According to a Bernama report, these unscrupulous means to rake in higher profits has resulted in a very inconsistent experience across express bus passengers, with some not even issued tickets for their journey in order to further save on costs in addition to paying higher prices compared to their fellow passengers who might have bought their tickets through other avenues.
The lack of a proper ticket also means there is less material evidence that investigators can use against the guilty express bus companies.
The report talks of an underhanded agreement between some bus operators and ticket touts to raise prices where they can manage, and many passengers are caught on the wrong foot if they don’t dispute or are forced to haggle.
"We hope passengers who experience this situation will report to SPAD," said Datuk Che Hasni Che Ahmad, enforcement chief of SPAD, at an operation with other enforcement agents at the Jasin toll plaza.
Che Hasni said that if found guilty, these operators and touts could be charged under Section 205(1) of the Land Public Transport Act 2010 (Act 715) which, if convicted, could mean an imprisonment not exceeding five years or a maximum fine of RM50,000, or both.
During the operation, Che Hasni and the other enforcement agency officers were investigating an express bus on route from Larkin, Johor to Kuala Lumpur that they suspect to be involved in this practice as passengers were charged different prices for tickets, while some did not have tickets at all.
Che Hasni said that, so far, 59 offences were found committed by lorry, taxi and bus drivers that include failure to present valid permits and/or operating licenses. “SPAD will conduct further investigation on the driver, passengers and bus operators.”