SHAH ALAM, 22 Jan: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) should conduct fieldwork to look into the realities happening regarding the increase in school bus fares and to not issue statements that they have not received reports from parents.
The PKR Consumer Bureau Chief, Yahya Shari, said that it is the responsibility of the agency to monitor the actions of a handful of school bus operators that have raised fares up to 40 percent.
He said that previously, the SPAD only discussed with bus operators regarding the new rates, however they did not meet parents to hear their complaints and comments.
“Has the SPAD gone to meet with parents? Are they pleased with the new fare hike? Most parents have complained to us that they feel pressured and that they have never been called to discuss on the matter.
“I was puzzled with the Federal Government for always giving the excuse that there have been no reports from consumers, so they cannot take action.
“Why should we pay salaries to civil servants if they cannot do their work and just sit and wait for a report before acting?” he asked when contacted by Selangor Kini.
Elaborating, Yahya said that most parents have no other choice but to use the existing bus service to send their children to school.
He said that bus operators actually have no other choice than to increase the fare for school buses following various increases announced by the government, like fuel.
“SPAD have been urged to not burden parents because they have no other choice but to use the existing bus service with the new fare.
“Parents pay bus fares not because they are willing, but because they want their children to go to school. So SPAD, do not think that the parents agree,” he added.
In relation to that, he said that the Federal Government should consider other alternatives to solve the problem, like giving diesel subsidies to bus operators.
“If bus operators have alternatives to reduce costs, they are ready to set the fares at a lower rate,” he said.