MIRI: The cheap ferry crossing at Long Lama is expected to bring more life and activities to Long Lama bazaar particularly to the business community.
When contacted yesterday Kapitan Yeo Kit Siang said: Most people living on the opposite bank of the river (from Long Lama Bazaar) and nearby villages and longhouses are thinking twice if they want to shop for necessities at the bazaar due to the RM30 ferry charge (two ways).
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem on Saturday announced that the ferry crossing at Marudi and Long Lama would be RM1 each way starting June 1.
Currently non-commercial vehicles were paying RM15 per crossing and RM80 for commercial vehicles, he added.
The new charge of RM1 will be a boon to the local economy and activities in Long Lama bazaar which is rather slow at the moment.
It is good for people going for treatment at the clinic on the other side of the river, said Yeo, adding that there were a number of government offices in Long Lama bazaar such as National Registration Department and Agriculture Department.
Meanwhile, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau thanked the state government for reducing the ferry charge from RM15 to RM1.
It will ease the burden and hardship faced by the people who depend on the ferry. Instead of paying RM30 they will now be paying RM2. It is a big difference and a relief to those going for treatment across the river, he said.
Dennis also urged the (ferry) operator to look into the possibility of operating longer hours, say until 10pm instead of the current 8pm.
The people have to charter the ferry after 8am which is very expensive. Therefore, it is important for the last service to be at 10pm daily to cater for emergency cases, said Dennis, adding that around 200 vehicles were using the ferry service daily.
He also urged private transporters providing services to Tutoh, Apoh and the surrounding areas to lower their fares since the ferry charge had been reduced to RM1.