Lee delivers his speech.

KUCHING: The state government’s free school bus service initiative will be extended to Miri, said Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin.

According to him, the proposal to bring the service to Miri is still under research.

“My ministry officials, together with Yayasan Sarawak, will go down to Miri to identify a place to implement the first phase of this service.

“It is like a pilot project where we will identify areas to implement this service, especially in areas with needs such as low cost houses, squatter resettlement and so on,” he said.

He said this when met by reporters after holding a briefing session for the state government’s free school bus service programme at the Yayasan Sarawak Auditorium on Thursday (Sep 10).

He added that apart from going on the field, they also cooperated with the School Bus Operators Association in Miri.

Earlier in his speech, he said Kuching would be used as an example to implement the free bus service where the same model would be brought to Miri.

“This free bus service is a new one so now that it has entered its 12th day of implementation here in Kuching, it has received encouraging response.

“We need close cooperation from all parties, especially principals, headmasters, teachers in schools by providing feedback to obtain data.

“From the data we will make a study for next year, where such experience will help this service be implemented smoothly and efficiently,” he explained.

Meanwhile, he suggested for the installation of CCTVs in buses operating under the free bus service to maintain students’ safety.

“We will also review the routes and collection points where students gather to wait for the bus, as the construction of more bus stops.

“My ministry will help Yayasan Sarawak to overcome the problem because we want to improve the efficiency and reliability of this free school bus service,” he said.

He also called for close cooperation between all parties so that everybody could continue to reap the benefits of the service.

“We also hope that more parents will participate in this service to reduce their family’s expenses and can also benefit the students,” he explained.