Should bus fares go up in order to pay for higher wages?

Foreign workers wait for their transportation to work outside their dormitory in Singapore on November 26. Four mainland Chinese bus drivers accused of instigating Singapore's first strike since the 1980s were charged on Thursday with criminal offences that could land them in prison

The issue of bus drivers’ wages has been dragged into the harsh scrutiny of Singapore’s public eye following the rare two-day strike by more than 180 Chinese bus drivers working for transport operator SMRT late last month.

Speaking for the first time on the protest, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told local media on Thursday that public transport costs have risen faster than fares.

He reportedly noted that fares have increased by 0.3 per cent over past years as compared to fuel and wage costs, which went up by 30 per cent over the same period, adding that the public transport fare review that will take place next year will need to factor in this “significant mismatch”.

Separately, SMRT reported early last month that its net profit from its second quarter fiscal year had dipped despite earning higher revenue. Its bus transport business saw operating losses jump to $6.6 million for the period from $2.6 million the year before as basic salaries and head count rose.

We want to know what your take on the issue is. Is raising bus fares the only way for public transport providers to pay for higher salaries, or should operators absorb the costs? Vote in our poll below:

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