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Bus, taxi fares up 30 percent, service to improve, says Nazri

Friday July 17, 2009

Public transport fares will cost 30% more from next month.

The new flag-off fare for taxis will be RM3, up from RM2, while passengers will be charged 10 sen for every 115m, instead of 150m currently.

For taxis caught in a traffic jam, the fare will be RM3 for the first three minutes and 10 sen for every subsequent 21 seconds, instead of 45 seconds previously. Taxis will also have to issue receipts.

Express bus fares will go up by two sen per kilometre, while for stage buses in Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas, the increase will be between 25 and 70 sen, according to the zones.

Schoolbus fares in urban areas will also increase from RM21.10 to RM27.43 for the first kilometre and from RM1.55 to RM2.02 for every subsequent kilometre.

For rural areas, the increase will be from RM15.85 to RM20.61 for every kilometre.

Announcing the increase yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abd Aziz said public transport companies were, however, also expected to improve their level of service in line with the fare hike.

"I don't think the public will be shocked by the increase as they have been conditioned for it. The proposed increase has been reported for some time.

"The increase is reasonable, taking into consideration the various initiatives and subsidies given by the Government to the public transport sector,?he told reporters after giving permits to 831 taxi drivers here yesterday.

He said the Cabinet had, on June 17, agreed to the proposal to increase the fares. The fare structure will be reviewed every year, he added.

The last fare increase for taxis, and express and stage buses was in 2005, while for schoolbuses, it was in 2006.

Nazri said among the measures to enhance their service, public transport firms were expected to adhere to Government's guidelines for efficient management of their fleet, display the fare schedule in all their vehicles and ensure training for all their drivers.

They were also expected to cooperate with the authorities to set up a databank of drivers' records to aid enforcement against those blacklisted.

Other measures included a 25% discount to the disabled and senior citizens, streamlining of fares for Sabah and Sarawak, installation of global positioning systems and phasing out non-air conditioned buses by 2010.

Puspakom, added Nazri, has also agreed to reduce its fees to re-calibrate taxi meter fare from RM50 to RM10.

This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.