Lee (right) taking a bus ride together with other passengers from PermyJaya to Miri city area.
MIRI: The Sarawak government will come up with its own fuel subsidy programme to help improve the stage bus services in the state, said state Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin.
According to him, there is a need for the Sarawak government to provide such the subsidy following the high operation cost that the bus operators are facing in providing stage bus services.
“Most of the stage bus users are those from low income group. My ministry is currently studying the stage bus services provided by the bus operators throughout the state.
“I have received feedback from the various bus operators regarding the high operation cost to run such bus services for the people.
“There is a need for us to provide fuel subsidy in order to ensure our public transport services are reliable and efficient, thus giving a good image on our services to the visitors,” he told reporters after meeting several bus operators here at Miri Islamic Complex today.
At the same time, Lee who is also Senadin assemblyman, said his ministry will also work closely with its federal counterpart to find ways to improve the public transport services in the state, particularly the bus services.
During the meeting, Lee informed the bus operators in Miri that he and his personal assistant took two stage bus services earlier today.
Lee said he wanted to take the 5.20am bus from Permyjaya to the city centre but failed because the bus was full. As a result, he had to take the next available bus at 6.30am.
At the city centre, Lee said he got on another bus to Riam area.
Commenting on the experience he and his personal assistant had during the bus ride, Lee opined that the buses in the city are too old as most of them are more than 20 years old.
Besides that, he wanted bus operators to provide a proper bus schedule which can be seen by the public at bus shed.
“At the moment, there is no proper schedule for the bus stage services in Miri. It will not be a problem for frequent bus commuters but it will not be user friendly for those first timers particular to the visitors who want to use our bus services while in the city.”
Lee said another complaint that he received from the passengers was on the impractical design of concrete seating at the bus shed.
“I was made to understand the latest seating design on the concrete seating was to avoid the people, particular homeless people to sleep on the seat.
“However, the design is truly not friendly to those public who are waiting for the bus services at the bus shed. The council should look into this matter for public convenience.”
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