No bus for you Kelantan! Well, 11 fewer buses than before!

TRANSIT took note of more news of more CityLiner bus services shutting down.

This time, 11 bus routes in Kelantan have stopped operating, as discussions between CityLiner and the state government which began in November 2011 were not able to reach a solution – despite the state government’s offer of RM400,000 over 4 months.

Cityliner to cut 11 routes in Kelantan (NST)

14 January 2012

KOTA BARU: Thousands of commuters will be affected when Cityliner stops its stage bus service in 11 of the 17 routes it operates in the state beginning today.

A spokesman for the company said it was taking the action after a series of discussions with the state government failed to find a solution to help the company.

Cityliner will continue to serve six routes: Kota Baru-Pasir Mas-Rantau Panjang, Kota Baru-Chabang Empat-Pengkalan Kubur, Kota Baru-Pasir Mas-Tanah Merah, Kota Baru-Pasir Putih-Jerteh, Kota Baru-Machang-Kuala Krai and Kota Baru-Pengkalan Chepa.

Cityliner, a member of the Konsortium Transnasional Berhad (KTB), is the largest private stage bus operator in Malaysia.

KTB had announced in November that it was stopping its stage bus service in several states including Kelantan as it was suffering hefty losses.

Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat was reported to have said that the state government had decided to provide the company with RM400,000 over four months to ensure it maintained the service.

TRANSIT Says:

While we are happy to see that the State Government is going to work immediately with the Land Public Transport Commission to revive the 11 bus routes that have been shut down, TRANSIT wonders how much longer we are going to have to wait before we get any real policy statements & decisions from the Land Public Transport Commission?

By now, the Cabinet is supposed to have reviewed SPAD’s proposed changes to policy that would aim to resolve the crisis in the bus industry – but we have heard nothing about the progress in this area.

More importantly, we have heard nothing about what the policy proposals from SPAD actually look like. Are they similar to the Bus Transformation Plan or something else? Have the state governments, local authorities, bus operators and public transport users been consulted or given the opportunity for feedback? Do they care what the stakeholders, especially public transport users want and need?

In other words, what is happening? If the other stakeholders do not know what SPAD is doing, and do know know if anything is happening, how can they continue to have confidence in SPAD?

Remember, SPAD was supposed to change all of this and bring about the dawn of a new era for public transport. From where we sit, things are still looking pretty dark.

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3 thoughts on “No bus for you Kelantan! Well, 11 fewer buses than before!”

  1. Was just thinking about this matter when the post’s alert appears in the Inbox.
    This is one service that I had regularly used for years when I was in Pasir Mas; right until the middle of 2010. SKMK is a very popular and respected company in Kelantan, especially among the villagers. They play a crucial role in getting many thousands of students to school, at an affordable price. Their inavailability will create a huge headache for many parents. Can the authorities really blame them when they allow their children to illegally use motorcycles when there isn’t any other viable alternative?

    It’s well known that many routes aren’t profitable, especially to out of the way villages. And there are many such places there. SKMK would depend on the popular routes – especially the gold mine of KB-P.Mas – to make up for these losses.

    In a way, can’t fully blame SKMK when they stop these routes. At times, there are just two or three people on a bus at some routes! The prebet sapu often carts away would-be passengers – one van could carry 12. In Kelantan, the prebet sapu have their own stations; much to the chagrin of taxi drivers (with their various overheads) and buses.

    The government should help out. But there’s a fine line here and it must be careful not to pour money down a hole.

  2. I can’t help but wonder why 1 major company has been given licenses to operate bus routes in so many states and towns! When the company in question goes bust, people across the country are affected, as seems to be the case now.

    I can pretty much guess that the answer lies in who actually owns the company and his/her/their connections to some bureaucrat or minister. But this is a terrible idea on so many levels!!

    Oh for the day when public transport will be managed as not-for-profit entity with the state’s involvement. I am all for private enterprise but there are some areas where the public interest has to be paramount.

    1. @Noel

      If you take a look at the corporate structure of Konsortium Transnasional Berhad (the parent company of CityLiner), you can see all of the companies that KTB owns which provide stage bus services (they are labeled with the symbol “s” which represents ‘stage bus’) – and most of these have different names but are branded as “CityLiner”.

      More info about CityLiner at http://www.cityliner.com.my

      It’s likely that the various companies had the permits long before they were taken over by CityLiner and KTB – but we would have to look at all the company records to be sure.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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