Where’s the public bus?

Pic from CPL Bus Kuching

Jack Lapidus

GETTING a bus these days in major cities in Sarawak can certainly be an uphill task.

And this is despite the over 200 stage bus licenses issued by the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (LPKP) Sarawak.

In view of this, newly appointed LPKP Sarawak chairman Wong King Wei is bent on getting to the bottom of this.

He has since been tasked by the federal government’s Ministry of Transport to look into Sarawak’s public transport network, particularly the bus services.

He said LPKP Sarawak had issued 227 stage bus licenses but the availability of public bus transportation in cities and satellite townships in the state was still relatively poor, Borneo Post reported.

“Are they (license holders) really using the license to run the bus? That is the problem we want to look into,” Wong told a press conference in Kuching today.

He believes the licenses were initially issued after the company concerned met the required criteria, but there was no follow up.

“That was the previous practice where once the conditions are satisfied, LPKP would issue the license.

“However, there is seldom any monitoring to see how the service is going on and over time, it begins to get bad.

“We should not issue licenses blindly but intelligently and it must be beneficial to the people as a whole,” he said.

He said a meeting will be held soon with all stakeholders to get their feedback on the issues and difficulties they faced.

“Based on this, we will come up with a plan on how to improve the overall service,” he added.