- The Straits Times
Adult commuters who take the bus and train in Singapore will pay slightly higher fares by the end of the year.
The Public Transport Council (PTC) said on Tuesday (Oct 30) that from Dec 29, card fares will increase by six cents, while single trip tickets for trains and adult cash fares for buses will go up by 10 cents.
This follows three consecutive years of fare reductions totalling 8.3 per cent, the PTC said.
Student and senior citizen card fare increases will be capped at one cent, and fares under the Lower-Wage Workers and Persons with Disabilities concession schemes will also be subject to an increase capped at one cent.
Frequent travellers using Monthly Concession Passes – students, senior citizens, full-time national servicemen, persons with disabilities and adults – will see no increase, as the prices of these passes will remain unchanged.
A 50-cent discount offered to commuters who travel before 7.45am will continue. According to PTC, the scheme had resulted in total commuter savings of around S$19 million in the first half of 2018.
These recommendations were made after the PTC’s 2018 Fare Review Exercise (FRE).
“Its decision involved a delicate balance between fare affordability and rising operating and maintenance costs of public transport operators. In addition, targeted financial assistance will be provided to eligible low income families,” the council said in a statement.
Calling the decision “necessary”, PTC said costs have risen as a result of the following:
• Energy prices rebounded by 26.2%, the highest since the Energy Index was introduced in 2013; • Wage Index went up by 3%; • Core Consumer Price Index rose by 1.5%; and • Additional costs to improve connectivity and network capacity by running more public transport services.
“Both rail operators have also reported significant losses. These cost pressures have also been faced by other cities which have had to raise fares to keep pace with the operating cost increases,” it said.
At the same time, the PTC assured that it will keep fares affordable. The Public Transport Affordability Indicator (PTAI), which measures the percentage of household income spent on public transport, indicates that public transport fares have become more affordable over the last decade, it said.
As part of the 2018 FRE, SBS Transit and SMRT will be required to contribute 5 per cent of their expected increase in fare revenue ($0.55 million and $1.2 million, respectively) to the Public Transport Fund. This fund will help provide 300,000 Public Transport Vouchers, worth S$30 each, to help lower income families cope with the fare adjustment.
An earlier decision to remove additional boarding charge for commuters who make multiple rail transfers will also take effect on Dec 29.