I might have been lucky as this local route does not have a high frequency, rather perhaps every hour or more.
If you’re aiming to get on the bus, my advise is to give yourself about 30 minutes to wait for the bus, failing which, just get a taxi or Grab from Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport to the city.