Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg has announced the introduction of a free smart bus service in Miri. This initiative, described as an ‘angpow’ for Miri, aims to enhance public transport accessibility and boost tourism in the northern region.
Abang Johari highlighted the significance of improving public transport infrastructure, particularly with the transition from old buses to new ones. By offering free mobility through the smart bus service, Miri aims to attract more tourists to the city, thereby stimulating economic growth.
Currently, public bus services in Miri come at a cost of RM1 per person. However, with the introduction of the free smart bus service, commuters and tourists alike will benefit from enhanced accessibility and affordability.
In addition to the smart bus service, Abang Johari emphasised the state government’s commitment to transforming Miri into a smart city. Plans include upgrading basic infrastructure and the development of a convention center to position Miri as a key tourism hub in the northern region.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin expressed gratitude for the RM5 million allocation for the new smart bus program in Miri this year, with a similar amount earmarked for next year. This initiative, approved under the 12th Malaysia Plan, will see the replacement of all 14 old Miri City buses with new smart buses, contributing to a more efficient and sustainable public transportation system.
Furthermore, the approval of the Miri Lorry Terminal Project, scheduled for tender by the second quarter of this year, will address lorry parking issues, especially for those in transit to neighboring regions like Brunei, Limbang, Lawas, and Sabah.
The announcement was made during a Chinese New Year event, attended by key government officials including Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian, State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, and Deputy Ministers from various departments.