PETALING JAYA: SPAD has not given any approval for a fare hike for passenger rail services, but confirmed that a comprehensive review was under way.
“SPAD has not approved any new fare structure for the rail industry. However, SPAD is currently undertaking a comprehensive review on rail industry fare structure,” said Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.
However, he remained mum on when a price change might take effect.
Syed Hamid said four key factors would be taken into account by SPAD when reviewing the fare.
These, he said, included the existing fare structure, the operation and maintenance costs of all rail operators, the increase in fuel and energy costs and the industry’s long-term sustainability.
“Existing fare structure includes the affordability of the people, review of the variances between all operators and harmonising the fare structure,” he said.
Syed Hamid did not say how much the increase might be.
Prasarana group managing director Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar welcomed the proposed fare hike, adding that it was a long time coming.
“I think its right to do this. We haven’t had an increase for more than 12 years here,” he said.
Shahril said Prasarana has had to balance its unchanged fares with rising costs.
“Power alone carries more than 30% of our costs. Manpower is about 40% and the balance is other operations and maintenance. If the costs keep going up, how are we going to provide?” he said.
The company also invested more than RM1.5bil in the last 4 years in upgrades, including a new ticketing system, new trains and other facilities.
Prasarana, Shahril said had various discussions with SPAD on the matter.
He also called for an automatic fare review, one that would kick in every two to three years.
Shahril however said that any fare review needed to fair to Prasarana’s passengers, lest it burden them too much. – Thestar online