Continued affordability of public transport is key: Lui Tuck Yew

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew (above) said he is grateful that the Fare Review Mechanism Committee's recommendations have focused on ensuring public transport remains affordable to all commuters. -- FILE PHOTO: ZAOBAO
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew (above) said he is grateful that the Fare Review Mechanism Committee's recommendations have focused on ensuring public transport remains affordable to all commuters. -- FILE PHOTO: ZAOBAO

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said he is grateful that the Fare Review Mechanism Committee's recommendations have focused on ensuring public transport remains affordable to all commuters.

In a Facebook post Tuesday he said: "We must do this while recognising the need to keep the public transport system in Singapore financially viable. In this regard, we should use the next fare exercise to enhance existing as well as implement new concession schemes for various groups of commuters, with special attention to the disadvantaged groups."

He added that he is generally in favour of the suggestion that the Government fund the proposed new concession schemes for disadvantaged groups while enhancements to existing schemes are cross-subsidised by commuters.

He noted that the last fare exercise was in 2011 and said: "No fare exercise is ever popular, but periodic fare adjustments are necessary, especially in the face of rising wage and fuel costs... My own view is that any fare increase should be below the average national-level wage increase for that year."

He said the concession schemes and transport vouchers will help ensure fares remain affordable for commuters. The continued affordability of public transport will be a key objective for his ministry, he said.

Separately, the Public Transport Council said it will examine the committee's recommendations. "Following the Government's decision on the recommendations, the Council will then deliberate and implement the adopted measures to fulfil its mission of safeguarding the interests of the public, while ensuring the long term viability of the public transport operators."