KOTA KINABALU: Express bus fares are expected to increase by 10 per cent before the Hari Raya celebration, according to Sabah Express Bus Operators Council.
Its president, Datuk Donald Hanafi said the increase is not only in Sabah but nationwide, following the high demand of the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) for all express buses to be in tip-top condition.
“The situation is Sabah is very unique and different, as our roads are small and there are many potholes, while deteriorating road surfaces are everywhere.
“This kind of problem will damage our buses, and we will need extra cost for repairs. Express bus operators in Sabah have been working so hard to ensure that our vehicles are in the best condition, and the 10 per cent increase is considered as a win-win situation,” said Donald, when contacted yesterday.
He added that the bus operators in Malaysia had requested for 30 per cent increase but CVLB only approved 10 per cent.
“We will start selling tickets for the annual Hari Raya Balik kampung after we receive the official letter issued by CVLB anytime soon, as we expect it to be before the Hari Raya.
“We hope our passengers will understand our situation. We are not simply asking for a fare hike but our needs for repairs have also increased,” he said.
Asked if there is any other way to avoid the increase, Donald said the government should consider giving more fuel subsidy for bus operators and the prices of bus spare parts should be reduced as this would mean a lower cost for the operators.
In another development, Donald added that all express bus operators were ready to face the high demand for road transport services for the Hari Raya celebration.
He gave the public a guarantee that there are anough buses to the east coast of Sabah, to the northern parts of the State as well as to Sipitang and Sarawak.