Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bus service terminated since last year - The Star

April 29, 2008 by LIM CHIA YING

THE residents of Rumah Panjang Kampung Bunga Raya in Kampung Subang, Shah Alam, are in a fix as the bus service they have used for years has been stopped.

The residents claimed that the City Liner bus that used to pick up passengers at the bus stop just outside their village had stopped its services since late last year.

The villagers said they were not told why the bus company had terminated the service all of a sudden.

No bus: The villagers at the bus stop where the buses to Shah Alam and Klang used to pick up passengers.

According to village head Murugan Arumugam, without the bus service, many poor families are facing difficulties travelling to and from their workplaces each day.

“As a result of this, many of the villagers have missed going to work, and some have been forced to quit their jobs.

“Previously, residents relied on the bus to go to Klang and Shah Alam, where they worked at factories.

“There are also many old folks and pregnant women who take the bus to go for treatment or medical check-ups at the Klang hospital,” he said.

Murugan said for the past few months, people were forced to take taxis or pay a monthly fee of RM100 to use a van to go to work or get to the hospital.

“The only bus available now is the one that only goes to Kuala Lumpur. But many of us need to go to Klang, which is where we also do our shopping for Deepavali and Hari Raya,” he said.

“Now just to go to Klang, we have to take three buses, thus wasting a lot of time. What happens if a pregnant woman is to deliver and has no car to take her to the hospital in Klang?” he asked.

According to resident Pathmanathan Raman, many of the villagers are poor, and earning a meagre income of RM400 to RM500 monthly.

“With bills to pay, food to buy, how can they still afford to pay the RM100 van rental? What more when some of them are jobless now,” he said.

“The bus was an easy and cheap mode of travel for us,” Pathmanathan said.

He said that besides the Kampung Bunga Raya villagers, people in nearby residential estates like Ladang Subang, Bukit Subang and Bukit Jelutong also used the bus service.

Vedachi Alagumalai, 74, and her husband Muniandy Kumarandy, 82, are among those finding the going tough without the bus service now.

Vedachi has to take Muniandy to the Klang hospital twice a month as he has eye problems that require frequent treatment.

“We receive about RM200 monthly from the welfare department and from it, RM40 goes for taxi fare (for one return trip).

“When we took the bus last time, we could save so much,” Vedachi said.

Single mother Rukkumani Subramaniam works as a cleaner in a school in Glenmarie. She has to walk home daily for an hour from Bukit Jelutong, the point where a bus drops her off.

“We have highlighted our case to the authorities and elected representatives several times but our pleas have gone unheard,” Murugan said.

“All we want is just a bus service. If the Rapid KL bus, which also services Shah Alam, could come here too, it would be a great relief to us all,” he said.

When contacted, City Liner Selangor regional manager Mohamad Razali Latib said as far as he knew, the bus services were already terminated when he took over the post in September last year.

“What I heard was that our buses were making a loss as the daily collection could not cover the cost of the diesel used to go to the village,” he said.

“I was told that the buses can only collect over RM100 a day when the diesel cost more than RM200.

“In the past, when there were more foreigners taking the bus, we could cover the cost,” Razali said.

He said, however, that he would review the route to see what could be done for the villagers.

Rapid KL communications division manager Chellam Vasudevan said the company would need to study the matter before it could commit itself to operate any bus service there.

“The villagers’ representative can call us via our hotline number at 03-7625 6999 during office hours (Monday to Friday) from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

“We'll have to study the exact location to see if our bus service can accommodate them,” she said.

When contacted, Kota Damansara assemblyman Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim said he had arranged a meeting with the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) today to look into the issue.

He said the council should be able to do something since it was its responsibility in monitoring developments in the area.

“We want to sort out with the officers what the problem is and why there is no bus service there.

“This should be a social responsibility and must not be just about making profits,” Nasir said.

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