RM1 Flat Rate Bus Fare: Stark increase in public bus transport ridership

Lee (seated, third right) holding a meeting with bus operators and officers of relevant authorities.

KUCHING, Aug 27:  There has been a stark increase in the use of public bus transport since the implementation of the RM1 Flat Rate Bus Fare.

Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the number of ridership on urban public bus transport since the operation of RM1 Flat Rate Bus Fare is “very encouraging”.

“Data collected on the ridership shows a significant increase in the number of people taking urban bus public transport despite restricted movement due to the imposition of Movement Control Order (MCO) to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the state,” said Lee in a statement today.

The Senadin assemblyman said the overwhelming response to this programme is reflected in the significant increase in stage bus ridership from 12,657 in May 2020 to 247,772 in July 2020.

The Table below shows the increases in total ridership for the months of June to July 2020 for Kuching, Sibu and Miri.


June
July
% of Increase
(June-July)
Sarawak
77,242
157,873
105
Kuching
17,242
45,026
153
Sibu
36,191
61,996
71
Miri
23,264
50,851
119

 

“Undoubtedly, the figures in the Table show that people are responsive to this noble programme initiated by the state government to help the rakyat.

“In fact, people are coming back to use stage bus transport as their primary mode of transport for daily commuting, either for shopping, leisure or work,” said Lee.

The RM1.00 Flat Rate Bus Fare Programme was approved by the Sarawak government on May 4, 2020. It was officially launched by Lee as Transport Minister on May 12, 2020 in Miri; on May 20, 2020 in Sibu and on May 21, 2020 in Kuching.

This programme, implemented through the Ministry of Transport, Sarawak shows that the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is very concern about the quality of bus public transport services and the livelihood of the rakyat especially those who are highly dependent on public transport for their mobility.

The objectives of this programme are four-fold: to encourage more people to use buses as their preferred mode of urban mobility, to alleviate the financial burden of low income group who are highly dependent on bus transport, to design behavioural change towards reducing urban traffic congestion and to encourage the bus companies to improve their services.

The implementation of this programme is in two cities and town in Sarawak, namely Kuching, Miri and Sibu and is participated by twelve bus companies; four in Kuching, five in Sibu and three in Miri.

These companies operate on 44 routes that were approved by Sarawak Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB). Of the 44 routes, 12 routes are in Kuching, 17 routes in Sibu and 15 in Miri.-DayakDaily