Press Statement by Brolin Nicholsion:
Abang Jo led the GPS state government to introduce the what so-called “People-Centric” budget in the DUN last Monday.
Abang jo in His budget speech last Monday saying that the state government will introduce the free bus services within the Kuching city.
I believe this initiative is a good initiative and well welcome as Sarawak has the poor public systems and also in line with DAP resolution to urge the Sarawak government to introduce the free bus service this pilot project by the State government to focus on giving free bus services for the students within the Kuching city area is a good idea.
But the state government must remember, most of the low-income families live outside the Kuching city. If the government only focuses on the Kuching city, the government must be specific in which are it will be implemented. Is it only in Padungan, Pending or Kota Sentosa? What about those students from the lower-income study in UNIMAS and UITM? The students of UNIMAS and UITM are currently burdening by the expensive rate fare and poor bus services to serve them when they want to go to the city area during their free time.
Giving free bus for students is essentials for a host of reasons, key amongst them include reducing the cost of living and lowering our environmental impact. Having an accessible, safe and reliable public transportation system is one of the main concern for the GPS government should look for before they introduce the free bus services for the students.
The state-government also should consider my below questions;
- will the free bus services for the students serve efficient connectivity for first mile-last mile services?
- How would low-connected routes and areas be identified and connected?
- How many students from low-income economy within the Kuching-city will enjoy the services?
- How will the service take into account other costs such as time spent commuting, the stress caused and
impact on the environment? What more important is will the service resolves the students’ costs and frictions which are first mile-last mile connectivity, services reliability and route adequacy.
I believe and expect these issues have been discussed elsewhere within the state government, but in this piece, we take stock of current thinking and advance some policy initiatives towards achieving some minimum standards in public transport commuting. As a Transportation and logistics graduate, I am more concern with the mentioned above issues instead of having a ‘looking good’ project which sooner or later will damage our own image.
Special officer to YB Wong King Wei
DAPSY Serian Youth Chief