KUALA LUMPUR, 20 May 2009: New bus and taxi fares are expected to be announced by end of next month, after the proposal was tabled in the cabinet says the Commercial Vehicles Licencing Board (CVLB).
CVLB chairperson Datuk Markiman Kobiran said the new fares will involve stage coaches, express buses, school buses, mini buses, taxis and rental cars.
“We are waiting for feedback from the Transport Ministry and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry before submitting for the attention of the cabinet by end of next month,” he told Bernama when contacted here.
Markiman who did not reveal the percentage recommended, added that CVLB’s fare review was submitted to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz on 7 May.
He added that the government had earlier agreed to increase the fare by 30%, including the 30% surcharge for buses which remain in force.
The last review was made in 2005, where the subsidized diesel was priced at 65 sen per litre compared to the current RM1.43 per litre and the public must accept the fact that a fare review was inevitable.
However, observers in the industry believe the increase would not be the 60 or 100% requested by operators of public transport, especially stage coaches and express bus operators.
“The fare review must set the fare hike at an optimum level so as not to burden users. We also hope that the quality of public transport including passenger safety will be improved,” public transport expert Prof Dr Abd Rahim Md Nor told Bernama here.
Abd Rahim said the fixing of the optimum fare could be done by ensuring that the new fares would be able to cover both fixed and operation costs, besides making a reasonable profit and providing quality service.
“”The new fares should be relevant for at least five years with annual review,” he said.
The Peninsular Malaysia Bus Operators Association (PMBOA) and Peninsular Malaysia School Bus Operators Association had demanded that the bus fares be increased due to an increase in operational cost, especially the price of spare parts and workers’ salaries, following an increase in fuel price last June.
PMBOA had also requested the government to raise the monthly subsidized diesel quota from 2,500 litres to 5,000 litres for stage buses, and 9,000 litres for express buses, based on their need. — Bernama