by Aeti Amira
The Government has approved the increase of 30% more in public transportation’s fares starting this August. It is said that this is because the operators have long complained about not being able to meet their high operating costs and the Government allowed the price hike to ensure that all operators will continue in providing the service to the public.
Good news for the operators, not so much for the consumers.
After announcing the increase, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abd Aziz said, “I do not think the public will be shocked by the increase as they have been conditioned for it. The proposed increase has been reported for some time.”
Apparently, the public did not think so. According to a user in The Star Online: Blog, “Public transport fares are up a whooping 30% ! And he dares say the Rakyat is not shocked at it. Of course not if one has millions stashed away in his/her bank accounts. But for the many low wage earners who depend on public transport daily, this is a huge burden on their finances.”
The fare is one thing, but the poor service provided by the operators is another issue.
Many questions if the price hike will assure a better and more efficient service for the public. Promise of a better service has been given every time the Government decides to increase the fares, the last one was during 2005’s price hike but nothing really changed. One of the problems faced by the consumers is the frequencies of bus services. Even during peak hours, the service is still slow and this definitely does not benefit the consumers, especially those on the run like students and workers. This also results to uncomfortable very packed busses because they have to squeeze in to avoid from waiting for the next bus.
SEGi University College student and RapidKL bus user, Hairi Bakden said, “The bus service is very poor, the trips are not enough to cater for all consumers and I even have to wait for one hour for the bus to arrive just to find it “sardine-packed” with other consumers. Not a pleasant experience for me, but I have to soup it in.”
Not just that, the consumers also have to deal with certain rude and reckless drivers.
A rude RapidKL bus driver caught in action
The operators should overcome all these problems to provide improved service for all consumers. The fare price has been hiked so it is not much to give back something in return, to the consumers. The Government on the other hand should provide a guidelines for all these operators to abide so that it will become a win-win situation for both sides.