Public transport fare review committee wants more concessions for commuters

Commuters using the new Contactless ePurse Application (CEPAS)-compliant ez-link cards. A wider spectrum of commuters should get help to pay public transport fares, says the Public Transport Fare Review Mechanism Committee. -- BH FILE PHOTO:&nbs
Commuters using the new Contactless ePurse Application (CEPAS)-compliant ez-link cards. A wider spectrum of commuters should get help to pay public transport fares, says the Public Transport Fare Review Mechanism Committee. -- BH FILE PHOTO: MOHD TAUFIK A KADER

A wider spectrum of commuters should get help to pay public transport fares, says the public transport Fare Review Mechanism Committee.

It wants the Government to consider new concession schemes for low-income users and disabled individuals. These concessions should be funded by the Government, it says. The committee also wants existing concession schemes to be enhanced.

This includes free travel for children under the age of seven, cheaper bus-train concessions passes, a monthly travel pass for commuters who rely heavily on public transport, and a monthly concession pass for senior citizens.

For students, it is suggesting a significant discount for polytechnic students and extending student concessions to Singaporeans studying in private institutions locally. These concessions, it said, should be funded by other full-paying commuters.

The 14-member committee, led by Mr Richard Magnus, also wants an additional indicator to track the affordability of public transport for lower income commuters.It says there should be regular fare adjustments and an “energy index” should be worked into the fare formula, which currently looks at the consumer and wage index.

The committee also wants the Government to consider mandating public transport operators to contribute a portion of the fare increase to the Public Transport Fund, which has been set up to help low-income commuters with their fares.

The review, undertaken every few years to ensure the fare formula remains relevant, began in June last year. Its goal was to keep fares affordable while ensuring transport operators remain financially viable.