Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No bus service to Seremban housing areas

Company stops bus service to three housing estates in Seremban (The Star)

Story and photo by Charles Fernandez

Wednesday August 17

RESIDENTS in Taman Permai, Taman Duyung and Taman Oakland have been left stranded as the bus service to the residential areas has stopped since May 30.

They now have to pay more in taxi fare to reach to their destinations such the schools, hospital and market.

The bus company, Seremban Town Service (STS), which serves the residential areas hourly, has stopped the service because of poor passenger load.

Mary Theresa, 82, who works in Kemayan Square, now walks 2km to her working place if she fails to flag down a taxi.

“It used to cost me just a ringgit by bus but now I have to fork out RM8 for a taxi or RM2 if I am able to share the fare with three others.

“I am only a casual worker and cannot afford to travel by taxi,” said Theresa from Taman Permai I.

Chin Ah Teng, 65, from Taman Permai II, said he had missed out on his hospital appointment once waiting for the bus because he did not know the service had stopped.

Frustrated: Residents waiting at the bus stop in Taman Permai

I to flag down passing taxis.

Chin said last month he called for the taxi and was charged RM8 for a one-way trip to the hospital and an additional RM2 for the call charges.

“Imagine having to fork out RM18 just for a trip to the hospital and back. This is a financial burden for senior citizens,” he said.

K. Vijayakumari, 59, said most of the residents in Taman Permai were middle-class families who were without their own transport and had to depend on the bus service.

However, Mary Josephine, 55, and Ng Ah Siew, 61, have been offering to send residents if they are heading to town in the morning and appealed to the authorities to solve the transport issue soon because school children are also affected.

“This should be a social responsibility by the bus company. It is a pity to see children walking to school for the past two months,” said Josephine.

SMK ACS student Hoo Kar Ken, 16, said it was easier going to school than coming back unless he shared a taxi with others heading in the same direction.

“The fare used to be 60sen one way by bus but it is three times more now by taxi,” said Hoo.

Bukit Kepayang assemblyman Cha Kee Chin said STS should be more considerate towards the residents and resume service.

Cha said he had contacted the bus company but was told that the services would resume by the end of July.

“It is August now and there is a long silence from the bus operator. I have had discussions with City Liner and they have promised to look into my request,” added Cha.

Cha said he had even raised the matter at the state assembly on Monday as the residents especially the senior citizens and school children have been inconvenienced for too long and the mentri besar had promised to look into the problem.

He also pointed out that since the Seremban Municipal Council was subsidising the bus company servicing residents in Nilai and Pajam, they could also extend the same privilege to the residents in these areas.

KVMRT: All after stage bus (bas henti henti) saga never ends here. We need to restructuring the industry wholly.

Updates: No more bus service in Seremban