Bus fares to East Coast towns to cost 30% more
The bus fares to the towns in the East Coast have been increased by 30 per cent by the operators, said Sabah Bumiputera Bus Operators Council (SBBOC) Chairman Donald Hanafi. He said the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) had approved the request by the SBBOC to impose a 30 per cent surcharge on the current bus fare rate from here to the East Coast. He said surcharge would be imposed from Sept 18 to Oct 15 in conjunction with the forthcoming Hari Raya celebration this year, said Donald yesterday. “We have started selling tickets under the new rate to commuters today (yesterday) after we have obtained the approval to impose a 30 per cent surcharge from the CVLB,” said Donald yesterday. He said the SBBOC would have a fleet of 200 buses to ensure sufficient seats for commuters who are returning home to Tawau, Kunak, Semporna, Lahad Datu and Sandakan during the festive celebrations. “We have a normal fleet of 50 buses but we decided to add another 150 buses during the Hari Raya celebration to accommodate the large number of commuters going back to their home towns in the East Coast during the holidays,” said Donald. Under the new rate, he said the fare for KK-Sandakan route rose from RM33 to RM43.55; KK-Lahad Datu (RM40-RM52); KK-Kunak (RM45-RM58.50); KK Semporna (RM58-RM75.40); and KK-Tawau (RM55- RM71. 50). The previous rate will be re-instated on Oct 16 this year, said Donald, who also explained the rationale for the SBBOC to impose the 30 per cent surcharge on the commuters. “The buses will be empty during the return trip from the East Coast and as such the 30 per cent surcharge imposed is justified as the 9,000 litres of diesel subsidy from the Government is insufficient in view of the escalating costs as a result of the hike in fuel prices,” he said.