Not feasible to stop late night bus travels - Bus operators

Not feasible to stop late night bus travels - Bus operators
KUALA LUMPUR: Bus Operators Associations have collectively said that it is not feasible to stop late night bus travels altogether, adding that it is more comfortable to travel at night.

Peninsular Malaysia Malay Express Bus Operators Association president (PEMBAWA) Tajuddin Mohd Yunus said it is more comfortable to travel at night as there will be no traffic and the weather is not too hot.

"We also know for a fact that most of the passengers prefer travelling at night because usually they will leave to their hometowns on a Friday night so that they can arrive on Saturday morning to spend the weekend there.

"If they leave on Saturday morning, they only can spend a limited time in their hometowns and it would not be worth it.

Besides that, he said it is compulsory for bus companies to assign to drivers to a bus, where they take turn every four hours to drive the bus.

"They also have the freedom to stop at any rest areas anytime and they prefer night travel as it is more convenient," he said.

Peninsular Malaysia Bus Driver Association president Saa'dan Man also agreed that it is definitely not feasible to stop late night bus travels altogether.
"Why come up with this suggestion in the first place? Is it because accidents happen at night? If it happens during the day, is it feasible to stop day bus travel? We can't do that," he exclaimed.

He said travelling at night is more comfortable as there will not be a lot of cars on the road and the weather is cooler.

"Don't think bus drivers will only be tired and sleepy at night. Some of them work day and night, so, sometimes, they may be even sleepy during the day.

"There are other factors contributing to accidents including overloaded buses and road conditions," he said.

He added that many people prefer to travel on Friday nights to their hometowns so that they can spend longer weekends with their loved ones.

Meanwhile, passengers who often use express buses to travel, have mixed views when it came to the time of travel.

Shahira Ariff, 20, said she prefers to travel in the morning as it is dangerous to travel at night, especially when one is alone.

"It is safer during the day as there will be a lot of passengers boarding buses and you can always seek help from anyone around you if something happens.

"If it is at night, there is always the danger of the driver sleeping off and its scarier as there are fewer people around," said the student.

T. Tamil Selvi, 30, said there are advantages and disadvantages to both day and night travel.

"Of course it is safer to travel during the day as the roads will be busy and the tendency for crime-related activities are lower.

"However, day travel means reaching your destination much later than planned and at a slower pace due to the traffic. Travelling at night means you can reach your destination faster but its riskier as it is dark and dangerous," said the physiotherapist.

Zainal Abidin Jaffar, 63, said he prefered travelling at night because he can rest and sleep during the travel.

"Not only that, if I travel during the night, I can conduct my businesses during the day. But if I travel during the day, I would be wasting time.

"It is also more comfortable to travel at night. However, I did notice on many occasions that the two bus drivers who are placed in a bus chit-chatting while on the journey," he said.

Between March 17 to Apr 20, a total of seven accidents involving buses were recorded, five out of which were fatal.

On April 23, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) suspended the permits of 27 Transnasional express buses plying the East-North Sector yesterday.

The suspension was due to accidents involving the company's buses.

SPAD Chief Executive Officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal had said an audit conducted on the company revealed the company had failed to monitor its drivers' speed limit, besides the global positioning system (GPS) in its buses not functioning.

He had also said bus operators whose vehicle were involved in accidents in Temerloh and Pekan last week would face stern action if they were found to have violated the licensing terms.