There will be an overall increase of 2.8 per cent to public transport fares following the conclusion of the 2014 Fare Review Exercise, the Public Transport Council (PTC) announced on Wednesday (Jan 21).
How the 2.8 per cent figure was calculated: By aggregating the 3.4 per cent fare adjustment quantum carried over from the 2013 Fare Review Exercise with the -0.6 per cent figure from 2014, the PTC said.
But fares for senior citizen, and existing monthly travel concession prices will not rise, said the PTC. The Transport Ministry separately announced on Wednesday that fares for lower-wage workers and persons with disabilities will not increase, while the monthly concession pass for persons with disabilities will remain at S$60 per month.
“In total, more than 1.1 million commuters will see their fares unchanged,” the PTC said in a press release.
FARE CHANGES FROM APRIL
From Apr 5 this year, adult card fares for buses and trains will increase by 2 to 5 cents, while student concessionary fares will increase by 1 cent, the PTC announced. Cash fares for adult bus and train rides will increase by 10 cents, while senior and student cash fares will remain unchanged.
The prices of all monthly concession passes for adults, National Servicemen and senior citizens will remain the same, it reiterated.
The PTC said bus and train fares will continue to be affordable, even for lower-income groups, as household income growth has generally outpaced household expenditure in public transport.
For instance, in 2013, the second quintile (the 21st to 40th income percentile) and second decile (11th to 20th income percentile) of households in Singapore spent 2.2 per cent and 3.1 per cent of their monthly income on public transport, respectively. These were down from the 3.2 per cent and 4.6 percent, respectively, in 2003, it said.
Said PTC Chairman Richard Magnus: “In approving the fare increase and deciding on the quantum, the Council made a concerted effort to minimise the impact on commuters, even to the extent of insulating some from the increase altogether. Overall, the fare adjustments for the 2014 fare exercise are lower than last year’s adjustments.”
IMPACT ON OPERATORS
With the fare increments, the PTC said the two public transport operators – SBS Transit and SMRT – will have to contribute S$5.5 million and S$8 million, respectively, to the Public Transport Fund. The total of S$13.5 million is S$2 million more than their contribution last year, according to the press release.
The Government will utilise the Public Transport Fund to provide Public Transport Vouchers to lower-income households to mitigate the increase in their travel expenditure, it added.
“I am always very concerned not only with making transport fares affordable, but making sure that our low-income families who need more assistance will be looked after,” Mr Magnus said. “The contributions to the Public Transport Fund by the operators will help defray the travel expenditure of these needy families.”
“PLEASED” VULNERABLE GROUPS NOT AFFECTED BY HIKES: LUI
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said on Facebook that he was “pleased” that more than 1.1 million commuters, particularly more vulnerable groups like senior citizens and persons with disabilities, will not experience a fare increase.
“Looking at the overall outcome of this year’s fare adjustment exercise, I believe the Public Transport Council has achieved a good balance between keeping fares affordable for Singaporeans and maintaining the viability and sustainability of our public transport system,” he wrote.
He added that the 250,000 public transport vouchers of S$30 will be provided to needy commuters, and the ministry aims to simplify the application process further.
“We also have other plans on the meaningful use of the Public Transport Fund and I will share these with you when we are ready,” the minister said.