About 20,000 Rawang folk in 20 areas will soon have regular service as SJ Bus will resume operations next month, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said.
In a statement, SPAD said bus services for the Kuala Garing, Sungai Dua and Rawang Perdana routes would be reinstated by next month.
“At a recent meeting, the operator assured SPAD that service will commence within the next month on certain routes,” said SPAD in response to the StarMetro article “20 areas without bus service” on Sept 13.
The affected areas included Desa Kuala Garing, Taman Garing Permai, Taman Sri Rawang, Taman Garing Jaya, Bukit Rawang Jaya 2, New Green Park, Rawang Garden, Taman Rawang Jaya, Taman Sri Hijau, Taman Bersatu, Kampung Lee Kim Sai, Taman Tun Perak, Taman Jati, Taman Muhibbah, Taman Kanching, Taman Setia Rawang, Kampung Melayu Batu 16, Taman Rawang Perdana, Bandar Country Homes, Taman Pelangi Industrial Area, Kota Emerald East and West, Sungai Bakau and Taman Velox.
The statement said these routes were previously served by a mini-bus operator that was unable to sustain operations beyond April this year due to low ridership.
In December 2015, SPAD granted Setara Jaya Sdn Bhd (SJ) permission to provide stage bus services along the said routes under the Bus Network Revamp initiative but the company was unable to commence service earlier due to a shortage of buses.
SPAD said there were challenges in running stage buses in areas such as Kuala Garing, as certain roads were narrow.
“SPAD is working with the operator to identify a long-term solution to ensure coverage in those areas, including the possibility of plying previously uncovered routes.
“The provision of bus services especially on social routes, such as the ones highlighted in StarMetro’s article is challenging and it remains tough to secure willing operators to run it when ridership is low.
“The Government, however, through the Interim Stage Bus Support Fund (ISBSF), remains committed to bridge the gap and provide relief to operators who run loss-making routes by topping up shortfalls.
“SPAD will work with qualified bus companies to improve the standard of stage bus service in the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley region,” said the statement.
To-date, SPAD has disbursed a total of RM517.8mil in funding to stage bus operators since 2012 under the initiative.
Selayang MCA chairman Datuk Goh Ah Ling, Selayang MCA Youth chief Chan Wun Hoong, Selayang MCA secretary Ryan Ng and Selayang MIC chairman M.B Raja met with residents to inform them of the good news.
Goh said instead of pointing fingers, Rawang assemblyman Gan Pei Nei and Selayang MP William Leong should work to bring the Selangor Smart Bus services to the area.
Ng thanked SPAD for ensuring the bus service would resume soon.
Raja said he was glad the issue had been resolved.
“People from the lower-income group were really affected by the disrupted bus service,” he said.