Reviewing bus fares is one of the measures that the Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) “bus laboratory” will look into to ensure the safety of express bus services.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri said this is because bus fares are currently controlled by the government, inadvertently limiting the profit the companies can make.
“So the companies have to rely on whatever they have, making it difficult for them to install safety equipment such as the speed limiter,” she told a press conference at the One City mall here today.
Nancy announced the setting up of the “bus laboratory” yesterday, saying discussions are scheduled to begin next month.
The lab would gather opinions from all stakeholders in the industry, including the public.
This was in response to the latest express bus crash in Pagoh on Dec 24, which claimed 14 lives and injured 16 others.
“The government is very concerned with what had happened,” said Nancy.
“We have identified several issues to be discussed like whether we should continue to allow night trips, and the shortage of qualified drivers.”
She said at the moment, most express bus drivers are from the older generation.
Hence, she had taken the initiative to speak to the human resources ministry and suggested for it to look into the possibility of training younger people to become bus drivers.
“We don’t want the bus companies to think we are not concerned about them. We are concerned about the safety of bus drivers and passengers.
“And we can’t impose an age limit because to do this we must have the numbers, which we don’t.”
Source : Nawar Firdaws @ FMT Online