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.