KLUANG, Nov 13 — Express bus operators in the state are worried they might have to fold up after being unable to bear the cost of maintenance or to service their loans, unless measures are taken to help rescue them.
Johor State Express Bus Operators Association chairman Datuk Suchdav Jotisroop said there were about 13 express bus operators in the state and 90 per cent of them affected, what more with the temporary order to stop operations.
He said the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) had grounded about 700 buses and left 2,000 employees temporarily out of work.
“This is the third time that express bus operators have been made to stop operations, with the first during the Movement Control Order (MCO) from March 16 to May 3 before being extended under the CMCO from May 4 to June 9.
“Although they were allowed to operate again under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) on June 10, the capacity of passengers using the express bus service was only around five to seven people per trip,” he told reporters in a press conference, here, yesterday.
Suchdav further explained that the situation had resulted in companies only being able to operate about 20 per cent of their buses due to not being able to bear the operating costs.
He said the CMCO from Nov 9 to Dec 6 had piled on the woes for the companies.
“Every month, all express bus companies have to pay loan installments of around RM15,000 to RM20,000, some, even more, depending on the number of buses they have.
“We really hope that with assistance, especially from the government, can help these bus operators to overcome the loan repayment issue to prevent the buses owned by the companies to be repossessed,” he said.