Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The problem with Malaysian express buses/operators

I was a frequent express bus traveler (how come they never have frequent flyer kind of benefits) during my university & working years, travelled >300km every fortnight and I have had all kinds of bus experience... so I guess I quality to list out some problems from my observation:
  1. There are way too many bus operators, and I believe only a small fraction of them are registered or legal.
  2. With many bus operators, a lot of bus drivers are needed - is there really a way to access these drivers for their competency? We are not just talking about driving license, but road ethics, driver-passenger rapport, professionalism, emergency response, drug/alcohol abuse and many more. If you have taken an express bus, you would know what kind of irresponsible drivers there are out there.
  3. Bus 'ulat' (jargon for illegal bus operators) take up most of the ticket counters. The moment we step your foot at the bus station, numerous 'agents' will chase us to sell their ticket. Ok we think smart, and look for a bus operator counter to buy, only later to find out, the 'agent' is also affliated with the bus counter. If the bus is already 'ulat', imagine how much 'ulat' would the driver be? I dread to even think about it.
  4. Drivers' attitudes are sometimes too carefree and don't give a damn about the comfort and safety of passengers when speeding, or sometimes dropping them further from the drop-point.
  5. Drivers fail to realise that driving the bus is more than just a job. The passengers' lives are placed in their hands throughout the journey, some compassionate and consideration is needed.
  6. Drivers not just speed and drive recklessly, they also tend to bully smaller vehicles on the road by tailgating. This is another disaster waiting to happen, in case there is any sudden reaction from the front vehicle.
  7. Most bus conditions, as we can see from the outside, is not always pleasant. I just wonder how are the conditions of inner working mechanical parts.
  8. There is no customer service or satisfaction in their objectives, these bus operators just treat this as a business. With slight hike of diesel price, the ticket prices are hiked as well. But the comfort and safety features or the bus is NEVER upgraded. Neither are the standard of the drivers. Where exactly is the money going?

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