Updated: 01/17/2014 02:19

Public Transport Fares to raise 3.2% this year

Public Transport Fares to raise 3.2% this year

Public transport fares will go up by 3.2 per cent starting the 6th of April. 

Adults can expect to pay between 4 and 6 cents more per journey on buses and trains. 

Senior Citizens and Student fares will go up between 2 and 3 cents. 

Fares are also expected to climb a further 3 per cent next year. 

Public Transport fares were last adjusted in October 2011. 

The adjustment exercise was suspended in 2012 to allow the Fare Review Mechanism Committee to re-think the Fare Adjustment Formula. 

As a result, the adjustment for this exercise is calculated based on the past two years combined, which provides for a maximum increase of 6.6 per cent. 

However, the Chairman of the Public Transport Council, Gerard Ee, says it's not tenable for it to be raised at one go. 

"Clearly, 6.6% in one go is very high, and so, to minimise the impact on commuters, it was quite obvious to us that we should just do part of the increase this year, and roll-over the rest, as provided for under the new "roll-over" mechanism as recommended in the FRMC report, and came to the decision to do 3.2% for this round, and rolling over the balance of 3.4% to the 2014 exercise." 

The increase this year is estimated to cost the average adult commmuter $21 more in fares a year. 

The average senior citizen will fork out about $10 more per year, and students about $7. 

The PTC says bus and train fares have remained generally affordable for Singaporean households. 

It says the Fare Affordability Indicator continued to show improvements even for households whose incomes fall between the 11th and 20th percentile. 

This latest fare adjustment is expected to yield about $53.5 million a year in additional fare revenue for the public transport operators. 

However, under this year's fare review exercise, both SMRT and SBS Transit are required to make a one-off contribution of between 20 and 25 per cent of this revenue to the Public Transport Fund.
Mr Eee explains. 

"In total, the two PTOs will contribute about $11.5 million to the PT Fund, compared to previous years when they typically contribute under a million dollars. This means that there would be more resources to help needy families cope with the fare adjustment." 

-By Lee Gim Siong

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