Hidden fees for express bus service


AS a senior citizen, I travel largely by express bus as I find it convenient and cost-effective. My frequent destinations are Melaka and Kuala Lumpur’s Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) from Johor Baru (Larkin Sentral).

From all the terminals, every passenger is required to pay more than the price printed on the bus ticket. From Johor Baru to Melaka, the printed fare is RM16 (senior citizen), but one is asked to pay 40 sen extra for the Larkin passenger insurance protection (LPIP) fee, which is mandatory.

TBS applies the same hidden charge of 40 sen and lists it as TBS passenger insurance protection.

However, from Melaka Sentral, one is required to pay an additional 70 sen for the terminal charge, which is mandatory, and another 40 sen for passenger insurance protection, which is optional.

While insurance protection is much encouraged, it should be optional as it’s already mandatory for all bus operators to have insurance coverage.

These charges only came into effect after the upgrade and privatisation of the service. Are these additional “hidden costs” being imposed to recover the renovation/construction costs undertaken and have they been approved by the relevant government agencies or authorities?

While the service is more convenient and conducive now, why are the consumers being asked to pay more, especially when they are mainly from the lower and middle income bracket? One cannot equate this to air travel to justify the fees.

MURUGAN NAIR

Johor Baru

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