The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will take stern action against express bus operators conspiring with ticket touts to sell tickets at higher prices outside counters, especially during festive seasons or holidays, Bernama reports.

SPAD enforcement chief Datuk Che Hasni Che Ahmad said they can be charged under Section 205(1) of the Land Public Transport Act 2010, which may lead to a RM50,000 maximum fine or imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both.

“We hope passengers who experience this situation will report to SPAD,” he was quoted as saying, adding that there were ticket sellers who did not issue tickets to passengers to cover the price increase.

According to Che Hasni, an express bus en route from Larkin, Johor to Kuala Lumpur is suspected of foul play – passengers paid different prices, with some not even having any tickets. “SPAD will conduct further investigation on the driver, passengers and bus operators,” he said.

Meanwhile, the enforcement chief said a total of 3,637 vehicles – taxis, buses and lorries included – were inspected in 2,100 daily operations between January and April. Taxis recorded the most offences at 1,495 cases, with 1,056 cabbies found not to be using their meters, he added.

SPAD recently launched MeterOn, a mobile app that makes it easier and quicker for passengers to lodge complaints against errant taxi drivers.