The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has approved a 10% surcharge for express bus fares this upcoming Raya season, from July 10-27, Bernama reports.

In a statement, SPAD said that the move was to ensure that express bus services were not delayed, besides fulfilling higher demand during the festive season.

“In addition, this approval takes into account various factors such as improving the level of handling the additional services, improving the supervision system for the express buses and maintaining the service quality of the express buses to ensure passenger comfort and safety during the festive season,” the statement said.

The commision also announced that all the additional express buses for the festive season leaving and arriving at Kuala Lumpur will use the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) at Bandar Tasik Selatan.

SPAD also advised consumers to purchase tickets at valid ticket counters to avoid being cheated, besides keeping ticket stubs as proof. “Valid tickets are computer printed, and will display the name of the company as well as the number plate of the bus which will be boarded by passengers. Consumers are requested to check the information printed on the ticket and verify it at the ticket purchasing counter.

terminal-bersepadu-selatanAll additional Raya buses departing and arriving in KL will be using the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan

“For passengers boarding the additional buses, they can check the license plate number of the bus as registered with the SPAD, through an attachment displayed at the ticketing counters,” it advised.

Express bus passengers can make complaints to SPAD at 1-800-88SPAD (7723) if they encounter any issues with service, safety and comfort this festive season.

Express bus operators have requested for a fare hike this Raya, citing driver shortage and higher costs during the festive period. Malaysia’s largest express bus company Konsortium Transnasional Bhd (KTB) said that it will not deploy extra buses if the regulators did not approve a fare hike.

KTB MD Tan Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh explained that the company normally added over 100 express buses to meet demand, in addition to the usual 300 on normal days. Bus companies run at a loss during Raya as buses would leave KL every day full, but return near empty, he said. KTB needs 70% capacity to break even.

Nadzmi also weighed in on the industry’s request for the government to deregulate express bus fares. “Government should not regulate fares. Let the market decide as it may lead to lower fares to attract passengers during non-peak period,” he said.