MIRI: The Sarawak Transport Ministry today announced a flat rate for public stage buses in four major towns in the state at RM1.
Its Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Shin said bus companies in cities such as Kuching and Miri as well as towns such as Sibu and Sarikei which have been declared as COVID-19 green and yellow zones could now operate with a flat fare of RM1.
According to him, three bus companies in Miri, namely Miri City Bus Sdn Bhd, Miri Belait Transport Co. Bhd and Miri Transport Co. Bhd will be starting operation at a flat rate of RM1 on May 18.
“The implementation of the RM1 flat fare was postponed following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nonetheless, the State Disaster Management Committee recently allowed bus companies in green and yellow zones to resume their operations.
“With the declaration of green and yellow zones in Miri, Sibu, Sarikei and now Kuching, bus companies can resume operation,” he said in a statement today.
Lee said all bus companies planning to start operation have to comply with the stipulated standard operating procedure (SOP) to avoid the exposure and spread of COVID-19 virus while informing their route schedules to the people via the mass media.
He said a study conducted by his ministry earlier found stage bus service in the state has been recording a fall in the number of passengers and among the reasons was stiff competition from other public transport such as van and e-hailing.
“To address the challenges faced by bus companies and to assist commuters, especially among the low-income group, Sarawak Transport Ministry announced the implementation of the RM1 flat rate in Sarawak,” he said.
He said the primary objective of the implementation was to encourage the people use public bus service apart from giving an opportunity for bus companies to improve their services and help reduce
traffic congestion in the state.