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Budget 2020: RM450mil to buy electric buses, no mention of unlimited-ride pass extension

To improve public transportation while going green, the Government has allocated RM450 million under the Malaysian 2020 Budget to purchase 500 new electric buses. This will be distributed to selected towns across the country.

For rural towns, the Government will continue to provide support for last-mile connections. To improve accessibility for smaller towns, bus operators will be given subsidies as much as RM146 million for the year 2020.

During the tabling of the budget, Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng has recapped that the Government had introduced the My50 and My100 unlimited-ride monthly pass for MyRapidKL rail and bus services. Introduced in January this year, he shared that the unlimited-ride scheme had benefited 120,000 public transport users. In Penang, they have introduced Pas Mutiara which provides unlimited rides for Rapid Bus and Rapid Ferry.

During the live announcement, there’s no mention if these passes will be extended for 2020. The unlimited-ride passes were introduced during last year’s budget announcement and the Government had allocated a budget of RM240 million for 2019.

Public Transport Pass announced during Budget 2019

Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, had recently called upon the Finance Ministry to provide more funding to improve public transportation and to develop the local logistics industry. He said that the My50 and My100 unlimited passes have received positive response from the public and it could be further enhanced and improved with additional funding. Anthony said he’s looking to expand the initiative to other regions and he hopes it receives further backing from the finance ministry.

Apart from Rapid KL rail services, he hoped that more budget can be allocated to build more rail lines to improve the transportation of goods. He suggested having an additional line from Serendah to Port Klang as passenger trains are currently sharing the same tracks with commercial lines, with priority given to passengers. He said that with an added spur railway line, this can reduce the distance and time needed for goods to reach the port.

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At today’s budget announcement, it was also revealed that the Government will upgrade the rail line between Halogilat to Tenom station in Sabah with a cost of RM50 million. This will not only improve the safety for local residents but it can also turn into a tourist attraction.

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Alexander Wong