BUTTERWORTH: The state government has applied for a special RM120mil fund from the Federal Government to partially subsidise public bus services on Penang island.
State Local Government and Traffic Management Commit-tee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said the move was aimed at enabling the state to have a say in the management of public buses.
"Our discussions with the individual bus company owners often ended in a deadlock as most of them were not keen on merging.
"So, by subsidising part of the cost to run the buses, we hope to offer an efficient public bus service that also cover the less popular routes," he said yesterday.
Dr Teng said if the fund was approved, the state would discuss with the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) on changing some of the bus routes for better coverage.
He admitted that Penang's public transport services was now in a deplorable condition and that commuters were very angry with the state government.
"But, we need to get the support and co-operation of the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Ministry to make the necessary changes.
"The state has submitted several options but we have yet to get any favourable feedback from the ministry," he said.
On the Citizens for Public Transport movement that was recently set up by 21 non-governmental organisations to campaign for better public transport in Penang, Dr Teng said the organisation should have been formed much ear-lier.
"It is good that such a movement is formed as they can help support the state's proposals to the Federal Govern-ment to improve the state public transportation system," he said
Source: The Star