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Wednesday January 22, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday January 22, 2014 MYT 11:33:24 AM
by patrick lee
Gentle remind er: Syed Hamid placing a 90kph speed limit sticker on an express bus. With him is Sani United Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Sani Salleh.
KUALA LUMPUR: School buses may be allowed to carry advertisements soon to enable their operators to earn more income and help moderate any fare rise, said the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the commission was looking at this so that operators do not raise fares on their own.
“We’re looking at allowing them to put advertisements on buses, and for the buses to be used as feeder buses for operators to get more income,” he said at the Bandar Tasik Selatan Integrated Transport Terminal after launching the Safety Awareness and Compliance Campaign for bus and lorry operators.
SPAD chief executive Mohamad Nur Ismal Kamal later confirmed that the commission was currently running the idea in a pilot programme.
He said if the plan was viable, such move might take effect by the end of the first quarter this year.
Some school bus operators have hiked their fare rates, claiming higher operational costs in recent times.
This led to groups of parents complaining about having to fork out more for their children’s transport fees.
A new school bus fare scheme will be revealed in March this year.
When asked if SPAD would take action against operators who hiked their fares anyway, Syed Hamid said parents had to lodge a report against these companies first.
Hinting that action might come as a licence suspension or termination, he said parents had to come to SPAD before an investigation and court action could be taken.
“Nobody is willing to come forward, and if the operators claim trial, to give evidence in court,” he said.
Syed Hamid also said there would be no additional surcharge for express buses during Chinese New Year and that the 10% surcharge still in effect since Hari Raya would continue.
He added that operators had applied for 500 Temporary Variation Licences for southbound buses thus far.
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad services, he said, would also be extended during this period.
Syed Hamid added that SPAD, under the Industrial Code of Practice on road safety, trained about 3,000 bus operators since December 2012.
SPAD can be reached at its hotline: 1-800-88-7723
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