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SIBU, Jan 14: Expressboat passengers will be able to purchase tickets online by the second half of this year when the e-ticket system kicks off.
Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the ministry is currently in the process of getting approval from the Sarawak Multimedia Board (SMA) to launch the system.
“For the first phase, e-tickets will cover express boat routes in the central regions of Sibu, Kapit, Song and Kuching. If everything goes well, we hope this e-ticket facility for this first phase will be implemented in the second half of this year,” said Lee today at a press conference after officiating at the launch of the River Transport Safety Campaign in conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year Celebration at the Sibu Express Boat Passenger Terminal.
Lee said the initiative was part of the ministry’s programme to upgrade public services in line with Sarawak’s march towards the digital economy.
According to Lee, the number of people using commercial riverine transport from 2018 to 2019 has increased by almost 15 per cent.
“Last year (2019), we recorded 2,893,871 passengers as compared to 2018 with 2,518,249 passengers,” he said.
Lee stressed that his ministry through the Sarawak Rivers Board (LSS) would continue to work to ensure that all existing express boat passenger terminals were in good condition and safe for passengers.
In this regard, the ministry has allocated about RM500,000 to upgrade the upper level of the Sibu Express Boat Passenger Terminal which is expected to start this year.
“Today we will provide the construction site for the contractor. We hope upgrading works will start soon and everything will be ready by this year,” he said
The project when completed, would see the enforcement office move upstairs and while their existing office location on the ground floor would be opened up for the convenience of express boat passengers.
Meanwhile, the River Transport Safety Campaign in conjunction with the Chinese New Year Celebration 2020 will commence from January 14 to 23, while the second phase runs from February 1 to 2.
Also present were LSS Chairman Dr Murni Suhaili, LSS Board Member Datuk Chieng Buong Toon, Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Michael Tiang and Sibu Deputy Resident Wong Hee Sieng. — DayakDaily