Ensure reasonable increases in school bus fees

I strongly agree with and support the development of an accreditation scheme for the school transport industry ("Case to accredit school bus operators"; Nov 12).

Another area that the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) and the Singapore School Transport Association (SSTA) should look into is the monthly bus fee.

School bus service providers often increase bus fees without reasonable consideration.

Parents are caught in a bind and are held in a "take it or leave it" situation.

When my daughter was in Primary 3, her school appointed a new bus service provider which raised the monthly fee from $56 to $90.

The higher cost left us with no choice but to train her to take public transport.

School bus service providers often increase bus fees without reasonable consideration.

Parents are caught in a bind and are held in a "take it or leave it" situation.

A few of my daughter's schoolmates also withdrew from the new bus service.

We understand that the school followed official protocol by inviting three quotes.

We also knew that there would be an increment due to rising operating costs.

But we expected the increment to be reasonable. A rise of 60 per cent is exorbitant.

Families engage the school bus service for various reasons.

They may not be able to accompany their child to school because of work commitments or because there is no able-bodied adult available.

I hope service providers will consider the hardships that parents face when they raise their fees.

I hope Case and the SSTA will impose regulations to ensure more reasonable and acceptable bus fees.

Donny Ho Boon Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2015, with the headline 'Ensure reasonable increases in school bus fees'. Print Edition | Subscribe