We understand Mr Donny Ho Boon Tiong's concerns ("Ensure reasonable increases in school bus fees"; Wednesday).
School bus operators face cost pressures from fuel, insurance premiums, salaries and bus costs, including acquisition, certificates of entitlement and maintenance. They need to keep bus fares affordable to win the support of parents and, at the same time, remain viable, taking into account the cost of operating and maintaining their buses.
Bus operators informed the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) and the Singapore School Transport Association (SSTA) that they generally try their best to keep the school bus fares low, but some hikes are inevitable.
Individual bus operators are free to set their own fares, and schools can decide which operator they want to use.
Under the new joint Case-SSTA accreditation scheme, however, accredited SSTA members are committed to transparency and fair business practices.
If accredited members increase prices, they would need to show that the fare hike is reasonable and justifiable.
Wong Ann Lin
Executive Council Chairman
Singapore School Transport Association