Bus companies upbeat after police permit requirement dropped for inter-district travel

File photo of members of the public buying bus tickets for long distance travel at Sibu Bus Terminal.

SIBU, Oct 6: Bus companies statewide are optimistic that their business will improve now that a police permit is no longer required for inter-district travel starting today.

Sarawak Bus Transport Companies Association adviser Lau Khing Seng opined that the easing of inter-district travel restrictions will be followed by an increase in passengers in due time.

“This is a good move as it will certainly benefit bus companies in the State. As police permits has been done away with, people can just buy the ticket and board the bus to their destination at any time they want.


“Previously they needed to apply for the permit a day earlier and not all applications were approved,” he said.

Lau however wants the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be maintained especially on the need of passengers to fill in their contact numbers when buying tickets.

This, he said, would make it easier to contact them or their next-of-kin if the need arises.

Although airlines are now allowed to operate at full capacity, bus companies prefer not to rush it.

“Airlines can now take in 100 per cent passenger load. For us, we will not press the authority to allow us to follow suit. As there are still not many people taking buses, we can still operate at 50 per cent passenger load,” he said.

Explaining, he said presently the bus companies have an average of between 10 to 15 per cent passenger load per bus.

“On a normal day, we have between 10 to 15 per cent passenger load per bus or about seven to eight people. If 30 per cent of the tickets are sold, the number of passengers is about 15 people. Sometimes we even have no passenger at all but the buses need to travel as they also have parcels to send,” he said.

Lau claimed that travelling by bus is safer as the chances of getting infected with the novel coronavirus is lesser since buses have better air circulation.

“We do open one of the doors for better air circulation inside the bus. So the chances of Covid-19 spreading is minimised,” he said.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) yesterday announced that a police permit is no longer required to cross districts from Oct 6 (today) onwards. However, a police permit is still required for inter-state travel. — DayakDaily