3 Biggest Signs that a Public Transport Fare Hike is on the Horizon

The Public Transport Council has started its review of the formula used to adjust bus and train fares, which it expects to complete in 2018.

It said earlier today that it will “focus on maintaining a good balance in keeping public transport fares affordable while ensuring the financial viability of the public transport system.”

Despite that optimistic statement, it looks like there’s a fare hike on the horizon.

(1) Costs Go Up

The current formula takes into account changes in the inflation rate, wages and an energy index that charts oil and electricity costs.

No prizes for guess what has just been announced – a 6 percent rise in electricity prices. And, a rise in median wage.

Not to mention, carbon tax.

Uh oh.

(2) Guy In Charge of Fare Adjustment Drops Hints

“Service improvements come at a cost,” said PTC Chairman Richard Magnus.

And describing how much the cost is, he said:

“As highlighted during the Committee of Supply debate, the Government expects to spend close to $4 billion over the next five years to subsidise public bus services, and another $4 billion over the next five years on replacing rail assets.”

So if the government is going to spend some S$20 billion, do you think you can escape paying that 20 cents more?

After all, “There will need to be equitable cost sharing among commuters, taxpayers and public transport operators.”

(3) Khaw Dropped the Bomb Prematurely

“PTC cannot always bring good news.”

Last month, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament that it was not sustainable for taxpayers to increasingly subsidise the costs of running Singapore’s public transport system.

And if our Transport Minister says this, what do you expect?



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