School Bus Fares In M’sia Will Now Cost Between RM50 And RM200

This is due to lesser drivers & increased costs.
Taking the bus to school is undoubtedly a source of relief and convenience for students who have yet to learn how to drive and parents who don’t want to brace through horrific traffic.

However, this form of transportation is set to cost even more when the new school term begins next week due to a shortage in drivers and companied ending work-from-home (WFH) arrangements.

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M'sian bus driver sanitising his vehicle
Photo via The Star

School bus fares in M’sia will now cost between RM50 and RM200

Speaking to The Star regarding the hike in bus fares, Federation of Malaysian School Bus Operators Association president Amali Munif Rahmat said public demand had increased by 20% in certain areas due to more people returning to the office and dwindling drivers and operators.

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On top of that, the cost of maintaining buses has also increased as 90% of its spare parts, including engine oil and spare tires, are imported.

Most of our spare parts are imported, including the engine oil, so the cost of maintenance has increased due to the drop in our currency value.

M'sian kids taking the school bus
Photo via FMT

“At the same time, operators and owners have to pay above the minimum wage so as to attract capable drivers,” he said.

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Amali added that parents must now prepare to pay between RM50 and RM200 in bus fares depending on the vehicle and route.

Fewer bus drivers

Amali told the English daily that the decreasing number of bus drivers has further compounded the issue, resulting in 50% fewer buses and vans being available.

Before the pandemic, there were more than 16,000 active members in the federation, but that figure had since dropped to about 8,000.”

M'sian bus driver fetching students to school
Photo via The Star

One of the operators, Lim Boon Kooi, told The Star that 30% of his drivers opted for retirement when Covid-19 first arrived in Malaysia.

He added that while parents have made early bookings after hearing of the bus shortage, there still isn’t enough drivers to meet the growing demand.

“As parents return to working in their offices, they are no longer able to fetch their children at flexible hours,” he said.

With more items seeing a price increase, M’sians must be ready to pay more with the new SST rate officially in effect:

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