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Express bus operators have approached the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) on the subject of a possible 15% hike in ticket prices this Raya season. The operators are also requesting for an additional 10% surcharge after the festive season should the government turn down earlier demands for fare deregulation.

“The public needs to understand that for us to provide the best service, there must be a fare increase as we don’t enjoy subsidies like the stage bus industry,” said Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association (PMBOA) president, Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali, to theSun. The last fare increase was in 2008.

SPAD chairman, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, commented that a decision on the fare surcharge would be finalised over the next few days. The commission is also mulling over the possibility of fare deregulation, with the final word expected later this year. “Fare deregulation would provide healthy competition to provide the best service to the public. But this still needs approval from the government as it involves public interest.”

In June 2013, a 10% surcharge was given the go-ahead by SPAD during the Raya season as a form of compromise to a 30% hike in 2011. The 10% surcharge remains as SPAD has decided to retain it until the new fare rate has been finalised.

Back in March 2015, SPAD had announced a price hike for both taxis and express bus services with the former getting the final word of approval – the supposed hike in ticket prices for the latter was postponed.