NO CHOICE: Many city folk are forced to walk several kilometres daily to get to work
IPOH: THE city's irregular public bus services are forcing thousands to walk several kilometres daily because they cannot afford to take the taxi to work.
A recent check by the Northern Streets team revealed that commuters had to wait between one and two hours at the bus stop.
General worker Keng Siew Mei, 39, said she stopped taking buses more than a year ago because she was often late for work.
Ahmad Said, 21, of Taman Cempaka walks to his workplace, which is less than two kilometres away.
"I leave home at about 7.50am, and I am at the office within 30 minutes. I am forced to walk because I cannot afford the taxi fare.
“I only earn RM500 a month. I cannot spend RM8 on taxi fare every day. If I take the bus, it only costs RM1, but the service is bad.”
Housewife Kamala Dass Arumugam, 38, goes to the wet market in Bercham, which is about three kilometres away, once a week.
She hitches a ride from friends or neighbours and comes home by taxi.
“I used to travel by bus previously, but it has become almost impossible to get on a bus over the last two years.
“I ended up spending a lot on taxi fares,” she said.
Many city folk claimed that the bus services became irregular, especially between 6am and 7am, several months ago.
Haidi Tarmizi, 55, of Ipoh Garden, said his daughter, who studies at SM Convent Ipoh, was often late for school.
“Previously, the bus followed a schedule and would pass through the area every 15 or 20 minutes during peak hours, especially in the mornings.
“Of late, the number of buses servicing this route has been cut. Only one bus passes through the area between 6am and 7am. Those who miss this bus have to wait for hours for the next one,” Haidi said.
K. Subramaniam, 70, who also lives in the area, said: “I go to town to buy household items and to Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun regularly. Sometimes, I have to wait up to two hours for the bus.
“In the past, we could tell when the bus would arrive. There would be about two or three buses every hour. Now, it is highly unpredictable.”
There are five bus companies in Ipoh.