BMTA labour union leader Veerapong Wongwan said Friday that the 292 NGV buses were already registered with the Land Transport Department and fitted with GPS system and could be put into service immediately.
He said the problem with the Customs Department which insisted that the bus fleet was not assembled in Malaysia with 40 percent local contents should be treated as a separate issue while priority should be to serve bus commuters.
Earlier, the prime minister ordered BMTA to scrap the NGV bus deal with the supplier, Westlin Group, because the buses did not meet the term of conditions as specified in the contract.
Veerapong claimed that BMTA’a existing 2,600 buses in service were more than 17 years old and, hence, did not meet safety standards. The aging buses are a financial burden for the city bus operators due to their maintenance costs, he said.
As long as BMTA is operating with aging buses and is not allowed to procure new bus fleet to replace the aging ones, the labour union leader said that the bus operator would never solve its financial problem even through there are 100 more new directors.