Public transport operators may increase their fares by 4.3 per cent, said the Public Transport Council (PTC) on Monday (3 September).
In a press release announcing the start of the 2018 Fare Review Exercise (FRE), the council said the figure was obtained based on a new fare formula.
“Based on the new fare formula applicable from 2018 to 2022 and taking into account the carry-over quantum of -3.2 per cent from the 2017 FRE, the maximum allowable fare adjustment quantum to be considered for 2018 FRE is 4.3 per cent,” said the PTC.
Public transport operators are requested to submit their fare applications to the PTC by 1 October for consideration.
A decision on the fare adjustment quantum will be announced by the PTC in the last quarter of the year.
“Ultimately, the PTC will continue to keep public transport fares affordable to commuters, while ensuring that the public transport system remains financially sustainable,” it said.
The PTC added that it reduced fares by 8.3 per cent over the previous three consecutive years, largely due to the “continued double-digit dip in energy prices”.
But energy prices in 2017 rebounded by 26.2 per cent over the previous year and this will be factored in this year’s fare formula.
Other macroeconomic price indices in the fare formula have also increased over the past year. The Wage Index, a proxy for the wage growth of public transport workers like bus captains and rail staff, went up by 3 per cent while the core Consumer Price Index rose by 1.5 per cent, the highest increase in three years.
To improve network capacity, more than 1000 new buses were introduced through the Bus Service Enhancement Programme and Bus Contracting Model and more than 200 new trains were added over the past five years, PTC added.
“The government has also committed to spending $5 billion to subsidise public bus services, $4 billion to renew rail operating assets and an additional $20 billion on new public transport civil infrastructure over the next five years,” it said.
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