Long queue for monthly travel pass
By BAVANI M
HUNDREDS of people waited in line at the Pasar Seni bus hub yesterday to get the RapidKL monthly travel pass (MTP) that would help cut their travel expenses by half.
Despite the rain, all LRT stations and selected bus hubs in the Klang Valley were also crowded with passengers queuing up to get the MTP.
Last month, RapidKL announced that from Sept 1, bus fares in the Klang Valley will double and the company had introduced the MTP to help cushion the blow.
Saving on travel fare: (From left) A. Shantha, 42, Hidayu Abdul Kadir, 34 and Chan Yoke Lan, 76, with their RapidKL monthly travel pass.
The decision to raise the bus fare is according to the new rates proposed by the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB), which comes under the purview of the Prime Minister’s department.
When StarMetro approached passengers for their feedback, most said that they were aware of the price increase and had come prepared.
“I bought my pass earlier as I take the buses and LRT every day. It makes sense to get a pass,’’ said K. Sunderraj, 25.
Tammy Tham, 68, was also among the crowd queuing up to register for a concession pass for senior citizens to enjoy the benefits.
The MTP (RM50) offers savings of up to 50% for the seniors, the disabled and students in uniform, and is valid for all routes on the Tempatan, Bandar and Utama Servives.
Schedule disrupted: Passengers caught unawares of the new rates queuing at the front of the bus to pay.
Lee Kum Chang, 66, who also obtained the concession pass, however, complained that the RM50 pass was still expensive for seniors like him.
“I am an ex-serviceman and I think the Government could do better by offering better incentives for the elderly, he said.
There were also some who were caught unawares and had not come prepared with the right amount of change. This resulted in a queue outside the bus and delayed the buses schedules.
Secretary K. Malar did not have enough small change and had to get the driver to change her RM10.
When asked if she would be getting a pass, she said: “Yes. Most definitely. It is much easier and faster.”
A senior citizen who did not wish to be identified was annoyed that the bus was taking a long time to move but he was quickly pacified by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana) group managing director Datuk Idrose Mohamed who was conducting a spot check at the Pasar Seni hub.
Idrose apologised for the delay but also explained that the bus could not move unless everyone had boarded it. He also advised passengers to get an MTP as it was not only more economical but more convenient and reduced waiting time.
RapidKL general manager for corporate & strategy Shahril Mokhtar said that since the passes went on sale on Aug 20, 5,000 were sold and the number increasing rapidly as more people were becoming aware of the benefits of using the pass instead of cash.
“At Pasar Seni alone, since this morning, we sold RM11,000 worth of passes within two hours,’’ Shahril said, adding that there was an increase in sale compared to the monthly average of 1,500 previously.
The MTP offered savings of up to 50% compared with buying a ticket each time one boarded a bus.
About 400,000 passengers use RapidKL buses daily but less than 4% bought the monthly pass and the dismal number is largely attributed to the daily pass system that was introduced in 2006.
However, with the current new rates, which is based on the zoning system, passengers will have to fork out RM1 per trip for both Tempatan and Bandar buses. The more obvious change can be seen in the rates introduced for the Utama buses.
Previously, passengers pay a flat rate of RM2 a day but with the new fares, passengers will pay different rates for different zones.
So, a person living in Kajang or Klang will have to fork out RM3 to get to Kuala Lumpur.
Those using express bus services are now paying RM3 for a one-way journey or RM5 for a daily bus pass. With the new fares, they will have to pay RM3.80 per trip.
Passengers are however encouraged to switch to MTP. The rates are as listed in the table on the right.
Take note that the holder of the integrated pass, his spouse and four children under 15 can enjoy free rides on weekends and public holidays.
In line with the change, nine Tempatan bus services will be converted to the Utama service because the route distance covers more than one zone.
The affected routes are Batu 9, Cheras, Kajang, KL Sentral, Cyberjaya, LRT Sungei Besi, Hentian Bandar Shah Alam, Section 2 Shah Alam, Kompleks Kerajaan Jalan Duta and Subang Parade.
For details, call RapidKL helpline at 03-7885 2585.