RM4 mil allocated to maintain unprofitable bus routes in Sarawak

The incentives are given to stage bus companies to ensure their services continue to be enjoyed by those who are still dependent on their services in Sarawak. (Facebook Sarawak Bus & Truck Community pic)

KUCHING: The federal government has allocated RM4 million for a subsidy programme to assist bus companies in Sarawak to continue their services on important routes that have few passengers and are unprofitable.

Newly appointed Sarawak Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) chairman Wong King Wei said the incentives are given to stage bus companies to ensure their services continue to be enjoyed by those who are still dependent on their services.

“The Sarawak CVLB will review the stage bus routes so that the companies can continue to provide the best service to the public, in line with the planning of the board,” he said after reporting for his first day of work at the CVLB office here today.

So far, he said Sarawak CVLB has issued 49,991 commercial and public transport vehicle licences, out of which 227 licences are for the stage bus services.

In another development, Wong, who is also the Padungan state assemblyman, called on the state government to ensure that all the requirements of the CVLB were complied with before launching the free school bus service here and in Sibu, Bintulu and Miri in April.

Welcoming the effort, as long as it benefits the people, he urged the bus service operations against violating any licensing rules and creating difficulties.

“There is no problem or issue for the state government to use the existing school bus licence to start the free bus service so long as the conditions of the licences are not flouted,” he added.

The board is ready to assist the state government in the event of any changes that have to be made to the conditions of the existing school bus licences before operating them, Wong added.