Selangor MB: Subsidising Cityliner not an option

The state government will not consider providing subsidies for Konsortium Transnasional Bhd (KTB) despite its’ service suspension on non-profitable routes since yesterday could leave some 80,000 commuters stranded.

MB Khalid Ibrahim said subsidiasing KTB’s stage bus, Cityliner, will result in taxpayers paying twice for the service.

“First, (tax-payers) need to pay through the subsidies. Second, they need to pay again for the bus fares,” he said at a press conference after chairing the state exco meeting today.

KTB, who runs Cityliner, announced on Tuesday that 25 unprofitable routes, in areas including Klang, Banting and Shah Alam will be suspended.

However, service on profitable routes such as Kuala Lumpur to Klang will continue.

KTB executive director Tengku Hasmadi Tengku Hashim reportedly said the suspension is due to the massive loss incurred from the unprofitable routes, which amounted to RM8 million each year.

“It becomes de-privatisation”

Khalid said when accepting the license from the Federal Government subsequent to privatization, KTB  agreed to run profitable routes which will compensate the local routes which are not profitable.

“It is inappropriate that now they have absorbed the profit of the profitable routes, have abandoned the non-profitable ones,” he said.

He said he will hold a meeting with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) tomorrow on the matter.

He added that if the state steps in to pump subsidies to Cityliner, the purpose of privatization will be deflected.

“It will become de-privatised. Why must you give the profit to entrepreneurs and ask the state to bear the loss?” he said.

State Exco Member for HealthPovertyEstate Workers and Caring Government Dr Xavier Jayakumar also urged the Federal Government to come out with an overall scheme for public transport, as the issue is under their jurisdiction.