Tiga SCS

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) is mulling over increasing Komuter fares from 11 sen per km to 15 sen per km, sources told The Star in its report. Apparently, the increase is needed as KTMB chairman Datuk Nawawi Ahmad said that the company is losing money. An announcement is expected to be made today.

To cover operating costs, Ahmad said fares are supposed to be priced at 20 sen per km – the 9 sen difference is said to have brought about losses totalling RM100 million, annually. In another report by The Malay Mail, Nawawi said that an appeal for the hike in fares has been put forward to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), however, it has yet to be approved by the cabinet.

“For many years since 2002, there is no increase at all. Our cost per km is at 20 sen but our ticket price per passenger only covers 11 sen per km. Right now, our operating revenue cannot cover our operating cost,” he said. Ahmad also disclosed that the company no longer wants to depend on subsidies by the government to cover its operating costs.

The chairman is looking to break even with the ticket prices by next year. Ahmad told Bernama, “costs such as salary, electricity, maintenance and others go up each year while the fare has not gone up since the past several years,” the chairman reasoned further.

In addition to that, the increase in fares is required as KTMB is looking to cut down waiting times. At the moment, waiting times clock in at 15 minutes to half an hour. Ahmad hopes to decrease that to one train every seven minutes and 30 seconds.

Also expected today is an announcement on the increase in the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and monorail fares operated by Prasarana. More recently, toll hikes have also been registered at 18 highways from October 15. So guys, what’s your take on these hikes?