ALOR SETAR: Passengers using the ferry service from Kuala Kedah jetty to Langkawi have to cough out an additional RM3 after a ferry fare increase came into effect today.
Passengers who purchase tickets at the counter from Kuala Kedah will now have to pay RM26 for adults and RM20 for children while the fare from Kuala Perlis to Langkawi is now RM21 for adults and RM16 for children.
The fare hike is also for the journeys from Langkawi to Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis.
However, the price increase is only for passengers who purchase tickets at the counter while the online fare remains at the old rate.
A visitor, Zulkifli Ahmad, 49, of Pokok Sena, when met said he was shocked when his son who wanted to return to Kuala Kedah, told him the fare had changed today.
“Yesterday, four of us bought the tickets at Kuala Kedah jetty to Langkawi at RM23 each but today, my son told me the fare is RM26 per person.
“I am upset as the ferry service operator did not make any prior announcements on the higher fare and this is an additional burden on the people,” he said when met at Kuala Kedah jetty today.
Imran Abd Malik, 35, from Kuala Lumpur, said the move to raise the ferry fare was not appropriate as it would discourage tourists from coming to the island resort.
“Tourism is the mainstay of Langkawi’s economy and this move will affect the number of visitors going there,” he said.
Norini Ishak, 34, also from Kuala Lumpur, said she did not know of the fare hike of RM3 at the counter and that one could buy tickets at the original price online.
“The parties involved should inform customers of the price hike earlier as I only got to know of the higher fare at the counter,” she said.
“Even though it is just RM3, it would have a big impact on visitors with large families,” she added.
Meanwhile, Kuala Kedah Ferry Line Ventures operation supervisor Ahmad Azizan Aziz said the fare increase of RM3 was a management charge.
He said the hike was agreed during discussions between the ferry management and the Marine Department.
“We are only carrying the order of the management as the fare has not been raised for almost 10 years. So I see the RM3 hike as not burdening passengers.
“But passengers can still buy tickets at RM23 online.
“Langkawi local residents only need to pay RM20 per person by showing their identity card at the counter,” he said.
Earlier, State Education, Transport and Non-Governmental Organisations Committee chairman Tajul Urus Mat Zain said there was no ferry fare increase to Langkawi and what had happened was only a management charge of RM3 on passengers who purchase tickets at the counter.
He said the move was aimed at encouraging the people to purchase tickets online at the old rate.