PETALING JAYA: The recent increases in public transport fares contradict the Government’s policy of encouraging the use of public transportation and will only increase the financial burden of the people, said MCA publicity bureau chairman Datuk Chai Kim Sen.
He said the recent increases in the prices of Light Rail Transit (LRT) and KL Monorail tickets and bus fares would surely increase the financial burden of the 630,000 commuters using the city’s transport services daily.
“The purpose of public transport is to encourage its usage, but the fare hikes have resulted in commuters opting for alternative modes of transportation. This is a lose-lose situation,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Chai said the Government should realise that the public transport fare hikes at this time would impact the middle to lower income group the most.
“Special care should be given to the group as the economy is predicted to be still sluggish next year,” he added.
He noted that those who did not own cars but hoped to save time and money by using public transportation would be especially 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 a big blow,” he added.
Chai said that although Khazanah Nasional might have introduced an optional smart card in response to the fare hike, it was unfair as an extra RM10 activation fee would be charged.
“This is unfair as it is an upfront payment prior to the enjoyment of any benefit on the commuters’ part. In other words, the operating company is raking in more profits even before it provides service,” he added.
He called on public transport operators to improve their services in line with the increase in fares so that commuters could “enjoy value for their money”.
Chai also slammed DAP for using dirty tactics to spread lies and slander MCA and the Transport Ministry.
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