Public transport fares could rise by up to 7%: PTC

FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore

SINGAPORE — Public transport prices could increase by up to 7 per cent as the Public Transport Council (PTC) began its annual Fare Review Exercise.

The figure is the maximum fare adjustment permitted for the review based on the 2018 fares, according to the fare formula applicable from 2018 to 2022, said the PTC in a news release on Tuesday (3 September).

The PTC will announce any fare changes in the last quarter of this year.

The formula seeks to balance fare affordability for commuters and financial sustainability of public transport operators. Operators may submit their fare adjustment applications to the PTC by 23 September.

INFO: Public Transport Council

The largest contributing factor to any fare adjustment for the year is the double-digit increase in energy prices, which rebounded by 26.2 per cent in 2017 and 32.3 per cent in 2018.

Other price indices in the fare formula, such as Wage Index and core Consumer Price Index, also rose in the past year. The core Consumer Price Index increased by 1.7 per cent, the highest in four years.

The Network Capacity Factor, which measures capacity provision relative to passenger demand for the entire public transport system, is pegged at 1.6 per cent.

Increase in capacity, reliability

Over the last five years, more than 1,000 buses and 200 trains were added to improve the capacity of our public transport system.

Rail reliability also improved significantly, with the MRT network achieving an MBKF (Mean Kilometres Between Failure) figure of over 1,000,000 train-kilometres, a more than seven-fold jump from 2015.

With improvements in bus and rail service, the cost of operating public transport has also been increasing. Over the last five years, the gap between costs and fares has been widening. This gap has thus far been funded by the Singapore government together with the rail operators.

Last year saw a fare hike of 4.3 per cent being granted. However, average fares are still four to seven cents lower than in 2015, just before fares were reduced 8.3 per cent for three consecutive years, in part due to the dip in energy prices from 2015 to 2017.

The PTC said that it will pay special attention to concession groups and needy commuters, in its consideration for fare affordability.

INFO: Public Transport Council

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