Lee (seated front) with other passengers of a stage bus in Miri give the thumbs-up for the public transport service.

MIRI: The Ministry of Transport, Sarawak has proposed the implementation of RM1 flat rate bus fare to address the challenges faced by the bus companies and commuters especially from the low income group.

Its minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the proposal has received strong support and approval from the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“Indeed it is a manifestation of the Sarawak government’s concern for bus companies to improve their services while at the same time to take care of the low income group who depend on bus transport for their mobility,” he said.

He added that the main objectives of the initiative were to encourage more commuters to use public bus transport, to provide opportunity to bus companies to improve their services and to reduce urban traffic congestion.

“The implementation of RM1.00 flat rate bus fare was delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic.

However, the State Disaster Management Committee has recently granted approval for bus companies to resume operation in green and yellow zones. With this approval, the bus companies can start operation in Miri, Sibu, Sarikei and now Kuching which has already been categorised as yellow zone,” Lee explained yesterday.

He added that in the case of Miri, the Ministry of Transport, Sarawak had briefed the three bus companies namely Miri City Bus Sdn Bhd, Miri Belait Transport Co. Bhd and Miri Transport Co. Bhd on the implementation of RM1.00 flat rate bus fare and the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the operation of stage bus services.

“The meeting chaired by myself was attended by officers from my ministry and members of the Miri Division Disaster Management Committee including Miri Resident, Bomba, Medical Department, JPJ, Police and Miri City Council. The SOP also applies to all bus companies that want to resume their operation in Sarawak.

“I wish to inform the public that the three bus companies in Miri will resume their operation on Monday, May 18 and they will charge a flat fare of RM1.00 per passenger per trip within Miri City,” he said adding that the bus companies have been requested to inform the public on their routes and schedules through the media.