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ARKIB : 31/03/1998

Mini-Bus Off The Road From Wednesday

KUALA LUMPUR March 30 - Mini-buses, an integral part of Kuala Lumpur's public transport system, will wind up their operations tomorrow.

Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed hoped the operators would abide by the government's decision made two years ago.

A major issue was the replacement of the buses which were discussed over two years, he said after witnessing the signing of three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between his ministry and DIMB Bhd here today.

He said the government sensitive to the problem faced by the operators, had offered 333 taxi permits to genuine operators, he said.

According to the Commercial Vehicles' Licensing Board, only 121 mini-buses had operating licence after March 31, as compared to 172 early this year.

However, the actual number could be less as several operators had ceased operations on their own.

The mini-buses were gradually phased out in a move to improve the city's public transport with the introduction of a modern commuter system.

Eight bus companies plying the city routes were merged into two consortiums, namely Park May Berhad and Diversified Resources Bhd (DRB).

DRB, through its subsidiary Intrakota Komposite Sdn Bhd, which has taken over the minibus routes, has a fleet of 850 buses to service some 400,000 city commuters daily.

Mustapa said his ministry officials had met Intrakota to provide adequate buses to cope with the demand.

He said 45 ''Mega Rider'' buses would replace the minibuses when they ceased operation, with a further 100 placed on standby should the need arise.

He said the number of Intrakota buses could not be compared with the number of minibuses as these buses differed in size and operating frequency.

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