Bus operators ask for 30% fare hike
KOTA KINABALU: Over 20 of the state’s express bus operators are prepared for Sabah Infrastructure Development Ministry’s green light to operate, said Sabah Express Bus Operators Council (Seboc) president Datuk Donald Hanapi.
Donald said Seboc had a meeting with the ministry’s permanent secretary here yesterday to determine the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the express bus activities during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
“During the meeting the express bus operators were asked if they were ready to operate if allowed, and we are indeed ready to return to service after the halt since March 18,” he said.
“I have been informed that the ministry will hold an internal meeting tomorrow (May 5) before giving a decision on the matter.
“During today’s meeting, our association emphasized that diesel fuel subsidies be provided to bus operators, and also assisted in the provision of disinfection at each bus terminal to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak,” he added.
Donald also requested that bus fares be increased by at least 30 percent due to a reduction in income following social distancing SOP.
“Previously an express bus could accommodate 42 passengers, but with the implementation of social distancing, only 20 people will be allowed on the bus.
“The reduction in number of passengers will certainly have a huge impact on express bus operators, and we hope our application will be considered,” he said.