Monday April 7, 2008
Brakes on bus lease scheme
PENANG: Bus operators here have been told to stop leasing their buses to drivers.
State Local Government, Traffic Management and Environment Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said they would face the music if they refused.
He said the lease scheme, which involves drivers paying a certain amount for rental and maintenance, has given the state’s public transportation system a bad image.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Chow said the bus operators should look into substituting the lease system with a salary scheme, which would enable the drivers to follow a proper time and route schedule.
He said that under the lease system, drivers claimed they got better income and did not have to be on the road during off-peak hours.
“The state is against the lease system.”
He alleged that the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB), was well aware of the problem but had failed to act against these operators.
He said the state also would not hesitate to endorse Citizens for Public Transport (Cepat) plans to take legal action against CVLB for allegedly failing to regulate and supervise the bus system in the state.
He said that although the state had not fixed any time frame for the bus operators to do away with the system, it was nevertheless “very, very serious'’ in its caution to the operators.
When contacted, CVLB chairman Datuk Markiman Kobiran asked the state and Cepat to submit a written complaint to the board with details of bus companies that were using the lease system.
“Give me the details. Which bus company is using this system? How many buses? What are the bus numbers? We need all these data before we can act,” he added.
He said that to date, CVLB had yet to receive any official complaint from any party regarding the matter.
“If they submit an official complaint to us complete with details, then we will take the necessary action.
“If we still fail to take action after submission of these complaints, then they can proceed and take legal action against us,'’ he added.