KUALA LUMPUR: Transport Minister Anthony Loke has appealed to bus operators to be patient while the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) ironed out the kinks in the process of renewing permits.
“The APAD has received their applications to renew their permits and is processing them now,” he said.
Nonetheless, he added, this is a transition period for the agency and the process could take longer than normal. “We will look for ways to improve the system,” he added.
The APAD has taken over the functions of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) which was decommissioned last year. Loke said the problem was further aggravated by the two-week closure of the permit renewal counters in December.
“We could not process anything in those two weeks, but we did send out notices to inform stakeholders of the closure,” he added.
Groups affected by the delay in renewing permits are operators of express buses, school buses, factory buses and chartered buses.
Loke admitted that flaws remained in the system but they were being addressed.
He said one way to improve the system was to enable online renewal. “We are looking at developing an online system for renewal of permits and other requirements for all types of buses,” he said.
Loke said he had also instructed the acting director-general of APAD to have a dialogue with the bus operators to understand their operations as soon as possible.
The Peninsular Malaysia Association of Excursion Bus Operators had recently urged the government to find a way out of the impasse that has resulted in them not being able to renew their permits.
The Association of Chartered and School Buses president Mohd Rofik Mohd said 30% of bus operators could not operate their business due to this delay.
“Without a permit we cannot renew road tax and motor insurance, so we cannot send the vehicles for inspection by Puspakom,“ Rofik said.
This, he added, had forced bus operators to outsource their services which ended up incurring additional costs.