School bus drivers keen to start work

Lim sanitising his bus in Gelugor to prepare for the school reopening.

It’s all systems go for school buses which will resume services when schools reopen on Monday.

Federation of Malaysian School Bus Operators Association president Amali Munif Rahmat said many drivers had sent their vehicles for inspection at the Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre (Puspakom).

“Many drivers are also busy renewing their road taxes and having their buses serviced at workshops.

“Among the more expensive repairs will be replacing of tyres, which costs RM1,400 per tyre for buses.

“As about 30% of school bus operators shut down their business last year, there will be pupils in need of bus services and our drivers will get in touch with them, ” he said.

Amali said school bus operators were grateful to return to work and the reopening of schools would allow them to recover losses incurred during the school closure last year.

“Parents should not worry about their children’s safety.

“Passengers on school buses must wear their face masks at all times and drivers will ensure that the children will not move about on the bus.

“The cabins are sanitised daily with disinfectant.”

Bus operator Lim Boon Kooi, 62, who operates a fleet of over 50 school buses, said all his drivers were ready to start work.

He said 30 of his buses catering to international schools could resume their routes immediately while the rest serving secondary schools would return to ply the roads.

“Throughout the closure of schools, all the drivers made sure the buses were well-maintained.

“They would drive them out to make sure the buses remain in good working order.

“Some operators, however, had to look for side income as the government aid wasn’t enough to support their expenses.

“It costs between RM60,000 and RM70,000 monthly to maintain two offices and make sure all the vehicles were in working order, ” said Lim.

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