Tiang chairing the dialogue with the bus operators in Sibu.
ONLY 12 express bus companies are still operating in Sarawak.
This was revealed during a dialogue between Sarawak Bus Transport Companies Association and state Public Health, Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister II Michael Tiang.
The association had blamed the closure of these companies on low fares, saying it had applied to increase the charges many times but was rejected. The last fare revision was in 2009.
“Bus maintenance and other costs had increased between 30% and 60%.
“Because of that, 18 out of 30 bus companies in Sarawak had closed,” he said in a statement.
Tiang said the RM1 ticket scheme implemented by the state government was only to support stage bus operators.
However, the subsidy was not given to express bus operators.
He pointed out that a reliable public bus service was needed to cater to the middle and lower-income group.
The Pelawan assemblyman said express bus operators had also complained that parking space at the Sibu bus terminal was often occupied by other heavy vehicles such as lorries.
“I hope the relevant authorities will act against those taking up the space designated for buses,” he said.
Tiang pointed out that express bus operators paid rental for their booths as well as electricity charges at the terminal.
He said the operators also hoped that Sibu Municipal Council would rectify other problems identified at the bus terminal.
At the dialogue, the operators also requested for bus schedules to be displayed prominently at the information counter for the benefit of passengers. — By ANDY CHUA