PETALING JAYA: The recent public transport fare hike contradicts the Government's policy of encouraging more usage of public transportation and will only increase the financial burden of the public, according to MCA.
“The purpose of public transport is to encourage its usage, but the fare hike has resulted in commuters opting for an alternative mode of transportation. This is a lose-lose situation,” said its publicity bureau chairman Datuk Chai Kim Sen (pix) in a statement Thursday.
He said the recent increase in the prices in tickets of Light Rail Transit (LRT), monorail and bus fares would increase the financial burden of the 630,000 commuters using the city’s transport services daily.
“As such, we want the Government to realise that the public transport fare hike at this time will severely impact the middle to lower income group the most,” said Chai, adding that special care should be given to the group as the economy is “predicted to be still sluggish” next year.
He also remarked that non-car owners who had hoped to save time and money by using public transport would be affected by the rise in fares.
“The increase in highway toll charges earlier had already forced many commuters to take public transport, but now with the hike in public transportation fares, the people's finances have been dealt with a big blow,” said Chai.
According to him, though Khazanah Nasional may have introduced an optional smart card in response to the fare hike, it was unfair as an extra RM10 activation fee is being charged.
“This is unfair as it is an upfront payment prior to the enjoyment of any benefit on the commuters' part,” said Chai.
He called on public transport operators to improve their services in line with the increase in fares so that commuters can “enjoy value for their money”.
He also warned DAP to stop spreading lies and using the issue to slander MCA and the Transport Ministry, adding that public transportation comes under the purview of the Public Land Transport Commission (SPAD).
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