SEREMBAN: Individuals with special needs, students and senior citizens in three states can now travel for free on the myBAS stage bus service, says Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
The Transport Minister said special needs individuals registered with the Welfare Department, students aged between seven and 17 and senior citizens who are above 60 can, from Tuesday (Aug 15), apply for the myBASKonsesi card which will allow them to travel for free on 58 routes in Negri Sembilan, Perak and Johor.
The move is also to encourage more people to use the public transport service.
"This is another initiative by the ministry under the Stage Bus Service Transformation programme to help reduce the living cost of the people.
"Those eligible will only have to bring their MyKad, MyKid or MyTentera identification document or the OKU card issued by the Welfare Department when applying," he told reporters after launching the card at the Terminal One bus station here.
Loke said those who wished to apply for the pass in Negri Sembilan can do so at the Terminal One Station here, Nilai Sentral and the bus stations in Bahau, Tampin and Port Dickson.
In Ipoh, they can go to the Medan Kidd Station while in Johor, it is available at the KSL City Mall, TF Value Mart in Nusa Bestari, Senai International Airport, Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex and the Gelang Patah and Kulai bus terminals.
Children below the age of six need not apply as they can travel for free.
Loke said those successful will have to renew their card annually. No fee will be charged.
"We will expand these free rides initiatives for the targeted groups in other states in stages," he said, adding that the service was also available in Perlis and Terengganu.
Loke said all those eligible can apply and there is no limit set to this.
He said that based on statistics in the three states, the number of people from these groups currently using the service is not high.
Asked if the government will incur additional costs for this initiative, Loke said it would not.
"We already pay a fixed cost to the operators based on their service and routes covered irrespective of the number of passengers they carry.
"So, there is no additional cost to the government," he said.
Separately, Loke said his ministry was also looking at the Seremban-Kuala Lumpur-Seremban express bus service following complaints from commuters.
"For the record, we have issued permits to seven operators to service the route but now we have only two and sometimes only one company operating in a day.
"I have discussed this with the Land Public Transport Agency and we are prepared to give out more permits to ensure those travelling between the two points daily are not affected," he said adding that another operator had applied to service the route.
Loke said some operators have refused to continue due to the high cost.
"They claim that they only get many passengers during peak times in the morning or evenings.
"They are also not allowed to increase the ticket price as this is regulated," he said adding that the authorities would look into ways to assist the operators.