Transport Commission thumb up for increase bus, taxi charges nationwide

The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has recommended a rise in public transport charges nationwide.
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has recommended a rise in public transport charges nationwide.

The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has recommended a rise in public transport charges nationwide.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Albar said the recommendation was based on a study it had made, following requests from industry players.

“A report has been forwarded to the Transport Ministry.

“The approval to revise the fares is in the ministry’s hands,” he told a press conference after launching Johor’s first Safe and Responsible Truckers Day here yesterday.

Syed Hamid said a rise in fares was justified.

He added that the commission was sympathetic towards the difficulties faced by the relevant companies as a result of the increase in operational costs.

“We understand their plight and also agree that there is a need for an increase in fares, including for taxis ferrying passengers into Singapore.”

Syed Hamid urged the companies, especially the Johor Baru-Singapore Taxi Association to be patient, as an increase in such fares would also require the cooperation of the Singapore Government.

It was earlier reported that over 200 taxi drivers who ferry passengers into Singapore were expected to face losses following toll hikes at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex and the Woodlands checkpoint.

Bus and taxi operators had also appealed to the Government to allow them to raise their fares by between 30% and 40%.

They said their request was more than justified as the last fare increase was in 2008 and that operational costs had increased tremendously since then.

On another matter, Syed Hamid said foreigners should not be allowed to tap into the transportation industry despite the shortage of lorry and bus drivers.

“If such jobs were offered to foreigners, it will not only reduce job opportunities for locals, but also invite unwanted social problems in the country.

“As it is now, we have over three million illegal foreign workers and I think we should not contribute to an increase in this figure,” said Syed Hamid in response to suggestions that foreigners be allowed into the industry. — The Star.