State takes the wheel on bus service

Senior citizens and people with disabilities will miss the wheelchair-friendly services provided by Rapid Kamunting.

The Perak government is expected to make a decision tomorrow over the lack of bus service in Taiping and Kamunting.

State infrastructure, energy, water and public transportation committee chairman Datuk Mohd Zolkaply Harun, when contacted, said it would find a solution for commuters relying on public buses and the matter would be decided on Wednesday at the state executive council meeting.

He said the state government had the Taiping and Kamunting people’s best interest in mind even though the number of locals using public buses was fewer compared to foreign workers.

“There are bus service operators who are willing to ply the routes, and are waiting for the green light from the state government.

“We are settling the requirements and will make an announcement soon, ” he said, adding that the buses used would be in good working condition.

Residents in Taiping and Kamunting have been restless as there has been no news of a replacement bus service after Rapid Kamunting announced it was ceasing operations by the middle of the month.

Many people, especially senior citizens, depend on public buses to go to work, town or the market.

They are worried that come June 15, there will be no buses on the road.

Commuter Christina Ho said many were panicking as they had not received news on a new bus service to replace the Rapid buses that used to ply routes within Taiping and Kamunting.

“We feel that Rapid Kamunting should continue to operate until a new bus service takes over.

“We do not want to travel on the old private ‘red bus’ as they are unreliable.

“In fact, we don’t even see these buses on the roads now due to the lockdown, ” she said.

Recently Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (Prasarana), announced

that its Rapid Kamunting bus service in Perak was ceasing operations from June 15.

Rapid Bus, in a statement, said the decision was due to funding constraints and low demand since the service began in 2016.

A commuter, who wished to be known as Madam Choo, said Rapid Kamunting’s buses were wheelchair-friendly.

“I go to the market daily with my friends and before the lockdown, we visited the lake gardens often, ” she said adding that they took the bus to these destinations.

Those living in Aulong said that the Rapid Kamunting service offered convenience as it was the only public bus to ply that route.

Wong Sai Mooi, 70, said it was a pity that Rapid Kamunting was stopping operations as it provided services that accommodated senior citizens.

“I am hoping that the state government will be able to provide an equally good bus service to replace Rapid Kamunting, ” she said.

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