Transportation in Kota Kinabalu

Sabah, like the rest of Malaysia, is flush with affordable cars and often it seems as if all of them are on the road at the same time. Even so, for tourists and those not yet the proud owner of their own car, there is an abundance of alternative transport options of various efficiencies.

Here’s a round-up of what’s on offer for those otherwise transport-challenged.

Kota Kinabalu City Bus

Kota Kinabalu’s City Bus is an exciting development for Kota Kinabalu as it’s a functional, cheap mode of public transport covering the city centre.

For a mere RM0.50, you can hop on any of the 4 routes and get to anywhere in the central business district between the Wawasan bus terminal and Jesselton Point, Sabah Trade Centre or the Berjaya Palace Hotel. Assuming you can find a space, of course, because the service is popular.

With reportedly 15 buses on the route, the target time for each bus is every 5 minutes. However, if you know Kota Kinabalu traffic you’ll realise that isn’t always possible, and practically the buses appear anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes.

For the price, however, and considering the air-conditioning of the relatively new buses, the Kota Kinabalu City Bus just can’t be beat.

Zoom in and pan around the embedded map above to see where the Kota Kinabalu City Bus can take you. If you are having trouble seeing the map, click the link to View the Google Map of Bus Routes in Kota Kinabalu Map.

Taxi in Kota Kinabalu

So plentiful are taxis in KK that you would struggle to find a street corner in the city not crowded by waiting cabs.

They can be found hanging about hotels, shopping centres, one or two actual taxi stands dotted around town or really anywhere where you can flag them down safely (and sometimes not so safely too).

Here’s a short list of fast facts you should keep in mind about Sabah’s taxis:

  • Standard taxis are white-on-red, with a few yellow or blue ones around.
  • Look out for the “Teksi Bermeter” sign on the roof. Teksi bermeter means metered taxi, and for a while there Sabah’s taxis didn’t use meters. Now, however, they are required to do so, unless your destination is to or from the airport – then fares are a set rate.
  • Since 1 January 2011 taxis in Kota Kinabalu once started to use their meters. RM10 flag-fall for the first 3km or 9 mins, plus 12c for every 100m or 18 seconds after that. You’ll notice that now short distances will cost you a lot, but longer distances should be a bit cheaper than they used to be.
  • The exception is to and from the airport – you buy a coupon for your destination based on the list posted at the taxi kiosk and hand it to the white airport limo at the taxi rank outside.
  • Normal taxis are allowed, by law, to carry no more than 4 adults, although bigger taxis with license for 7 passengers are getting easier to find.
  • Additional surcharges to and from airports and hotels apply and a 50% surcharge applies to all fares from midnight to 6am;

The prices below apply to and from the Airport’s Terminal 1 and Terminal 2:

  • Zone 1 @ RM25
    Prince Philip’s Park, Tanjung Aru Beach, KK Yacht Club, Tanjung Aru Town, Sembulan Town
  • Zone 2 @ RM30
    Kota Kinabalu town, Winner Hotel, Jesselton Hotel, Sutera Harbour, Api Api Centre, Asia City, Centre Point, Karamunsing, Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, HSBC Bank, Taman Fortuna, Sabah Muzium, Colonade Condo
  • Zone 3 @ RM35
    Likas Sport Complex, Signal Hill, Putatan Town, Likas Square, Taman Hilltop, Damai Centre, Lintas Ssquare, Foh Sang
  • Zone 4 @ RM40
    Beverly Hill Apartments, Pekan Donggongon, Bukit Padang, Sabah Golf & Country Club, Inanam Town, Yayasan Sabah, Sabah Medical Clinic, King Fisher Park, Kolombong
  • Zone 5 @ RM45
    Menggatal, University Malaysia
  • Zone 6 @ RM50
    Pekan Kinarut, Kinarut Beach Resort
  • Zone 7 @ RM55
    Telipok, Putera Jaya, Bukit Setia
  • Zone 8 @ RM60
    Sepanggar Bay, ILP, Telipok Jaya

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