PeTUA Welcomes Penang State Government’s Subsidy to Provide 10,000 Free My30/Pas Mutiara for Penangites
Date: 1 March 2021
PeTUA welcomes the recent announcement by Penang State EXCO for Infrastructure and Transport that Penang State Government will provide subsidy of RM300,000 monthly to provide 10,000 free My30/Pas Mutiara for all Malaysian.
The subsidy can help many of public transport users in Penang during these hard times and uncertainty caused by raging pandemic that had infected 114 million peoples and taken more than 2 million lives globally and infected 11 thousand people locally in Penang, while wreaking havoc on our local economy that left many struggling, which include Rapid Penang which had seen massive drop in number of passengers since MCO1.0 began back in March 2020.
However, free travel pass is not complete without reliable coverage, especially for areas where commuters require another mode of transport to reach to their nearest bus stop with bus service. PeTUA hereby renew our call to the Penang State Government to embark on new subsidy scheme for community routes where it is not anywhere near to breaking even for operator like Rapid Penang, by topping up farebox shortfall for trips that operator run that had been designated community routes.
With this new subsidy scheme, more routes can be introduced to cover areas where it is hard for operator to sustain their service yet at the same time, provide savings to the State Government when the ridership pick up instead of providing free bus service.
On an unrelated topic, commuters and our members had observed the challenges and fall risk for less tech-savvy elderly passengers to comply with the contact tracing requirement while riding on buses. As these passengers will write their contact details on the logbook onboard the bus instead of scanning QR code with MySejahtera which it does require fair amount of time, it poses a fall risk for them as bus started to move before they can finish writing down their details.
After consultation with our members and passengers, we believe this can be an easy solution by providing pre-inked stamp with name and contact details for these elderly commuters, which is likely a beneficiary of the State Government’s initiative to provide free My30/Pas Mutiara. PeTUA hereby urge all elected ADUN and Member of Parliament of Penang to offer free pre-inked name stamp for their elderly constituent that hold My30/Pas Mutiara or any of the Rapid Penang monthly pass, which they can also utilize it on local businesses and minimize contact to any surface.
PeTUA look forward positive action from the State Government, elected representative and of course, huge take up rate from the public.