The fare hike for the same route is shown in these two tickets, from RM1.30 last Friday to RM2 yesterday.
JOHOR BARU: Bus commuters here were shocked as they had to dig deeper into their pockets when they boarded stage buses here yesterday.
A call to the CVLB's toll-free number 1800-88-9600 earlier had suggested that the 30 per cent increase was only for express buses, not stage buses.
Johor CVLB chief Sulaiman Sairan could not be reached for comment, but a spokes- man confirmed that stage buses were also included in the fare increase.
S. Chandran, 49, of Taman Pulai, was among those who were caught unawares. The office cleaner said he was perplexed when the bus driver asked for RM2 when he boarded the bus from his house in Bandar Baru Uda.
Lau Yut Lye, 27, a beautician, was another bus commuter who was not aware of the fare increase.
"Has the price of petrol gone up again? I usually wait for Triton buses because the fare is the cheapest among the stage buses like Causeway Link and Transit Link.
"But now it looks like it isn't the cheapest bus anymore as Causeway Link charges only RM1.80 for the same route. I had earlier got down from a Causeway Link bus because the driver had demanded RM1.80 from the city to Skudai Kiri."
Ashfar Ibrahim, 31, of Ayer Hitam, said his bus fare of RM7.40 had been increased to RM9.60.
"This is outrageous. Stretch-ing the ringgit will be even harder for the blue-collar worker," said Ashfar, a shop assistant.
Handal Indah Sdn Bhd, which operates the Causeway Link buses, said the company had increased the prices after receiving a circular from CVLB, which allowed bus operators to increase the fare of express and stage buses between Sept 15 and Oct 15.
Its managing director, Lim Han Weng, assured the public that the fares would revert to normal after Oct 15.
The normal bus fare starts from 75 sen in the first stage, which is about 1km.
For Causeway Link, the farthest route is Ayer Hitam which would cost passengers RM9.60 per trip.
As for Triton, the bus fare also starts from 75 sen and the company's farthest route is Kulai, which would cost RM4.50.