Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 01/13/2014 22:17 | By Channel NewsAsia

"Significant" transport discounts for low-income & the disabled

"Significant" transport discounts for low-income & the disabled

"Significant" transport discounts for low-income & the disabled

SINGAPORE: The government's transport discounts for low-income workers could bring their fares down to what they were about 10 to 15 years ago depending on their journey.

The concessions are set to be even more significant for persons with disabilities, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew in a Facebook post on Monday evening.

"These discounts would make transport fares much more affordable for both groups; something I wanted to do since I joined the Transport Ministry," Mr Lui said.

Apart from concession schemes for the low-income group as well as persons with disabilities, Mr Lui said in his Facebook post that there may be others who need help. He added there will be other support schemes such as public transport vouchers available to them throughout the year.

In 2013, the Public Transport Council (PTC) said it would pay close attention to making transport affordable especially for the lower-income group.

Observers say that focusing on the low-income as well as those with disabilities is a step in the right direction as it could translate into other benefits for them.

Mr Ang Hin Kee, who is a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Transport, said that with the transport concessions, low-income groups, for example, will be able to travel further and benefit from more job options.

However, he hopes the transport discounts will be in the form of a direct government subsidy.

Details of the concessions will be revealed on January 16, together with the PTC's decision on the 2013 fare review exercise.

Separately, the PTC said in a statement that it has decided on the applications -- made by the two public transport operators at the end of last year -- to raise fares.

This comes after the council met on Monday afternoon to consider the applications.

The fare review exercise started in November last year. In December, transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit submitted their applications. This comes after the exercise in 2012 was suspended to take into account the pending work of the Fare Review Mechanism Committee.

- CNA/fa

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