The Government has agreed to increase stage and express bus fares but has not decided on the quantum.
Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Noh Omar said the new fares would be announced before Hari Raya in October.
Noh, however, shot down the Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association’s appeal for a 100% fare increase, saying it would be a great burden on the public.
“Their appeal for an increase cannot be refused but a 100% increase means a RM30 fare would be RM60. This is too high,” he said, adding that the memorandum from the association was accepted during the National Inflation Council meeting chaired by the Prime Minister on Monday.
Noh said the ministry has drawn up a formula on the fare increase, which it now has to discuss with the association.
“We understand their financial problem because prices of diesel, tyre and engine oil have gone up a few times since 2005, while fares have not increased,” he told reporters after presenting excellence award to 68 ministry staff here yesterday.
Noh also said that the Government was looking into the operators’ other problems, including complaints that they could not sell tickets yet for the Hari Raya season for fear there would not be enough buses.
“They said some buses do not want to operate during the festive season because it is only full for a one-way journey such as Kuala Lumpur to Johor and returns with fewer passengers,” he said.
Among ideas the Government was studying to help prevent bus companies from incurring losses, particularly when running services to rural areas, was to issue permits for them to transport school children and factory workers.
He said Mara was incurring losses of about RM3mil per year providing subsidised transport at Felda schemes.
The ministry was also studying the possibility of allowing the 20,000 school bus operators to ferry members of the public after they had sent students to school, to enable them to increase their income, he added.
Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali, however, insisted that the Government meets its three requests: an increase in diesel quota for both stage and express buses, a 100% fare increase and goodies for the industry in the coming Budget.
News refer to http://globalbreakingnews.blogspot.com/