Starting today, Dec. 29, card fares for adults travelling on buses and trains will increase by 6 cents. Single trip ticket for train and adult cash fares for bus will increase by 10 cents.
Student and senior citizen card fare increases will be capped at 1 cent.
Keeping pace with rising costs
The Public Transport Council (PTC) said in a Oct. 30 press release the fare review comes after "three consecutive years of fare reductions totalling 8.3%".
It explained that the decision to review fares was necessary as energy prices have rebounded 26.2 percent, the wage index is up 3 percent, and the core consumer price index rose 1.5 percent.
It also said that both rail operators, SMRT and SBS Transit, have reported "significant losses" and raising prices was consistent with other cities' practice to keep pace with rising cost pressures.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a Oct. 30 Facebook post that raising fares by 4.3 percent was an "unavoidable decision" by the PTC which had a "difficult balancing" job between balancing the interests of public transport operators and commuters.
Khaw said that the PTC's "decision on fares seldom pleases all. Commuters do not welcome fare increases".
In case you can't read his full post, here it is:
A Difficult Balancing Job
The Public Transport Council has a difficult job, balancing the interests of commuters and transport operators. PTC’s decision on fares seldom pleases all. Commuters do not welcome fare increases; operators need fare adjustments to keep pace with their operating costs. Against such challenges, PTC has chosen the right strategy to be open, transparent and fair. PTC comprises a number of wise men and women, from different background. I know them to be reasonable and balanced. After 3 years of deciding on fare reductions, PTC has now made an unavoidable decision to raise fares by 4.3%. PTC noted that while wages rose 10% over the last three years, fares have gone down by 8.3%.
PTC has capped the card fare increase at 6 cents for adults, and at 1 cent for seniors and students, lower wage workers and persons with disabilities. This will mitigate the impact of the fare increase. To further help lower income families cope, the Government will provide $9 million of transport vouchers for these families.
The Government will continue to heavily subsidise public transport – $5 billion for buses, $4 billion for rail renewal and $20 billion for expanding the rail network in the next five years. We are mindful that each dollar to subsidise commuters means one less taxpayer dollar for other public services like healthcare and education.
Top image Mothership file photo