Bus service 46 offers free rides for residents in Lumapas
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
PUBLIC bus number 46 on the Southern Line that links Kg Sungai Kebun to Kg Junjungan began its operation again yesterday. It operates from 6am to 6pm daily and is free of charge three times a week for residents in Mukim Lumapas.
This is done in an effort to increase ridership and to support the government’s move in improving Brunei’s public transport system. Previously, this bus service was temporarily stopped for few years due to low ridership.
To mark the official start of the bus’ operation, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held followed by a menepung tawar (pouring scented flowers) ceremony at Jalan Lumapas in Kg Sungai Kebun.
Present as the guest of honour to officiate the launching of a “Campaign Promoting Free Transport on Public Bus Number 46 for Mukim Lumapas Residents” was Yang Berhormat Hj Jumat Akim, member of Legislative Council and Head of Kg Putat.
Also in attendance were officials from the Land Transport Department; representatives from one of the local cooperatives Koperasi Tasamul Mukim Lumapas Berhad, which is also the bus operator; and some villagers from Mukim Lumapas.
After the ceremony, all guests had a short bus ride from Kg Sungai Kebun to Lumapas Police Post near Simpang 875 and made the last stop at the filling station operated by Koperasi Tasamul Mukim Lumapas Berhad.
Hj Ibrahim Hj Kamis, secretary-general of Koperasi Tasamul Mukim Lumapas Berhad, said that free rides will be available every Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays only for passengers who reside in Mukim Lumapas.
According to him, passengers will be asked for identification to establish their eligibility to use the free-of-charge bus service on those three days. Normal bus fares range from $0.50 to $1.
Currently, only one unit of the 22-seater bus goes through Kg Sungai Kebun, several villages in Mukim Lumapas and Kg Junjungan. The cooperative will add more busses should the need arises, Hj Ibrahim said, adding that the cooperative is in discussion with relevant agencies to provide several bus stops, including the one at the Kg Sungai Kebun.
Meanwhile, YB Hj Jumat hoped that the revived operation of the bus service will increase the ridership. This is to give an opportunity to those with no cars but need transportation to go to work. Also, he added, students can make use of the bus service, such as from Lumapas to Awang Semaun Secondary School or Sayyidina Umar Al-Khattab Secondary School.
The Brunei Times