KUCHING, Dec 19 ― Bintulu will get next year the subsidised RM1 flat-rate bus fare as implemented in Kuching, Sibu and Miri following requests from bus companies, Sarawak Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said today.
He said his ministry will also carry out a feasibility study on the implementation of the programme to other towns in Sarawak.
He said the ministry wanted more people to enjoy the programme that was launched in May this year in Kuching, Sibu and Miri.
“In order to further improve this programme, efforts will be made by the ministry, together with the relevant agencies especially the state Ministry of Local Government and Housing, and the local authorities to improve the related infrastructure including upgrading and building new bus stations and bus stops in the state,” Lee said in a statement.
He added all towns should have their own bus stations for the comfort and convenience of the users.
“Buses should be the cornerstone of transportation particularly in urban areas. In fact, bus services under this programme offer affordable mobility that connects citizens with every aspect of their lives.
“Hence, starting next year, a special programme called Awareness Behavioural Change (ABC) will be implemented by the ministry to encourage more people especially the children to use bus public transport instead of using their public vehicles for going to works and schools as well as other purposes,” he said.
He said the ministry noted that better bus systems would create better cities and towns for the people.
He added the implication of sub-par bus services fell most heavily on vulnerable members of the society especially those categorised in the B40 of income earners.
“It is expected that through this programme, the bus services will be more inclusive and provide better services to the people,” he said.
He said the programme aspires to provide a safe, reliable, affordable and comfortable bus public transport services in the state will also become the preferred mode of transport particularly in the urban and suburban areas.
The RM1 flat rate of bus fare programme was first launched in May 2020 involving 12 bus companies covering 48 approved bus routes by the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) in Kuching, Sibu and Miri.
Lee said that since the launch, the programme has gotten overwhelming response from the public as exemplified by the huge increase in ridership within seven months of its implementation from 12,657 passengers in May to 206,470 in October, in the three towns.
Related Articles SDMC clarifies DAP Stampin MP’s quarantine order a mere misunderstanding Sarawak police to take action against woman for allegedly helping foreigners who tested positive for Covid-19 flee country Sarawak bus companies to be ‘severely penalised’ if found ferrying undocumented migrants