With the Budget 2020 announcement just around the corner, the government has been urged to focus on existing initiatives in the public transport sector to help reduce the public’s cost of living, said Universiti Putra Malaysia economic analyst, Dr Mohd Yusof Saari.

According to a Bernama report, Mohd Yusof said incentives such as unlimited travel passes of My100 and My50 should be continued, because they benefit those who choose public transport as their preferred choice of mobility. He also said that the ‘bas mini’ service should be expanded due to high demand, especially within residential areas of the city.

“The introduction of a mini bus is a good thing because we know that some public transport cannot provide services to certain housing areas. Now the problem is inefficient connectivity,” he told Bernama.

Mohd Yusof also proposed the use of a single-ticket system to further reduce consumer cost and ease mobility. This is “so consumers do not have to get multiple tickets. Currently, the difficult thing is, to go from one place to another, the public has to buy separate tickets. That is not time or cost effective,” he said.

As for the rural areas, he said the government needs to think of a more convenient and cost-effective way of implementing public transport service. In Sabah, for example, Mohd Yusof said some areas use van services to ease the commuting experience for locals. “Short routes such as from villages on the outskirts of the city, into the city center do not require bus services as it is not cost effective based on the sparse population. So traveling by van is easier and cheaper,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Institute of Transport deputy director (Industry Network and Commercialisation), Dr Shahrin Nasir also agreed that the unlimited travel pass should be continued because it has a positive impact, especially in reducing the cost of living. He said it would be better if such facilities were extended to other cities around the country so that the efforts of the government could be felt by more people.