Wee promises aid package for hard-hit school bus drivers

Special temporary licences may be given to school bus operators to ferry factory workers and act as shuttle buses from public transport hubs.

PETALING JAYA: Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said today the government is drawing up a special recovery package to help school bus drivers who have been badly hit by schools closing during the movement control order (MCO).

“To school bus operators, I want to let you know we hear you. The government hears you,” said Wee in a Facebook post.

Previously, Amali Munif Rahmat, the president of the Federation of School Bus Associations Malaysia, told FMT bus operators needed government aid as they are at risk of going out of business because of school closures.

Bus operators under the federation serve some 1.5 million students nationwide. Many parents have refused to pay the fares as schools are closed.

Wee said he had been discussing details of the package with Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Aziz.

“Give us a few more days and within this month, we will announce details of a special recovery package to help school bus drivers facing a difficult financial situation due to the MCO.”

He also said he had instructed the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) to come out with a special temporary licence (LPS) to allow school bus operators to ferry factory workers.

He said this had become necessary as factory buses are only allowed to carry 50% of their full load under the conditional MCO to maintain social distancing.

“Additionally, we are studying the feasibility of granting LPS for school buses to be temporary shuttles from public transport stations and school vans for food and parcel delivery during the CMCO.”

He said he hoped these measures would help ease the financial pressure on school bus operators.

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