The announcement by the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) that an increase of 10% for express bus fares would be allowed this festive season has made some quarters hope it will become permanent to meet rising costs. — TRP file pic

Persatuan Pengusaha Bas Ekspres Melayu Semenanjung Malaysia (Pembawa) has expressed hope the government would make permanent the increase in express bus fares for Aidilfitri, beyond the initial July 27 date announced previously.
Pembawa president Tajuddin Mohd Yunus said many bus operators were now in a state of distress because of a range of issues, including debt servicing and rising operating costs.
He said the fares should have been increased in 2013, but the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) had yet to propose it to the Cabinet.
“We agree with the government’s decision to allow the bus fares to be increased 10% from the usual fares for two weeks.
“But it is unfair to deny the increase that should have been implemented in 2013 due to the implementation of the Goods Services Tax (GST) and higher oil prices.
“We have to incur increased operating costs, more expensive spare parts and also GST imposed by the government, as well as insurance,” Tajuddin told The Rakyat Post today.
He was commenting on a statement confirming Spad had allowed bus operators to raise fares 10% more than the normal rate.
Earlier yesterday, Datuk Nadzim Johan of the Muslim Consumers’ Association (PPIM) had also supported any move to make the increase permanent, saying it would strengthen the transport industry as the profit margin was not much and an increase was overdue.
Tajuddin said Malay bus operators were the ones suffering the most.
“The situation is getting worse because by Spad records, of the 187 companies recorded, only 40 belong to the Malays.
“The government needs to look at this because it would be unfair to let us bear the losses and debts if our right to keep the fare increase is denied.”