Worried about the public transport fare hike? Here are some measures that will help.

13/10/2022

A fare hike of 2.9 per cent will kick in on Dec 26, 2022. Which, in all honesty, is what anyone would focus on and worry about during this period of high inflation.

That’s only natural as we do not have unlimited funds in our banks and any hikes make front page news.

So far so bad?

Not really. Petir.sg would like to point out here that not everything is all doom and gloom.

Here’s why.

Placing a cap on the hike

Granted, this is not the best reason but the hike could be way higher than the 2.9 per cent due to the global energy crunch, which increased energy prices by 117 per cent, increased manpower costs and inflation.

In fact the three aforementioned factors granted the Public Transport Council (PTC) a maximum allowable fare adjustment quantum of 13.5 per cent, but ultimately decided against because of the current economic situation.

Then how does the Government bridge the gap (which amounts to 10.6 per cent)? From an additional subsidy of some S$200 million in 2023, on top of the current subsidies of more than S$2 billion annually to run bus and train services.

That said, the increase also caters for the quality of reliability of the public transport system.

For instance, the Government continues to invest heavily in maintaining the high standard of public transport and enhancing the connectivity of our public transport network. The rail network will expand from 230 km today to approximately 360 km by the early 2030s. 

An additional point: the hike also provides better pay for the 20,000 Public Transport workers in Singapore.

What then to make of this? A responsive Government that understands the people and tries its best to achieve a balance between reliability and affordability, while increasing wages for workers.

Minimising impact for concession groups

To minimise the impact of the hike for lower-wage workers and person with disabilities, the increase for concession card fares, first introduced in July 14 and paid for by the Government, for these groups will be capped at 1 cent.

The lower-wage workers will continue to enjoy discounts of up to 25 per cent off adult fares. As for persons with disabilities, fares will continue to be pegged to those of seniors, which is 55 per cent off adult fares.

Monthly Concession Pass for persons with disabilities will remain unchanged at S$64. There is also no change to cash fare and single trip tickets for both groups. The price of the adult Monthly Travel Pass, at $128, will remain unchanged. 

According to PTC, as a result, half of Singaporeans will see a small fare increase, with some experiencing no increase.

Distributing Transport Vouchers

To further cushion the impact, the PAP Government will distribute 600,000 Public Transport Vouchers (PTVs), valued at SS$30 each, and can be used to top up fare cards or buy monthly concession passes.

This will provide support for lower- to lower-middle income households, whose monthly household income per person is not more that S$1,600.

Cover photo credit: Singapore Stock Photos on Unsplash