Shop assistant Hamidah Abdul Latif spends more than RM2,000 annually on school bus service for her three children to commute daily from home to school.
"This does not include expenses for house rental, food items, school fees and so on. School bus fares take over 10 percent of our salary (she and husband)," she said at Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) Pantai Ria in Kuala Lumpur today.
Now, with the free school bus service for children of PPR (low-cost housing) and PR (public housing) which began yesterday, her burden has been reduced.
Hamidah, 38, was among 6,500 parents of children of PPR and PR residents who benefit from the free bus service provided by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
DBKL provides a total of 165 buses for use by primary and secondary school students in 74 PPR and PR here, involving allocation of RM80 for each student.
For Kamal Abdullah, 42, the free school bus service will reduce the burden of commuting between home and the school attended by his two children.
"Previously, I had to take a break from work to take them home at noon but now I can rely on the free school bus," said the resident of Air Panas PPR.
Hotel worker Ahmad Razif Omar, 47, said he was grateful for the free school bus service since it is safer than taking his two children on a motorcycle.
"The school bus driver also lives in the same housing. This makes me feel safe and assured of my children's safety."
Bus operator Mohd Izwan Abd Rahman praised the free school bus initiative but suggested that DBKL try to optimise the trips made.
"The deployment of 10 more buses for Pantai Ria PPR means that the buses are not full since there are already 10 buses serving the housing project.
"This is not economical. DBKL must also inform the parents of the bus numbers to avoid confusion," he added.