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Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS)

Association hopes more people would use stage bus services in Sibu
Posted on : 18 Jul 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

SIBU: Despite the low response from the locals towards the stage bus services in Sibu, Sarawak Bus Transport Company Association advisor Lau Khing Seng expressed his hope that more people would use the stage bus services here.

He added, even though there was a RM1 flat rate bus fare initiative introduced by the state government for the stage bus services, the response was still not encouraging.

“It is probably due to Covid-19 pandamic which obviously not over yet. Thus, our society still prefer not to expose themselves as they like, which they had experienced and learned from the period of Movement Control Order (MCO).

“They prefer to be more careful and they are very concerned about the Covid-19 pandamic,” he said when contacted today.

Lau said that was because they love their family more and they are very concerned about their family’s health.

“Some of the bus passengers are made up of senior citizens, however due to the current Covid-19 pandamic, this group of people prefer not to expose themselves outside. The senior citizens particularly aged 60 years old and above are the age group who are very concerned about their health and thus just staying at home.

“Whatever the situation is, we still operate our stage bus services here in Sibu from 6am-5pm, from Monday to Sunday,” he added.

He said, the objectives of the RM1 flat rate bus fare were to encourage more people to use buses as their preferred mode of urban mobility, to alleviate the financial burden of low income group who are highly dependent on public bus transport, to design toward reducing urban traffic congestion and to encourage the bus companies to improve their services.

Lau said they operated their stage bus services based in accordance with strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Under the SOPs, the bus companies are required to sanitise their buses, prepare seating arrangement for social distancing, take body temperature of passengers embarking the bus, provide hand sanitiser at the entrance of the bus and ensure all passengers wear face mask during the journey.

“The conditions as stipulated under the SOPs are not intended to cause unnecessary inconveniences to the public but to protect everyone of the risk of being infected by Covid-19 under the prevailing fragile situation,” he added.

Meanwhile, the flat rate initiative was introduced after studies were done on how to improve the public bus services and to ensure that public transport operation was sustainable in view of the high operating and maintenance cost as well as the stiff competition from unlicensed van operators and e-hailing.

The Borneo Post, July 18, 2020