GEORGE TOWN - Single mother L. Letchumy has a broken arm. She is also nearly broke.
The recent increase in the price of petrol and diesel now has her down in the dumps.
"When my son was in Year One, the schoolbus fare was RM40 (S$15.70). It climbed to RM45 last year and then RM50 early this year.
"I can't afford another increase as I have already defaulted on payment for three months because of my injury," she said yesterday.
The mother of an 11-year-old son is on medical leave after an accident in July left her with a broken arm.
Part-time promoter Ng Pek Wah, 50, said she was paying RM150 monthly for the bus fare for her two children, who were studying in SMJK (C) Phor Tay.
"I hope the schoolbus association will not increase the fare.
"If they do, I will have to consider asking my children to use public transport," she said.
Clerk Sin Seow Theng, 43, said the present bus fare was already quite expensive.
"We are also paying the fare in December during the school holidays."
Penang Hindu Association deputy president P. Murugiah urged the Government to offer assistance in the form of transportation subsidies to needy students.
"The Government should come up with an allocation for transportation subsidies in the new budget or give out a special RapidPenang rate for students using public transportation to go to school," he said.
Penang Social Welfare Department chief assistant director R. Chitarthany said two kinds of assistance were given out to families with household income below RM720.
"But there is no specific aid for schoolchildren for transportation," she added.