Express bus firms mull halting services

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 01 Aug 2020

The Sibu express bus terminal is quiet during the MCO.

SIBU: From today to Aug 14, travel permits are a must for travellers.

As a result, express bus companies are considering halting operations in Kuching areas as they forsee very few passengers using the services.

Sarawak Bus Transport Company Association chairman Lau Khing Seng said as people might face problems getting permits for inter-district travel, the number of passengers was expected to drop sharply.

Lau said only those with valid reasons would have applications for travel permits approved by the police.

“Those who want to go to Kuching will have to apply for a travel permit at the nearest police station.

“It might be a long process and will discourage people from travelling,” he said.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas had on July 27 said travel restrictions between yellow zones and green zones in the state would be enforced from Aug 1 to 14 to prevent the spread of Covid-19, especially in Kuching.

They are divided into two zones, namely Zone 1 consisting of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions while Zone 2 covers Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Kapit, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri and Limbang.

Douglas said movement from Zone 1 to Zone 2 and vice versa must be done with permission from the police.

Lau said business was slow for trunk bus companies plying Kuching to Sibu-Bintulu and Miri areas and vice-versa during the movement control order (MCO).

“Lanang Road Bus Company stopped operating during the first few days of MCO as there was very few passengers.

“This is a long distance route and with few customers, it is not worth the while to provide service.

As for the other companies, he said they were only providing services at night since the MCO due to low passenger volume.

Before the MCO was imposed on March 18, there were bus services to and from Kuching during the day.
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