Couple Charged RM482 For Bus Fare From Gopeng To JB

The Ministry of Transport is facing mounting pressure to address the issue of express bus operators raising fares during the Chinese New Year holiday, with calls for stringent action against those found guilty of price gouging.

NV Subbarow, Senior Education Officer of the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP), has urged the ministry to take decisive measures, including suspending the licenses of express bus services, in response to reports of exorbitant fare hikes. One such incident involved a couple who were charged over RM800 for a round trip from Gopeng, Perak to Johor Bahru (JB).

Subbarow highlighted that the passengers had to bear fares inflated by 270 per cent to 344 per cent above the usual rate of RM70 per passenger for a one-way trip.

Expressing disappointment and concern, Subbarow emphasised that passengers had purchased tickets online a month before Chinese New Year, only to be faced with significantly higher prices during their journey.

He stated, “The passengers were charged RM190 per person for the journey from JB to Gopeng last Friday and paid RM241 for the return journey to JB on Monday. Personally, the complainant feels that the bus fare imposed on him is excessive, and CAP feels that this is an exploitation of consumers.”

Subbarow criticised the express bus industry for taking advantage of the festive season despite prior warnings and called for action to protect consumers, particularly those from the B40 group who rely on express buses for travel.

He urged the Ministry of Transport to establish a dedicated complaints desk to address grievances from passengers who have been exploited by bus companies, particularly during festive periods.

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