Now, stage buses to the rescue

The list of vaccination centres in Sarawak with stage bus services.

KUCHING: Stage bus companies will extend their services and operate along the routes to the Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPVs) for the convenience of the public from June 18 until August 31.

Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the state government was fully aware that there were a number of people who did not have easy access to the PPVs due to the distances from their homes or they had large families who could not fit into one car.  

“Our ministry has communicated with the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB), Sarawak for permission to allow stage bus companies to operate along routes to the PPVs in Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Serian, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Sibu, Mukah and Miri.

“However, the bus schedules are being worked out with the companies and will be released to the public as soon as possible,” he said.

Lee added that following an approval from CVLB and the urgency to accelerate the immunisation programme in the state, his ministry had issued letters to the relevant stage bus companies informing them of this matter and urgently seeking their cooperation to provide bus services along the routes to the PPVs under the Ministry of Transport’s RM1 Flat Rate Bus Fare Programme.

“In addition, Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd has been invited to support this initiative by providing hydrogen bus services free of charge to the public along the routes to the PPVs in Kuching.

“The relevant government authorities including the police and Road Transport Department (JPJ) have also been notified to render all necessary assistance if required to ensure the success of this initiative.

“The cooperation rendered here will enable more people to have better and affordable transportation access to the PPVs,” he said.

Lee also pointed out that this initiative would contribute to the state government’s plan to achieve herd immunity so that the covid-19 curve could be flattened and lives as well as livelihoods in the state could return to normalcy soon.

“I would like to thank the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB/LPKP), and JPJ for their full cooperation to ensure that the stage buses and hydrogen buses can operate without any operation issue.

“I must stress here the role of the transport companies is important as they indirectly assist the state to bring people to the PPVs.

“On behalf of the Sarawak government, I would like to thank all the stage bus companies as well as Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd for supporting this government initiative by rendering such services at a short notice.”  

Lee also urged all eligible Sarawakians to register for vaccinations now so that they would not pose health risks to family members and would also be protected from people who unknowingly might have been exposed to the virus.

“To all, be vigilant and comply strictly with the movement control order (MCO) SOP guidelines to stay safe and healthy,” he advised.