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No bus for you, Tapah to Teluk Intan!

TRANSIT took note of another abrupt shutdown of a bus route, seriously inconveniencing public transport users.

Bus commuters left in the lurch over service disruption (The Star)
8 September 2011

THE abrupt discontinuation of the bus service plying the Tapah to Teluk Intan route has left hundreds of commuters in a spot, reported Malaysia Nanban.

A. Sugumaran, 46, from Pekan Kita said the service stopped on Monday.

“We are having problems in finding transport for our children to attend school. We are having a tough time arranging alternative transport,” he said.

Sugumaran said the bus operator, C. Ramarao, had said that he was forced to stop the service over a rental dispute with the permit holder.


This is just a small news item for some, but for us it is a “big deal” because it reveals the seriousness of the problems underlying our bus industry.

In this case it is not “costs” that are causing the shutdown, or a permit issue – but a rental dispute with the permit holder.

In other words, the permit holder – who owns the permit but probably not the bus, and is probably not providing the service, but is getting money – is probably not happy with the rate at which the permit is being rented.

This rent-seeking system of permits & pajak is bleeding the public transport industry in Malaysia and until it is resolved, all the rail projects that can be built in Malaysia will not make a real difference.

One reply on “No bus for you, Tapah to Teluk Intan!”

People are living off the service. They have the cable to get permits which you don’t. And they are gracious enough to share it with you for a small fee. They can’t keep 100% of that fee either, as they need to contribute certain percentage to the political masters who need to amass a war chest to buy votes come next election to avoid our beloved motherland being colonialised again by outsiders and their local stooges. Even Alam Flora doesn’t directly engage in solid waste (garbage) collection, they hire contractors. SPAD is busy promoting MyRT and Chinatown acquisition. There’s no time for revamping of ecosystem.

Anyway, Teluk Anson – Tapah is not the only scenario at hand. There’s also Kuala Lipis – Padang Tengku since a week ago but news first only appeared in those Ca Ya Nun Alif newspapers. Now Sinar highlights it. Perhaps there are dozens of express buses, many among them double deckers plying the Kota Bharu – Kuala Lumpur route passing by Padang Tengku. Federal Route 8 around Padang Tengku and Merapoh is also being widened and straightened, abandoning the winding old alignment. Yet local bus is dying. With the link to the nearest big town severed, I don’t think there’s any other way out for these unlucky few.

No bus for you, Padang Tengku!

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