Free bus rides for school kids from low-cost housing areas

A school bus stops for children as they are assisted by family members to board the vehicle at the PPR area in Kampung Baru Air Panas. - Bernama

SHOP assistant Hamidah Abdul Latif used to spend more than RM2,000 annually on school bus services for her three children to commute daily from home to school in Kuala Lumpur.

It did not include expenses for house rental, food items, school fees and so on. School bus fares take up more than 10% of the combined salaries of both Hamidah and her husband.

Speaking from her Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) Pantai Ria apartment, she said that the free school bus service for children of PPR (low-cost housing) and PR (public housing) areas which started on Tuesday, had reduced her burden and helped her save.

Hamidah, 38, was among 6,500 parents of children of PPR and PR residents to benefit from the free bus service provided by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

DBKL is providing a total of 165 buses for use by primary and secondary school students in 74 PPR and PR here, involving allocations of RM80 for each student.

For Kamal Abdullah, 42, the free school bus service will save him money and time carting his two children to and from school.

"Previously, I had to take a break from work to take them home at noon, but now I can rely on the free school bus,” said the resident of Air Panas PPR in Setapak.

Hotel worker Ahmad Razif Omar, 47, said he was grateful for the free school bus service since it was so much safer than taking his two children on a motorcycle.

“The school bus driver also lives in our housing area. I feel reassured.

“It gives me some peace knowing that my children will be safe.”

Bus operator Mohd Izwan Abd Rahman while praising the free school bus initiative, suggested that DBKL optimise the trips made.

“Having 10 more buses for Pantai Ria PPR means that the buses are not full since there are already buses serving the housing project.

“This is not economical.

“DBKL must also inform parents or guardians of the bus numbers to avoid confusion,” he added. – Bernama

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