National school bus group says to expect fares to go up from March, cites operating costs as reason

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — School bus fares can be expected to increase with the 2024/2025 schooling year that starts in March.

Federation of School Bus Associations Malaysia president Amali Munif Rahmat said the cost of operating and maintaining the vehicles, especially in urban areas like the Klang Valley, is getting more expensive and will have a knock-on effect on the fares, Malay newspaper Sinar Harian reported last night.

“It is possible that there will be a price increase for the new term but I am not sure how much it will be because it varies according to the operators themselves with them having to take into account business margins and the current situation,” he was quoted as saying.

He added that the price of vehicle spare parts has also become expensive as 80 per cent of them are imported.

“In the past, the price of spare parts was RM100, but now it has increased from RM120 to RM150, and the cost is also according to monthly maintenance.

“We also need to change the engine oil and we also need to look at the bus journey every month, that’s why I said the operation of each operator is not the same, and some operators even have to pay for parking otherwise they will be summoned,” he told the newspaper.

Amali Munif said the increase in fares would be based on the area and operating costs as the government has lifted price controls and allowed market forces to dictate fees since January 2015.

“The association can only give advice and guidelines to the operator that will take into account and depend on the review of the profit and loss statement, in addition to the consensus of the parties with the parents,” he was quoted as saying.

Malaysian public schools used to begin the academic year in January pre-pandemic but shifted to March in 2022 following a national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic that forced the Education Ministry to extend classes in 2021.

But the ministry expects to revert the start of the new school session to January again from 2026.



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