Sunday, August 02, 2009
The Star Online Blog
Posted by: gregorule
The rising issue of public transport fares (both cab and bus) is a hot topic to be discussed now. This is mainly due to those who rely on the public transport to get to their destination.
Low income citizens and students who can’t afford to get a car as their own transport will have to rely on cabs, busses, and the LRT to get to the desired destination, whether to work or to meet up with clients or even heading to the mall.
By increasing the public transport fares, the authorities are forcing us to pay more for the poor quality services provided.
Being a student myself, I had to take busses to school every morning with the fear of arriving late for class. This is not because I woke up late, but rather because the busses spent more than 30 minutes to be filled with passengers until they are ready to go. On certain occasions, we are also required to switch busses because the one that we are in aren’t willing to send us to the desired destination, all just because the bus was “too” empty. This is then followed by the bus fare increment which we have had no choice but to obey.
The bus service quality had left us no choice at times which we will have no choice but to opt for taxi ride instead. Since travelling short distance (from our apartment to campus) it’s still considered affordable since we are sharing the cab with a total number of 4 persons (about RM1.20 pax). But now, authorities again, wanted to increase the fares for the cab services. This is basically the final straw for us to stay down and keep quiet.
Here is a thought for everyone to ponder - would there be bad traffic jams if the public transport were to be the most efficient method for traveling? Observe around you and you can see that out of 10 cars, 8 of them are traveling alone.
Take a look at our neighbour, Singapore. Although their public transport may be expensive, their services are up to standard. Time taken to wait for a bus is less than 10 minutes and MRT with 6 carriages carry 4 times more passengers than the LRT in Malaysia.
In conclusion, I think it is very inconsiderate of the authorities to increase public transport fares as they wish without considering the effects it has towards us – the lower income group citizens and students. And I would hereby make a few suggestions to the authorities – introduce student rates (or such) to decrease the financial burden of citizens, extend our current LRT and increase the frequency of it, and to nab those bus drivers who refused to ferry passengers just because there are too few people in the bus.