THE PJ City Bus and Smart Selangor free bus services for Malaysians should be seen as an “exclusive initiative” by the Selangor government for locals to enjoy the various public facilities in the state.
“The move to charge foreigners a 90sen fare is actually a common method by a government (in other countries) to differentiate the privileges citizens and foreigners would be entitled to when using services provided by the government,” said SSDU Innovations Sdn Bhd (Smart Selangor Delivery Unit or SSDU).
“This is similar to that of hospital or health clinic services, where charges vary for citizens versus foreigners.”
SSDU said this in a statement, following online articles quoting several NGOs that called for the Selangor government to rescind the 90sen fare for foreigners using the PJ City Bus services.
While the 90sen fare for foreigners using the free PJ City Bus service started on Sunday (Jan 15), SSDU pointed out that a similar move to also charge 90sen fee for foreigners started in March 2021 for all Smart Selangor bus services operated by all local councils in Selangor.
“The Smart Selangor bus service aims to provide a comfortable and free public transport service for Malaysian citizens, particularly those who reside in Selangor,” continued SSDU in its statement.
“The 90 sen fee for foreigners using Smart Selangor and PJ City Bus services is not a form of discrimination or oppression.
“The money will be used for the maintenance of these buses and to partially cover the cost of running such services for the public.
“The move to introduce fee charges since 2021 has been supported by locals as they feel 90sen is a nominal fee for using buses that are clean, comfortable and air-conditioned.”
According to Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), almost 15% of PJ City Bus users were made up of foreigners.
Locals will have to scan a QR code on the Citizen E-Payment (Cepat) app when boarding and departing the bus.
Senior citizens and children were exempted from this move; the former just needed to show their MyKad to the bus driver as proof of identity.